The official language is Arabic. English is widely understood and ranks alongside Arabic as the language of commerce.
Language and religion form the most important part in cultural life of Dubai. Islam is the official religion of the emirate, with vast majority being the Sunni Muslims. There is also a significant Shiite minority residing in Dubai. In addition, there are several religious minorities, including Hindus, Sikhs, and Christians living harmoniously in Dubai for many decades. In fact, Dubai is the only emirate housing Hindu temples, churches and a Sikh gurudwara. The local government follows a policy of tolerance towards non-Muslims and they are free to practice their religion. The religious communities of Dubai have their own schools and social and cultural institutions.