In the UAE, the royal family are given the title of Sheikh or Sheikha. Perhaps you’ve always wondered what your Sheikh or Sheikha name would be. Maybe you’re dreaming of being a prince or princess in Dubai? Then let our Dubai Sheikh name generator tool help you realise a part of your dreams.
Names are a window into a culture’s history, values and traditions. Emirati names are no exception! Rich in meaning and deeply rooted in the Arab world’s cultural and Islamic heritage. These names offer a fascinating glimpse into the identity of individuals and their culture.
After the Sheikh or Sheikha name generator tool, you can learn more about Emirati names and why Arabic names have the structure they do.
To use the tool:
Enter your gender, first name initial and father’s name initial. Then click the generate button to find out what your Sheikh or Sheikha name would be!
Sheikh/Sheikha Name Generator
Understanding Emirati and Arabic names
Emirati names are made of several key parts; the given name, the father’s name and the family name. On official documents, the grandfather’s name and sometimes even the great-grandfather’s name are added as middle names. However, typically these aren’t used in full on a day-to-day basis. Just usually the given name, father’s name and family name.
Something unique is that women will still have their father’s name as their middle name, meaning their middle name is a male name. For example, Amira Khalid.
1. Given Name:
The first part of an Emirati name is their given name and is the same as a first name in Western culture. This is chosen by the mother and father before birth or at birth usually. It can be chosen due to personal preference, a special meaning or after a family member.
There are many popular names with an Islamic history such as Muhammed after Prophet Muhammed or Fatima who was Prophet Muhammed’s daughter. Some names are disliked, such as those that have bad meanings or those related to paganism. Also, it isn’t recommended to use certain names that are reserved for Allah or that would be of such a high status that it could be taken as trying to put the person on the same high level as Allah. For example, if the name translated to “King of Kings.”
2. The Father’s Name:
This makes up the second part of the name or would be termed the ‘middle name’ in Western culture. Using Arabic naming conventions, the father’s name becomes an integral part of an individual’s full name.
It follows the word “bin” (for males) or “bint” (for females), meaning “son of” or “daughter of”. Bin is a shortened version of ‘Ibn’ which is Arabic for son of. It can also be extended with another ‘bin’ to add the grandfather and great-grandfather, which is commonly used for the full names of the UAE and Dubai royal family.
The ruler of Dubai’s full name is;
Sheikh Mohamed bin Rashid bin Saeed bin Maktoum Al Maktoum
[Title] [First name] [Father’s name] [Grandfather’s name] [Great-grandfather’s name] [Surname]
This practice not only establishes lineage but also pays tribute to one’s heritage. For example, a man named Ahmed, with a father named Khalid, becomes ‘Ahmed bin Khalid.’ In everyday use and outside of the royal family, it is often shortened to ‘Ahmed Khalid’ and the surname.
3. The Family Name:
The final part of the name is the surname or family name. In the Middle East, it is very typical for the name to start with ‘Al’ which is Arabic for The. Such as ‘Al Maktoum,’ like the Dubai royal family.
This family name is shared by all members of the family and is referred to as their tribe. Denoting a tribe affiliation, geographic origin, profession or notable ancestors. Certain family names can carry a lot of power and influence, including some which are known to be well-connected or influential in their society.
The origins of the family name typically can be related to a region or feature of the region the tribe are originally from or it can be a profession that their ancestors were known for. Sometimes the family name can relate to characteristics that are associated with the tribe, whether they were tall people or seen as warrior-like.
Lineage is hugely important in the Arab world and Islam. Even when adopting an orphan, it is not allowed to change the family name of the child since a child should not lose their heritage.
Another interesting and different cultural practice is that the woman also doesn’t change her name when she gets married, she keeps her original family name. It is disliked in Islam to change your family name as it is preferred for someone’s lineage to be apparent.
However, this can make travelling to Western countries with your children difficult and you may need to carry proof that a child is your child or is under your guardianship due to the different surnames.
4. Honorifics and Titles:
Emirati and Arabic names may feature honorifics or titles that convey respect or authority. “Sheikh” is a common honorific for male leaders or respected figures, while “Sheikha” is used for females. Additionally, “Emir” is often employed in official titles, signifying rulers of smaller territories within a larger country however this title isn’t used in the UAE.
Another title used in the UAE is HH for the royal family, meaning His Highness. You can also find politicians in high positions with HE titles for His Excellency.
It is extremely common both in Emirati culture and Arabic culture for people to have what would be termed a nickname however, this particular nickname is a very respectful way to address someone in the Arabic culture. For instance, if someone has a son then the father will be referred to as ‘Abu Ahmed’ and the mother ‘Umm Ahmed.’ Which translates from Arabic to English as Father of Ahmed or Mother of Ahmed.
If they only have a daughter, then this nickname will take after their eldest daughter. However, once they have a son even if he is younger than their first daughter then they will change the nickname to that of the firstborn son.
Frequently Asked Questions
What does Sheikh mean?
Sheikh has several different uses; traditionally “Sheikh” is an Arabic term that translates to “chief” or “elder and is used by Muslims to refer to someone who is respected in the community. It can also used as a respectful way to address an elderly man or to refer to someone who has a large amount of Islamic knowledge. The United Arab Emirates royal family also use the title Sheikh and Sheikha as formal titles for their royal family.
Who is Sheikha Moza?
Sheikha Moza bint Nasser Al Missned is a prominent Qatari royal and humanitarian known for her advocacy in education and healthcare. She is the second wife of Sheikh Hamad bin Khalifa Al Thani, the former Emir of Qatar.
Sheikha Moza co-founded the Qatar Foundation for Education, Science, and Community Development in 1995 and has been instrumental in establishing educational institutions, including Education City. Her work extends globally, earning her recognition and awards for her contributions. She is also the mother of Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad Al Thani, Qatar’s current Emir since 2013.
Learn more about the differences between Dubai and Qatar
Does Dubai have a royal family?
Yes, Dubai does indeed have a royal family. The ruling family of Dubai is the Al Maktoum family, with their current ruler being Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum. He also serves as the Vice President and Prime Minister of the United Arab Emirates (UAE). His son Sheikh Hamdan Bin Mohammed Al Maktoum is the Crown Prince of Dubai.
The Al Maktoum family has played a significant role in the development and modernization of Dubai and the UAE as a whole. They are highly respected and hold key positions in the government and various institutions in Dubai. The family has contributed to Dubai’s transformation into a major global business and tourism hub.
Why Sheikhs wear white?
Sheikhs and Emirati men traditionally wear white clothing for a variety of reasons, First is it the attire is deeply rooted in cultural and Islamic tradition; symbolizing purity, simplicity, and national pride. White also offers practicality in the hot desert climate keeping the body cooler. The kandura is an important part of Emirati identity. White was encouraged by the Prophet for men to wear so some may wear it for religious reasons. Even those who aren’t Emirati or Khaleeji may wear it out of appreciation for the culture or wanting the status that such a garment can carry.
Learnt more about traditional Emirati dress
Before you go, check out some of these other articles you might be interested in:
Enjoy dining like a Sheikh by dining at Burj Al Arab; all 9 restaurants inside the Burj Al Arab
Visiting the building named after a Sheikh! Full guide to visiting the Burj Khalifa and Burj Khalifa ticket cost
Stay in luxury like a Sheikh with the best hotels on Palm Jumeirah
Enjoy a classic pastime of the United Arab Emirates by watching camel races in Dubai
Learn more about Islam and why I converted plus what is a revert Muslim?
Did you enjoy the Dubai Sheikh and Sheikha name generator tool? We hope you’ve not only had fun but learned a little bit more about the culturally rich United Arab Emirates. Along with the naming traditions of the Arab world. Now go forth and use your Sheikh or Sheikha name with honour!
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