Arabic has become the third most common foreign language after only Russian and Estonian. The total amount of native Arabic speakers in Finland in 2016 archived the number of 22.000 people. The researchers correlate the increase in Arabic speakers in Finland and coming asylum seekers mainly from Iraq and Syria.
More about the Arabic language
Most likely your Middle Eastern or Northern African business partners are polyglots. All Arabs are learning Modern Standard Arabic, or modernised version of Classical Arabic in which Qur’an is written. The thing is, you will never hear it on the streets.
Nowadays there are more than 20 dialects of Arabic language. However, speaking their own dialect, an Algerian person would not understand a person from Syria. The most common Arabic is Egyptian Arabic, first because 20% Arabic speakers speak Egyptian Arabic and second, many Arabs follow Egyptian TV and the Internet. As you probably know, Arabic is read right-to-left, opposite to Finnish and English.
Helsinki University and cultural centres frequently organise Arabic language courses for beginners and advanced speakers.
Source: Yle Uutiset