Background: The psychological construct of emotional intelligence (EI), its theoretical models, measurement instruments and applications have been the subject of several research studies in health professions education. Aim: The objective of the current study was to investigate the factorial validity and reliability of a bilingual version of the Schutte Self Report Emotional Intelligence Scale (SSREIS) in an undergraduate Arab medical student population. Methods: The study was conducted during April-May 2012. A cross-sectional survey design was employed. A sample (n = 467) was obtained from undergraduate medical students belonging to the male and female medical college of King Saud University, Riyadh, Saudi Arabia. Exploratory and confirmatory factor analysis was performed using SPSS 16.0 and AMOS 4.0 statistical software to determine the factor structure. Reliability was determined using Cronbach's alpha statistics. Results: The results obtained using an undergraduate Arab medical student sample supported a multidimensional; three factor structure of the SSREIS. The three factors are Optimism, Awareness-of-Emotions and Use-of-Emotions. The reliability (Cronbach's alpha) for the three subscales was 0.76, 0.72 and 0.55, respectively. Conclusion: Emotional intelligence is a multifactorial construct (three factors). The bilingual version of the SSREIS is a valid and reliable measure of trait emotional intelligence in an undergraduate Arab medical student population.