Translation:أَهْلاً يا فَريد.
When in any Arab speaking country wouldn't it be better to say "Asalam Olaikum" than "Uhlun"?
Yes. Actually, "as-salám 3alaykom" is a starter, and the reply back would be "wa 3alaykom as-salám". Some people still use "ahlan" though to reply back or to start greeting but it is kind of informal.