Similarly to its neighbors in the GCC, UAE is relying heavily on foreign labor to keep its projects and economy running. Alongside Qatar, the country has the highest percentage of immigrants in relation to its own citizens, with the later amounting to about 10% of the total population.
It is important to note that the UAE National Bureau of Statistics does not publish demographic data broken down by nationality. Hence all the figures listed in the table below are estimates, however they are provided by the countries on the list – more specifically their respective Embassies in UAE.
Our decision to insist on Embassy data stems from the fact that we tried to attain as “official” information as possible and to create a common ground which equates all the sources. There are however exceptions, as in some cases it was not possible to acquire Embassy data due to us being unable to reach them, countries saying they are not allowed to share that data or in some cases simply not possessing it.
|NATIONALS OF||POPULATION||% OF TOTAL POPULATION||YEAR OF DATA|
|Iran*||400,000 – 500,000||4,18% – 5,22%||N/A|
|Malaysia||6,000 – 7,000||0,06% – 0,07%||2015|
|Kazakhstan||5,000 – 6,000||0,05% – 0,06%||2015|
|Denmark||3,000 – 4,000||~0,03%||2015|
|Mexico||3,000 – 3,500||~0,03%||2014|
|Dominican Republic||2,000-3,000||0,02% – 0,03%||2015|
|BIH||1,000 – 2,000||0,01% – 0,02%||2015|
|Senegal||700 – 800||< 0,01%||2015|
|New Zealand||444||< 0,01%||2015|
|Albania||200 – 300||< 0,01%||2015|
|Slovenia||100 – 150||< 0,01%||2015|
|TOTAL (countries on this list)||9,334,504 – 9,439,503|
|TOTAL (official UAE 2010 census)||8,264,070|
|TOTAL (2015 UN estimate)||9,577,000|
The figures for the countries which are marked with “*” cannot be directly sourced to Embassy statements, even if they might have originated from them. Although these figures do not fully meet our standards for inclusion on the list, we have nevertheless used some for nationalities, which are clearly present in bigger numbers. Some of those are Iran, Egypt and Lebanon. The reason for that is to show at least rough numbers as the list would be incomplete if we were to leave them out.
In fact the list is not complete and we do not claim these are the only nationalities living in UAE. On the contrary, the list only shows the population of nationals of the countries for which it was possible to collect reliable data for. Having said that it currently is the most detailed, wide ranging and recent resource on the numbers of different nationalities living in UAE.
We have tried to get as recent information as possible and mostly stuck to 2014 or 2015 data. Only in 8 out of 70 cases the figures are older and mostly correspond to 2013, with Iran, Afghanistan and Palesting being older.
This is bq magazine´s first stab at creating a UAE population by nationality overview. We started with Qatar in December 2013 and have updated that article in December 2014 again to include new data. Similarly UAE will be updated on a yearly basis and include more and more nationalities.
More than 50% of people come from South Asia
The nationals of South Asian countries (in this case the data relates to Pakistan, India, Nepal, Bangladesh and Sri Lanka) comprise around 55% of UAE´s total population. According to IOM´s “Arab Migration in a globalized world” the share of South Asians in UAE has always been high, however its trajectory has been going up consistently in comparison to the Arab expatriates, which have seen a decline in percentage ever since mid 1970s. This follows a similar pattern to other Gulf countries, which in the past relied to a higher extent to Arab migrants, than they do today.
1.) Data provided to bq magazine directly by embassies (phone, email or their websites): Angola, Chad, Peru, Taiwan, New Zealand, Ghana, Finland, Norway, Venezuela, Poland, Austria, Belarus, Hungary, Japan, Belgium, Eritrea, Sweden, Mauritania, Netherlands, Serbia, Ireland, Australia, France, USA, Somalia, UK, Jordan, Sri Lanka, Spain, Thailand, Singapore, Slovenia, Denmark and Switzerland.
2.) Existing sources previously published in the media: Chile, Latvia, Cyprus, Slovakia, Czech Republic, Slovakia, Ukraine, Azerbaijan, Algeria, Italy, South Korea, Turkey, Germany, Canada, Kenya, Iraq, Sudan, Indonesia, Ethiopia, Yemen, South Africa, Afghanistan, China, Nepal, Philippines, Bangladesh, Pakistan and India:
- http://businessweekme.com/Bloomberg/newsmid/190/newsid/76 http://www.alarabiya.net/articles/2011/04/09/144872.html and http://www.ncr-iran.org/en/news/iran-world/14130-uae-steps-up-expulsions-of-iranian-residents-report
- http://gulfnews.com/news/gulf/uae/community-reports/egyptians-in-uae-to-vote-on-new-charter-on-wednesday-1.1274651 http://gulfnews.com/news/uae/general/egyptian-expatriates-in-uae-vote-on-draft-constitution-1.1275146
3.) Sources wishing to remain anonymous: Greece