UAE population hits 6m, Emiratis make up 16.5%

Growth of nearly 2 million since 2005, Indians are largest expat group - studies.

The population of the UAE currently stands at around six million with Emiratis making up 16.5 percent, according to the results of two major studies, it was reported on Wednesday.

The figures, up nearly two million on the 2005 census results, were based on two research projects carried out on visa registration and the number of people employed in the country, UAE daily Gulf News reported. The studies were compiled by the Department of Naturalisation and Residency, the Ministry of Interior and the Ministry of Labour.

They revealed that the expatriate population in the UAE was rapidly increasing with the largest group made up of Indians, with 1.75 million currently residing in the country, the paper reported.

The second largest group was from Pakistan, with about 1.25 million while roughly 500,000 Bangladeshis live in the UAE, according to the studies.

Members of other Asian communities, including China, the Philippines, Thailand, Korea, Afghanistan and Iran make up approximately one million of the total population, the research showed.

Western expatriates, from Europe, Australia, Northern Africa, Africa and Latin America make up 500,000 of the UAE population.

Last week, the former director-general of the World Trade Organisation (WTO) said the Gulf’s sprawling migrant workforce was potentially the biggest issue facing the region today.

Mike Moore, a former prime minister of New Zealand, warned that the sheer number of expatriates residing in the oil-rich Gulf states was tantamount to colonisation.

“The fundamental issue here is; where in history have local people been so overwhelmed by expats? In the past, we’ve called it colonisation. It’s how my country was founded,” he said.

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Posted by: goldcoinsgain

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Posted by: Mohammed

There is a fundamental difference between the UAE and South Africa. In South Africa it was a colonial backed minority ruling the African native?s majority. This is absolutely not the case in the UAE where the natives are ruling (very normal) and foreign expats are asking for a say on that because they are larger in numbers!!

Posted by: Duretger

Minority rule is nothing new. It went on for years in South Africa. By the way Emiratis are Asians if the UAE is in Asia?

Posted by: Etisalgood

I agree with Muhammed Azeem and as someone who was born in the UAE, I'm happy to call it home. My advice to fellow expats is to enjoy your stay while keeping your expectations to a minimum and don't lend an ear to the barrage of racist comments here. If you want rights & representation and freedom of speech, you might want to consider migrating to a Western country, something thats still pretty easily achievable. Trust me, you'll be making yourself and people like Mr. Salem Abdul Aziz Almazrouei (aka Mr. Thesaurus) very happy.

Posted by: GR

Hanan - please do not generalize and include all expats in your comments. I, and I suspect many other expats, to not hate Emiratis and certainly hold no emotions towards them that could be described as envy or spite. I presume you do and hence your comments. Speaking for myself I have lived here for 19 years and have had many colleagues and friends who are Emirati. Like every other single nationality on earth they have good and bad among their numbers. On the whole I find them very polite, generous and possesing an excellent sense of humour. Whilst they certainly have many advantages as Emiratis in my mind they also have many disadvantages, Do I think their government treats them better then mine treats its citizens? No I don't but then I am looking beyond simple monetary advantages. Yours may not treat you as well and hence your envy etc but please do not tar us all with the same brush.

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