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Sun 22 Nov 2009 03:49 PM

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Dubai population grows 1.9% in Q2

Rise in population compared to the previous three months shows the emirate's job sector is picking up.

Dubai's population rose 1.9 percent in the second quarter compared to the previous three months, government figures showed, indicating that employment in the Gulf emirate was picking up.

Dubai, the regional trade and tourism hub was one of the worst affected in the top oil-exporting region by the global financial downturn that brought its real estate boom to a grinding halt late in 2008.

Most of the work force in Dubai is foreign, which means population changes serve as an indication of employment levels.

Many firms announced job cuts after the crisis forcing developers to cancel and suspend projects worth billions of dollars.

The emirate's population rose to 1.7 million compared the first quarter according to numbers published by the Dubai Statistics Centre on Sunday.

The figures contrast some analysts reports which have pointed to an expected decline in population due to job cuts as a result of the global economic crisis.

UBS said earlier this year that Dubai's population was likely to fall 10 percent in the coming two years as a result of job cuts.

"Our view still stands. Our view is that the net population outflows will take place in the second half of the year or exiting the year. We are emphasising net population flows," Saud Masud, the bank's head of research and senior real estate analyst, Middle East and north Africa, in Dubai, told Reuters on Sunday.

Dubai ruling council member and chairman of Emaar Properties, Mohamed Alabbar, said in a speech on Friday that Dubai had seen some 400,000 people move to the Gulf Arab region's economic and tourist hub over the past 12 months.

The number of completed buildings in Dubai rose to 639 in the second quarter from 636 in the first quarter, the government figures showed.

Completed commercial buildings fell to 76 from 92 in the respective periods while residential buildings rose to 505 from 423.

Recreational, services and industrial buildings declined to 58 from 121, the report said.

Dubai's once-booming property sector has been severely dented as a result of the economic downturn with house prices off around 50 percent from their peaks last year.

In a report last week, UBS said prices could drop a further 20 to 30 percent and continued population outflows from the region and new units still coming on stream could leave the residential property market with more than 25 percent oversupply by the end of 2010. (Reuters)

Arabian Business: why we're going behind a paywall

Raj 10 years ago

We know for a fact, loads of people are moving from Sharjah to Dubai since dubai rents have fallen.

Saad 10 years ago

Mr. Saud Masud, of UBS (the bank who failed to predict their own trouble caused by the sub-prime), it is OK to admit that you might have been wrong. You keep saying their will be a decline but, in fact, prices have increased and now the latest stat (which you guys always complain that they are not available) are showing that the population is increasing. let me guess, now that the stats were made available by the government, you will question their accuracy, but you will not question the accuracy of your assumptions and your model, that is if you have a model.

GD 10 years ago

nothing to do with sharjah and abu dhabi residents moving to dubai for better quality apartments or lower cost then? increased population = increased population more jobs = more jobs figures on job creation would be more suitable to indicate whether employment was up or not

Mounir 10 years ago

the figures on 'population' do not come from rental stats and who is living where, it comes from the number of visas issued that are based in Dubai. We all know that you can have your visa issued from Dubai and still live in Al Ain or Fujairah if you want, it doesnt really matter where you live but where you residency is issued from. And not everyone who moves to Dubai from Abu Dhabi moves his residency to Dubai -- its all dependant on where the company is located.

Kate 10 years ago

Oh good grief, will people please stop swallowing the party line - I wonder how many of these were babies born in Dubai!

Happy Dubai expat 10 years ago

It is obvious that population growth in Dubai will continue. It is the only place in the region with developed modern infrastructure - whether that growth comes from new people to the region or from those relocating from Sharjah or Timbuktoo is interesting but irrelevant. To those analysts who are still predicting a "net" outflow, all I can say is that you need to wake up before you get fired. You don't need to rely on government statistics, you only need to look around you. There are new deals out there and confidence is returning, albeit slowly. If you are planning on a move here, my advice would be to come while you can still get a reasonable deal on your rent. For those who are still moaning, shut the door on your way out. Dubai is coming back.

sandeep 10 years ago

While we all should agree that Dubai was over ambitious and the financial crises has left a big dent on the economy. Also the truth is that the construction and real estate growth has slowed down and many , many expatriates have left. This has led to slowed down on economy. While from last October until August this year, we even saw traffic from Sharjah to Dubai took only 25 minutes from two hours previously. Since last two months , there is lot of activity happening here back in Dubai and people are coming back. This is due to the fact that UAE Dirham is linked to dollar and dollar has dropped substantially making dollar/dirham lower is good for local industries and reexport companies dealing in US based products. Secondly local business is improving due to the fact that GOLD business is increasing and gold sales have started to pick up as GOLD is now new currency. Thirdly Many businessmen from Asia (which is booming anyway) have also started to take advantage of cheap propoerty and use of cash back home. All of above have generated new job opportunities and new movement of people from other emirate to Dubai and from outside of Dubai. Well the FACT still remains that DUBAI needs to take BOLD and Drastic STEPS to review the economy further and need to ensure to have policies made which are investor friendly.

Siwash 10 years ago

Fact: I have left the country and so has another colleague of mine. Some others are in the process of leaving. Moreover, there are lots of expatriates whom have left as well as discussed by my friends in Dubai. Fact: Those whom got laid off in 2008 still had their residency visas extended in the hope of finding a new job. Thus, this effect will not be seen till Q4 2009. Fact: During Q2 2009, school was still ongoing and so, parents had to stay in the country until the school year finished. So, the UBS report is extremely accurate and will show there was a net outflow of 8% in 2009.

Jalal Ahmed 10 years ago

Good news population grow 1.9% in Q2 & oil price is between 70 to 80$ as far as this continues there is a sign of positive growth in Dubai. You need to be patience to get your turn. Judge by making your own calculations & do not only rely fully on media & panic. Every one knows that " The show must go on".