By Andy Sambidge
New Tanmia report says Emirati portion of overall population set to fall to 13.3%.
The UAE's population is set to exceed 7.5 million in 2010, an increase of 1.9 million in four years, a new report has said. The National Human Resources Development and Employment Authority (TANMIA) projected that the UAE population would rise to 7.557m from 5.63m in 2006 despite reports that Dubai’s population would contract this year due to the impact of the global downturn on jobs in the emirate.
The report said that the UAE population is seen doubling every 8.7 years compared to 55 years for world population, news agency WAM reported.
Tanmia's study added that the growth of both UAE nationals and expatriates would lead to an "exacerbation of the demographic imbalance in the country".
It predicted that the population would drop to 13.3 percent of the total population this year "if appropriate correctional procedures and policies were not taken to address the issue".
That figure dropped from 24.4 percent in 1995 and 15.4 percent in 2006.
Last week, Shuaa Capital said it estimated that the emirate’s population shrank by nine percent in 2009 and would decline by another 3.6 percent this year.
In November, UAE Prime Minister and Dubai ruler Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum approved a resolution to establish a new council to look into issues related to the UAE's demographic profile.
The Federal Demographic Council is charged with striking a balance in the demographic structure in the country, and "deepen the spirit of loyalty of UAE citizens to their leadership and homeland".
It will review demographic policies in an effort to develop new strategies and initiatives through talks with other stakeholders.
Studies published last year revealed that the expat 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 second largest group was from Pakistan, with about 1.25 million while roughly 500,000 Bangladeshis live in the UAE.
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.
The difference between the various population numbers appears to increase. According to the CIA World Factbook the July 2009 estimate is around 4.8M. Last official nr from the UAE government I read in AB was 6M for 2009, now it will be 7.5M in 2010. Using Shuaa's estimate and the World Factbook data end of 2010 there would be around 4.4M in the UAE a difference of more than 3M people! It would be really good to have reliable data including all demographic splits, would be very helpful for my job as a marketeer. Hopefully the census will help.
In the 12 years I've lived in the UAE I've experienced 3 census "drives": a representative from Tanmia or another governmental arm rang our door bell, gave us a form to fill in (requesting details as to number of tenants in our flat/villa, their ages, etc.) and told us that "someone would be back to collect it... no need to drop it off anywhere." Surprisingly, out of these 3 visits nobody every came back to collect the data - so we eventually chucked the forms in the bin. Let's hope any future census attempts are more fruitful and better organized. We've seen it all too often: the government has a great idea, puts the plan into action, and poorly executes it or never follows through.