‘Expat population set to grow further in UAE’

September 25th, 2008 - 5:47 pm ICT by IANS  

Dubai, Sep 25 (IANS) The ratio between the expatriate population and nationals in the United Arab Emirates (UAE) continues to remain high and is expected to widen further in the future, new figures revealed.According to the country’s ministry of economy, the UAE’s population at the end of 2007 stood at 4.48 million of which 3.62 million were expatriates and 864,000 were local citizens.

Citing the ministry’s figures, the Emirates Business 24-7 reported that the country’s population is set to grow by 6.12 percent by the end of 2008 to about 4.76 million and by 6.31 percent by the end of 2009 to 3.39 million.

In 2008, the local population is set to grow by 3.2 percent and the expatriate numbers are likely to increase by 6.8 percent.

By September next year, the local population growth is forecast at 3.4 percent and expatriate population by 6.9 percent.

Percentage-wise, expatriates comprised 80.7 percent of the total population in 2007 but this is set to grow to 81.2 percent in 2008 and 81.7 percent in 2009.

According to other estimates, Indians, at 1.5 million, comprise the biggest expatriate community in the UAE.

The ministry figures revealed that most of the population in the UAE is located in the two emirates of Abu Dhabi and Dubai. By size, Abu Dhabi is the largest of the seven emirates that make up the UAE.

Yet, the report said that Dubai is likely to overtake Abu Dhabi in terms of population numbers by the end of this year, while Sharjah will remain the third most populated emirate.

By the end of 2008, Dubai’s population will be around 1.59 million and Abu Dhabi’s 1.55 million.

The country’s per capita income also more than doubled from 76,600 dirhams ($20,846) in 2006 to 162,000 dirhams ($44,100) in 2007.

This is set to grow further this year due to the surging oil prices, which are expected to significantly boost the country’s GDP.

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