Known for tall buildings, deserts, and oil, the United Arab Emirates is one of the most diverse countries in the world. The country is home to over 8 million expats originating from 200 different countries around the world; the nationals only amount to 1.16 million. (The UAE expat population is increasing fast.)
Surprisingly, the UAE expat population is far greater than the number of locals. The current population of UAE is primarily based on expats. And if you are a marketer or a digital marketing agency in Dubai, creating a marketing strategy for such a diverse audience can be challenging.
This article will give you some amazing insights into the diverse population of the UAE, including the financial hub Dubai. Make sure you read till the end to supercharge your marketing strategy with the help of the latest UAE demographics data.
Table of Contents
Fast Growing Economy & Job Opportunities for Locals & Expatriates
When it comes to economic growth, UAE is the fifth largest economy in the Middle East with a GDP of US $501 billion in 2022. And these numbers are further expected to grow to 558.71 by 2026.
An interesting fact about UAE is expats contribute more to its growth than the locals.
Due to its strong economy, the UAE is a hot destination to live and work for Asian and African pople.
At the same time, investors from all over the world see opening a business in the UAE as relatively cheaper and more sustainable due to political and economic stability.
Since becoming an independent country, the UAE has hosted millions of expatriates. In 1950, the total population of the UAE was just 70,000. But as the country discovered oil and infrastructure activities began, expatriates in the hunt for job and investment opportunities settled in Dubai, Abu Dhabi, and other main cities of the region.
Though there’s no estimated data available, thousands of people from India, Pakistan, Bangladesh, Afghanistan, Philippines, and some African countries, land in Dubai and Abu Dhabi in search of jobs every month.
Total Population of UAE 2021 & UAE Population 2021-2022
According to the latest data available, the total population of UAE is between 9.9 million to 10.03 million. The UAE total population in 2021, when the United Nations gathered data about the UAE’s total population, it was estimated to be 9.99 million.
The human population growth rate of the UAE is increasing gradually. The local government attributes it to the rapid development taking place in the region. As a result, more expatriates are working in the UAE than ever before.
If we go back a little, in 1970 the total population of the UAE was only 226,000. In the next five years, it grew to 560,000—-almost doubled.
Statista: 9.9 Million
World Bank: 10 Million
United Nations: 9.9 Million
UAE Population by Age/UAE Citizen Population by Age
The young population is an asset for any country. The United Arab Emirates is quite lucky in this regard. Roughly 83.66% of the UAE’s population ages between 15-54, according to Statista. On the lower side, 14.89 % of the total population is under 15 while only 1.45% of people are 65 or older.
UAE Population by Gender
The gender difference in the total population is quite stark. This is due to the fact that more than 80% of the UAE’s total population is based on expatriates. And a majority of these expatriates are males, living in the UAE alone to earn bread and butter for their families residing in another country.
It is estimated that around 68% of the population (6.9 million) is male and 32%(3.15 million) is female.
Dubai Total Population 2022 vs The Population of Dubai 2021
When we talk about the population of the UAE, the financial hub Dubai holds significant importance. Known as a major tourism destination in the Middle East, Dubai is home to the world’s biggest tech and advertising companies, the world’s most beautiful and luxurious resorts, restaurants where you can taste exotic dishes, and a lot more.
You can Google and discover some of the interesting facts about Dubai—-like how its port contributes massively to its revenue, the diversity, and how the colors of Asian and European countries are blended to form its unique culture, etc.
The total population of Dubai in 2021 was roughly 3 million. A year later, in 2022, it is estimated to be around 3.5 million. Dubai population by nationality is hard to calculate because people from hundreds of countries are living in Dubai.
Dubai’s local population is only 15% of the total population. So you can imagine the contribution of expats to the city’s growth.
Sharjah Population 2022
In terms of the area, Sharjah is the second biggest city of the UAE. Like its siblings, the Sharjah population has also increased in the last few years. The current population of Sharjah is roughly 1.4 million; around 1.2 million are expatriates.
The population of Sharjah in 2021 was reported to be pretty much the same as today(only a marginal increase, if any).
Abu Dhabi Population 2022
The Abu Dhabi population 2021 is the second largest among all the cities of the UAE. In terms of job and investment opportunities, it comes next to Dubai. The current population of Abu Dhabi is 1,540,000, a 1.85% increase from 2021.
The nationals make up a mere 11%(1.15 million), while expatriates comprise 89%(8.84 million) of the total population. Like Dubai, Abu Dhabi is quite diverse. You will find Americans, French, British, South Asians, and African people in Abu Dhabi, some doing jobs while others running businesses.
The Population of UAE 2021 by Nationality/ UAE Population by Nationality 2021
The UAE local population is not even one-third of its total population. It hosts millions of immigrants from hundreds of countries and the UAE local population 2021 was reported to be around 1.16 million. Have a look at the UAE population 2021 by nationality statistics compiled by various embassies:
The Use of Social Media in the UAE
Dubai’s population growth rate is increasing. Not just the Emiratis but the expats, too, use social media to stay in touch with their loved ones. Around 98% of its total population is on Facebook. And pretty much the same number of people from the UAE are active on Whatsapp.
According to the data compiled in 2021, Instagram had 4,586,000 active users from the United Arab Emirates. Around 80% of the residents use YouTube for learning and entertainment purposes.
The Value of Ecommerce Sales & the Potential of Digital Marketing in the UAE
Dubai’s population growth rate is significant. And the same is the case in the entire UAE region. Not just Dubai’s local population but the expats also buy goods online.
The e-commerce industry in the United Arab Emirates is expected to hit 17 billion U.S. dollars by 2025. Right now, it stands at seven billion U.S. dollars. (Statista)
Around 73% of online consumers in the UAE are shopping more online since the start of the pandemic. (Mastercard Study)
So you can imagine the potential of going digital. Whether you are selling a physical product online or offering any kind of service, you can accelerate your growth by going digital.
And when it comes to SEO and digital marketing strategy, knowing the demographics is essential. To succeed in a highly diverse market, you must segment your audience and create a personalized marketing plan for each. The one-size-fits-all approach will not work in the UAE.
Need a helping hand in promoting your business online? Let’s collaborate.
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This section provides an overview of the UAE's seven emirates: Abu Dhabi, Dubai, Sharjah, Ajman, Umm Al Quwain, Ras Al Khaimah and Fujairah.What is the population of UAE in 2022? ›
The current population of the United Arab Emirates is 10,177,256 as of Monday, November 28, 2022, based on Worldometer elaboration of the latest United Nations data. the United Arab Emirates 2020 population is estimated at 9,890,402 people at mid year according to UN data.What do you know about the UAE population? ›
UAE Population in 2021 is 9.99 Million according to the data provided by the United Nations. The Population Density in the United Arab Emirates is 118 per square kilometer. The Total Expat Population of UAE in 2021 is 8.84 million. Dubai Population in 2021 is 3.43 Million according to official Dubai Government website.Is UAE A richest country? ›
2. United Arab Emirates – 2020 GDP per capita $69,957.60. Dubai skyline, capital of the United Arab Emirates (the second richest Arab country in 2021).What is the biggest problem in the UAE? ›
The global COVID-19 pandemic and global economic downturn impacted the UAE, as it did every other country. The pandemic triggered an unprecedented financial crisis as oil prices fell, significantly reducing the UAE's oil revenues.What was UAE called 100 years ago? ›
The seven sheikdoms were formerly known as the Trucial States, in reference to the treaty relations established with the British in the 19th century.Is UAE a growing country? ›
The UAE economy will grow faster than other countries in the North Africa and Middle East (MENA) region over the next year, according to research by a Dubai investment body.Why does UAE have a high population? ›
“The more development that took place in the UAE, that led to an increase in the population because of the demand on labour to work in different sectors that are developing.” By 1970, the UAE's population was up to 226,000 and just five years later had more than doubled to 560,000.Is UAE population increasing? ›
The current population of Uae in 2022 is 9,441,129, a 0.81% increase from 2021.Is the UAE over populated? ›
From nearly 4.1 million in 2005 (Excel, 250 KB), the population of the UAE grew to about 10 million by the end of 2021. Out of this, the number of UAE citizens is around 1 million. According to the World Bank data, the UAE's population reached around 9,991,083 in 2021; expatriates still outnumbering the Emiratis.
The UAE continues to be a strategic hub, with business-friendly free zones and a quickly growing economy. The UAE GDP for 2020 was $359 billion. This reflects the rich natural resources in the UAE, which has 10 percent of the total world supply of oil reserves and the world's fifth largest natural gas reserves.Which emirate is least populated? ›
Umm Al Quwain is the second smallest and the least populated emirate. Its population was 49,159 as of 2005. Fishing is a key contributor to its economy.What are the 7 UAE countries? ›
In December 1971, the UAE became a federation of six emirates - Abu Dhabi, Dubai, Sharjah, Ajman, Umm Al-Quwain, and Fujairah, while the seventh emirate, Ras Al Khaimah, joined the federation in 1972. The capital city is Abu Dhabi, located in the largest and wealthiest of the seven emirates.What percent of UAE is Arab? ›
Nearly 96 percent of Emiratis are Muslim. South Asians, mainly Indians and Pakistanis, make up 50 percent of the population. The next 3 largest expatriate ethnic groups are Iranians (2.5 percent), Arabs from other parts of the Middle East (13 percent), and Westerners (1 percent).Who's richer Qatar or UAE? ›
Qatar has been named the fourth richest country globally. Also, it is the first-ever Arab nation to be among the top four wealthiest nations. The latest report from Global Finance ranks other Arab countries, like the UAE, Bahrain, Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, and Oman, positioned after Qatar.Which country is No 1 in world? ›
The overall ranking of Best Countries measure global performance on a variety of metrics. Switzerland is the best country in the world for 2022.Who is rich Saudi or UAE? ›
UAE remains second richest Arab nation.
|ARAB PER CAPITA INCOME|
And here's why the failed missile attack is not seen as a coincidence: The Houthis are backed by Iran — the mutual arch-enemy of both the UAE and Israel.Are there any murders in UAE? ›
According to the Global Study on Homicide, United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC), the homicide rate in the UAE in 2012 was 2.6 per 100,000. The average global homicide rate for that period was 6.3 per 100,000 population.How will UAE be in 2030? ›
Abu Dhabi Economic Vision 2030
Building an open, efficient, effective and globally integrated business environment. Adopting a disciplined fiscal policy that is responsive to economic cycles. Establishing a resilient monetary and financial market environment with manageable levels of inflation.
Since independence in 1971, UAE's economy has grown by nearly 231 times to AED1. 45 trillion in 2013. The non-oil trade has grown to AED1. 2 trillion, a growth of around 28 times from 1981 to 2012.Why is Dubai so rich? ›
Free trade, a low tax rate, and zero income tax have made Dubai a popular business hub and a wealthy state. Dubai is also the gateway to the East and boasts of the world's highest international passenger flow. It is a world-renowned destination for all travelers, including the rich and famous.When did UAE become a rich country? ›
From the 1770s up until the late 1930s, the pearl industry was the main source of income in the Trucial States, which today make up the United Arab Emirates.Why is UAE so successful? ›
Abu Dhabi's oil is the reason the UAE holds some $1 trillion in assets and reserves through two of its major sovereign wealth funds, the Abu Dhabi Investment Authority (ADIA) and Mubadala. For comparison, $1 trillion is about one-third of the continent of Africa's total GDP.Is UAE a happiest country? ›
The UAE is now the happiest Arab country and 21st in the world, according to a United Nations report. The emirates had a point score of 6.791, according to the World Happiness Report produced by the Sustainable Development Solutions Network.What is UAE ranked in the world? ›
|Institute for Economics and Peace ||Global Peace Index||41 out of 144|
|United Nations Development Programme||Human Development Index||35 out of 182|
|Transparency International||Corruption Perceptions Index||30 out of 180|
|World Economic Forum||Global Competitiveness Report||23 out of 133|
Components of Population Change.
|One birth every 6 minutes||1.6%|
|Net gain of one person every 7 minutes||1.2937499999999997%|
In 2018, about 6.3 million of the total population of the UAE were men and 3.1 million were women. This gender imbalance can be attributed to the high number of male immigrants to the UAE as the majority of available jobs are male dominated.Where do most Emiratis live? ›
Their largest concentration is in the United Arab Emirates (UAE), where there are about approximately 1.5 million Emiratis.What will happen in 2050 in UAE? ›
The UAE Net Zero by 2050 strategic initiative is a national drive to achieve net-zero emissions by 2050, making the Emirates the first Middle East and North Africa (MENA) nation to do so.
They are three distinct criterion that play a part in the way a country is perceived and acknowledged internationally. Economically, the UAE is a stereotypical example of everything 'developed', as you would expect from a country that has been dubbed the 'financial services hub of the Middle East'.Why is UAE growing? ›
The UAE's non-oil sector has also grown, expanding by more than 6 per cent in the first three months of the year, largely due to containment of Covid-19, the easing of pandemic-related restrictions, the Expo 2020 Dubai and the recovery in global travel, according to the Central Bank.Why is Dubai so populated? ›
“One of its main sources of income, and arguably the UAE's most valuable commercial assets, stem from Dubai's maritime activities. It's an important trading port thanks to being positioned at the entrance/exit of the Persian Gulf, and as a result currently hosts the busiest port in the Middle East,” Chitty explains.Is the population of Dubai increasing or decreasing? ›
The current metro area population of Dubai in 2022 is 2,964,000, a 1.47% increase from 2021. The metro area population of Dubai in 2021 was 2,921,000, a 1.49% increase from 2020. The metro area population of Dubai in 2020 was 2,878,000, a 1.59% increase from 2019.What was UAE called 50 years ago? ›
Before its re-creation as the United Arab Emirates in 1971, the UAE was known as the Trucial States, a collection of sheikhdoms extending from the Straits of Hormuz to the west along the Persian Gulf.What UAE is famous for? ›
The United Arab Emirates is known for the tallest human-made structure, the Burj Khalifa, and the Burj Al Arab, one of the tallest hotel building in the world. The UAE is famous for several artificial islands like the Palm Jumeirah island, the World, and The Universe archipelagos.Is Dubai a free country? ›
The government restricts freedom of speech and freedom of the press, and the local media are censored to avoid criticising the government, government officials or royal families. As a result, the UAE routinely ranks near the bottom of many international measures for human rights and press freedom.Which is richest city in UAE? ›
#Dubai is the richest city in the Middle East and Africa (MEA) and the 29th wealthiest in the world according to New World Wealth. Dubai's population of HNWIs, rose to 54,000 in June 2021, up by 3.8 percent from 52,000 last December.Which is richest state in UAE? ›
Abu Dhabi is the wealthiest emirate of the UAE in terms of Gross Domestic Product (GDP) and per capita income.Which emirate is the safest? ›
Following Fujairah on top was Abu Dhabi with 88.46 percent.
The UAE is an abbreviation of the United Arab Emirates. The UAE is a country, consisting of seven smaller 'Emirates' which are similar to states. Dubai and Abu Dhabi are 2 of those 7 states.What is the old name of UAE? ›
This newly founded federal state became officially known as Dawlat Al Imarat Al Arabiyya Al Muttahida or the United Arab Emirates (UAE).Who is the next king of UAE? ›
|Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum|
|Heir apparent||Hamdan bin Mohammed Al Maktoum|
|Acting President of the United Arab Emirates|
|In office||13 – 14 May 2022|
|Predecessor||Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan|
Approximately 11 percent of the population are citizens, of whom more than 85 percent are Sunni Muslims, according to media reports. The vast majority of the remainder are Shia Muslims, who are concentrated in the Emirates of Dubai and Sharjah.What percentage of UAE is Indian? ›
Indian expatriate community is the largest ethnic community in UAE constituting roughly 30 per cent of the country's population. The number of resident Indian Nationals is estimated to be 3.5 million in 2021 as per UAE records. Approx.What percent of UAE is Shia? ›
90% of the Emirati population are Sunni Muslims. The remainder 10% are Shia, who are concentrated in the Emirates of Dubai and Sharjah.What 7 states make up the UAE? ›
In December 1971, the UAE became a federation of six emirates - Abu Dhabi, Dubai, Sharjah, Ajman, Umm Al-Quwain, and Fujairah, while the seventh emirate, Ras Al Khaimah, joined the federation in 1972. The capital city is Abu Dhabi, located in the largest and wealthiest of the seven emirates.How many nationalities are in UAE 2022? ›
The UAE is home to over 196 nationalities. Emiratis constitute roughly 20% of the total population, making UAE home to one of the world's highest percentage of expatriates. Indians and Pakistanis form the largest expatriate groups in the country, constituting 28% and 12% of the total population respectively.How many Emirati are there in UAE? ›
The Emiratis (Arabic: الإماراتيون) are the native Arab citizen population of the United Arab Emirates. Their largest concentration is in the United Arab Emirates (UAE), where there are about approximately 1.5 million Emiratis.Which emirate is richest? ›
Due to its vast oil resources, Abu Dhabi is the wealthiest emirate in the UAE. In fact, it is one of the richest cities in the world! A trip to Abu Dhabi would not be complete without seeing the Sheikh Zayed Grand Mosque, Khalifa Park, and Yas Island.
The UAE hosts about 1.7 million Pakistanis, the second-largest Pakistani expat community in the world.Who is richer UAE or Saudi? ›
UAE remains second richest Arab nation.
|ARAB PER CAPITA INCOME|
Qatar has been named the fourth richest country globally. Also, it is the first-ever Arab nation to be among the top four wealthiest nations. The latest report from Global Finance ranks other Arab countries, like the UAE, Bahrain, Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, and Oman, positioned after Qatar.Can I date an Emirati? ›
You are allowed to date; however, you should respect the guidelines and traditions of the place where you live. In the Gulf region, for example, dating is far different in Dubai compared to Saudi Arabia. In Dubai, dating is common and you can see men and women on dates in the malls or in restaurants.