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Population of the UAE, Useful Info for Foreigners

The population of the UAE comprises about 9 million people, 79 % of which are in the age of 15-65. The number is constantly increasing – in 2009 it counted about 5 million people while in 1951 it amounted to just 68,781. The total area of the state is 83,600 sq.km which leads to the relatively high density of the population.

More and more foreigners come to the country and eagerly choose it as the place for their permanent residence or doing business. The UAE is one of the most attractive states for expatriates due to the lenient taxation system, facilitating business and investment environment and a number of other benefits available both for locals and for foreign citizens.

In case you are considering moving to the United Arab Emirates, you have to know that the state is very open to foreigners and extremely diverse ethnically. In fact, less than 20% of people inhabiting the UAE are Emirati. More than 80% of the population is composed of expatriates (Arabs from Egypt and Jordan, Iran, South Asia, Western and Eastern Asia), which is a striking figure. The biggest ethnic groups are represented by the natives of India and Pakistan. About 2.4% of the population is of European origin. The presence of Europeans is currently growing, especially in such “smart” and multicultural cities as Dubai.

85% of people residing in the UAE are not the citizens of the UAE – those are mainly foreigners, doing business in the country. Any expatriate living within the country for 30 years and speaking fluent Arab can apply for citizenship. However, this is not always necessary since the ease of doing business is not affected by the fact whether you have citizenship in the UAE. And in terms of residing in the UAE – you can simply use the effective option of residency visa.

88% of the population inhabits cities. Dubai is one of the most prosperous and high-growing cities in the Emirates. About 2.7 million people live in Dubai making it the most populous city in the state. Benefiting greatly from the country’s diverse economy, it has recently turned into a true business, financial and commercial centre, and a real global city. Besides, it is also a very popular tourist destination. The second largest city is Abu Dhabi – almost 2 million people live here.

The official language of the state is Arabic. However, English, Hindi, Urdu and Farsi are also spoken. English is understood by the majority of the population and is considered the main lingua franca of the region.

The average life expectancy is about 77 years old (73.9 for men, 79.2 for women) and it is steadily growing due to the increasing standard of living and improvements in a healthcare system.


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