According to reports issued in Dubai newspapers this week, the population in the United Arab Emirates has now reached over six million people as a result of the rapidly growing expat population. The shock figures revealed that the amount of people living in Dubai had soared from 4.765 million in 2008 to the current estimated 6 million. This represents a massive 25% increase in the amount of people residing in this area in just 1 year.
The reports were released this week after the publication of two large surveys that had been conducted in the country. The results of the surveys, which had measured the amount of visas being issued and the number of people employed in the country, were reported in Dubai newspaper Gulf News this week. The report revealed that unnamed senior government officials had shared with them the findings of their survey. According to the newspaper UAE citizens constituted just 1.5% of the total population of the United Arab Emirates, with the remainder consisting of foreign nationals. Of these expatriates, South Asians were the most prominent, with 1.7 million expats originating from India and a further 1.25 million and 500,000 people from Pakistan and Bangladesh respectively. A further 1 million foreign nationals were from other Asian countries including Afghanistan, China, Iran, Korea, the Philippines and Thailand, while Westerners, Africans, North Africans and citizens of Latin America totaled 500,000.
The reports, which were published in the Dubai newspaper on Wednesday, have come as a shock to many, since newspapers in the region have been reporting a decrease in the expat population as a result of the recent global economic crisis. Their findings appear to be at odds with previous analyst estimates that forecast a decrease in expat population by up to 10%. Dubai has been the hardest hit country in the region and many expats are believed to have the area after the economic slump. Dubai’s economy has suffered significantly as a result of this and, according to reports by the Swiss bank UBS, the trend is set to continue with an 8% decrease protected in 2009 followed by a further 2% in 2010.
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