Gulf Labour Markets, Migration, and Population (GLMM) Programme

An international independent, non-partisan, non-profit joint programme of a major Gulf think tank and a globally renowned academic migration centre.
The programme provides data, analyses, and recommendations contributing to the improvement of understanding and management of
Gulf labour migration, population, and labour markets, engaging with and respecting the viewpoints of all stakeholder.

UAE: Estimates of population by nationality (Emirati/ non-Emirati) and sex (mid-2010)

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Nationality Male Female Total
Nationals 479,109 468,888 947,997
Non-nationals 5,682,711 1,633,362 7,316,073
Total 6,161,820 2,102,250 8,264,070

Source: National Bureau of Statistics


1. Characteristics of data, definitions and population counting operations in the UAE

The first population census was conducted in 1968 by the Council of Developing Trucial States.
After Independence in 1971, a population census of the Emirate of Abu Dhabi was conducted that same year.
The first general population and establishments census in the UAE was conducted in 1975. It was the first census in the region following scientific standards and international recommendations. The other federal censuses were conducted in 1980, 1985, 1995 and 2005.
2010′ federal census due to take place in April was finally cancelled. It was only conducted in Abu Dhabi Emirate which includes Al-Ain.
NBS estimated UAE’s resident population (nationals and non-nationals) on the basis of administrative records, using the component method: addition of natural increase and net migration since the last census year (2005).
The net migration was calculated as follows:
Net migration = (residence permits issued for the first time- residence permits that have been cancelled and not renewed)+(arrivals of GCC nationals-departures of GCC nationals), on the basis of Ministry of Interior’s records.
Population of reference: Emirati nationals usually residing in the country+all foreign residents holding a valid residence permit+resident GCC nationals (nationals of other GCC states don’t need a permit to stay in the UAE)
Period of reference for 2010′ estimate: mid-year

The Emirates Identity Authority (EIDA), an independent federal authority established in 2004, is currently in charge of recording all UAE residents, national and expatriates in order to set up a Population Register and an ID card program. The process is stil ongoing.

2. Institution which provides data

National Bureau of Statistics (NBS)

3. Data availability

Population statistics are available on NBS’s website:

Data are classified by subject and statistical publications are available on PDF or Excel format. Population data disagregated by nationality (Emirati/ non-Emirati) are scarce.
Population estimates for 2006-2010, methodology of estimates and current data are taken from:

Date of access: November 2014.

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