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: Unemployed population by nationality (Emirati/ non-Emirati)and Emirate (2005)

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Emirate Unemployment category Emiratis Non-Emiratis Total
Abu Dhabi Worked before 6,074 5,316 11,390
Never worked before 4,246 12,937 17,183
Dubai Worked before 3,162 3,236 6,398
Never worked before 3,131 7,793 10,924
Sharjah Worked before 2,117 2,564 4,681
Never worked before 2,465 10,687 13,152
Ajman Worked before 548 773 1,321
Never worked before 541 2,945 3,486
Umm Al Quwain Worked before 299 193 492
Never worked before 333 674 1,007
Ras AL Khaima Worked before 1,722 588 2,310
Never worked before 1,879 2,463 4,342
Al Fujairah Worked before 787 250 1,037
Never worked before 1,356 709 2,065
Total UAE Worked before 14,709 12,920 27,629
Never worked before 13,951 38,208 52,159

Source: NBS, Ministry of Economy.


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.
Reference days for UAE censuses: 30/12/1975; 15/12/1980, 16/12/1985, 16/12/1995; 29/10/2001; 06/12/2005.
Implementation method: the census was carried out according to de jure methodology, i.e. counting persons using their usual place of residence
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)
Unemployment refers to persons aged 15 years and over who during the reference period: Are without work, available to work and actively seeking work.
Unemployed persons are available to start work in the two weeks following the interview and who had either looked for work in the four weeks prior to the interview or were waiting to start a job they had already found.
The unemployed are divided into two categories: the unemployed who have worked before and the unemployed who have never worked before (the new unemployed).

2010′ federal census was eventually cancelled but 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.
2005′ census data is available at:
The present data is taken from:

Date of access: January 2015.

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