x Abu Dhabi, UAEMonday 24 July 2017

The people

One of the most striking aspects of the population of the UAE is that Emirati nationals are a minority in their own country.

Rough estimates put the number of expatriates against nationals at almost four to one. The mass of foreign influence and different cultures has caused concern for Emiratis with some worried about losing their national identity.

Arabic is still the official language of the UAE and is compulsory in schools but visitors will see that every major road sign or notice is also reprinted in English.
One criticism of UAE life is that each social group stays within its own clique but there are calls for improved dialogue between expatriates and nationals.
According to embassies the biggest expat population is from India, with 1.7m nationals, followed by Pakistan with 1m. There are also an estimated 450,000 Filipinos in the Emirates.
Westerners, including British and American citizens, account for less than eight per cent of the population.