UAE population surges to 8.26 million on influx of foreign workers
The population of the UAE surged to about 8.26 million last year, up 65 per cent from 2006 because of an influx of foreign workers, official statistics said.
The figures were generated by calculating the number of incoming workers – new visas compared with those cancelled – and the increase in population due to births, AFP reported.
The leap was due to a huge influx of foreign workers during years of rapid economic growth, while the number of Emirati nationals grew by less than 100,000, from 851,164 in 2006 to 947,997 in the first half of last year.
As a result, the percentage of nationals in the overall population has dropped to 11.47 per cent.
The UAE has seen its population surge from 5.01 million in 2006 to an estimated 8.26 million in the first half of last year, the National Bureau of Statistics said in figures posted on its website.
The estimate was based on records for foreign residents provided by the interior ministry, it said.
Abu Dhabi had 42 per cent of the national population. A nationality breakdown of the expatriates was not provided.
Many expatriates have reportedly left the UAE after losing their jobs in the wake of the global financial crisis, which hit the UAE economy hard, mainly in former boomtown Dubai.
The new statistics show net migration inflows dropped from 1.15 million in 2007 and 1.8 million in 2008 to a mere 57,793 people in 2009, when the UAE economy shrunk by 2.5 per cent.