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Expat population in UAE 2018, by nationality

In 2018, the majority of the expatriates residing in the United Arab Emirates (UAE) hailed from India, with a population size of around 2.6 million. The expatriate population made up the vast majority of the country’s total population, at around 89 percent as of 2018.

 UAE Economy 

With a real gross domestic product growth rate of 1.7 percent in 2018, the UAE is one of the biggest economies in the region. (1143018) Since its discovery of oil in the mid 90’s, the country has transformed and has become a regional hub. It has demonstrated significant growth in various economics sectors, driven by the country’s shift in focus from the hydrocarbons sector. (1143358) Along with low levels of unemployment, this has led to the influx of workers from diverse nationalities.

 Migration figures

The UAE is one of the top countries worldwide to attract global talent. (1039195) In 2018, around a quarter of million people migrated from the Philippines to work in the UAE. (880782) In comparison, the number of Indonesian workers amounted to less than 0.6 thousand in 2019.

Breakdown of expatriate population in the United Arab Emirates in 2018, by nationality

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Release date

April 2020


United Arab Emirates

Survey time period


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Statistics on "Demographics in the United Arab Emirates"

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