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Posted by GMI Blogger Posted in Infographics
January 11th, 2018 at 10:51am

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From what were mere placid backwaters in the late 70s and 80s, the UAE emerged as a federation of seven emirates to become one of the most influential nations in the Gulf region. UAE population have doubled in the past decade. Today, it holds the position as an important economic and cultural hub of the Middle East. It is also one of the most liberal countries in this region with high levels of tolerance and acceptance of other religions and faiths.

Table of Contents

    1. Population of UAE in 2018
    2. Male Vs Female Population of the UAE
    3. UAE Population Demographics
    4. Expatriate population in UAE
    5. UAE population by Nationality
    6. Population of cities in UAE
    7. Digitization and Economic Boom in UAE
    8. Popular Social Media Platforms in UAE




UAE Population Infographics 2018 - FULL


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According to an estimate by the World Bank, the UAE’s population in 2018 stands at 9.543 million.

Other sources which confirm this estimate include and, while Facebook Insights reveal that the potential reach of the platform in the UAE in the third quarter of 2017 was 9.3 million. We can safely assume that the population of the UAE in 2018 stands at around 9.54 million.

The Federal Competitiveness and Statistics Authority (FCSA)  had published the that UAE population according to administrative records until 31 December 2016 was 9,121,167 (9.12 million).

FSCA is a government-backed agency formed to improve UAE’s data and competitiveness capabilities. FCSA claims that the population figures for 2016 are highly accurate and up-to-date. The population figures were derived with the support and collaboration of several national partners and other stakeholders.
The last official census of UAE was conducted in the year 2005, with the population numbers pegged at 4.1 million. The official UAE government website announced that the population stood at 4.8 million in 2008, which indicates that there has been a double-fold increase in the population in a span of 10 years.

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UAE Population Statistics by Year (Historical population)


Year Population
2018 9.54 million
2017 9.40 million
2016 9.27 million
2015 9.15 million
2014 9.07 million
2013 9 million
2012 8.90 million
2011 8.67 million
2010 8.27 million

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Male vs Female Population of the UAE in 2018

uae male vs femal population 2018 - gender wise population

According to our research, in 2018, males make up 72% of the UAE population at 6.89 million while the number of females account for only 28% of the total UAE population at 2.65 million. That makes the gender split at 72% male – 28% female.

gender wise population of uae in each age group

Men outnumber women in all age groups as mentioned in the above infographic. However, the number of males and females in age group 0 to 14 are almost equal.

The number of men under the  age group 15 to 24 is double that of women in the same age group. The most significant difference, gender-wise, is seen in age group 25 to 54. There are 4.83 million men within this age group in the UAE whereas the number of women within this age group is just 1.46 million.

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Demographics of the United Arab Emirates

The life expectancy in the UAE has been on a steady rise. The majority of the population falls into the 25-54 age bracket, again indicating that immigrants and expats make up a large chunk of UAE’s population.

Age-wise population of the UAE

Majority of the UAE population falls in the age group of 25 to 54 years.  A large part of this can be attributed to the expatriate population of working men and women who fall in this age category.

The median age for Dubai is 33.5 years.

uae population stats for different age groups


Age-wise Population of the UAE

Age Group Women Men Total
0-14 years 0.67 million 0.69 million 1.36 million
15-24 years 0.40 million 0.81 million 1.21 million
25-54 years 1.46 million 4.83 million 6.29 million
55-64 years 0.09 million 0.45 million 0.54 million
65 years and over 0.03 million 0.11 million 0.14 million

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Expatriate Population of the UAE in 2018

As stated previously in this article, expatriates and immigrants account for 88.52%. Emiratis make up  remaining 11.48% of the population.

exaptriates population in UAE 2018

South Asians, which include people from India, Bangladesh, Pakistan and other South Asian nations, compose 59.48% of the population. The rest of population comprises of Egyptians at 4.23% and others at 17.94%.  The UAE government’s population strategy envisions in making the Emiratis the majority community or at least bringing the numbers up to 40% by the year 2021.
Major expat population in uae

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UAE Population by Nationality (Expat population of UAE in 2018 )

Nationality Population
India 2.62 million
Pakistan 1.21 million
Bangladesh 0.71 million
Philippines 0.53 million
Iran 0.45 million
Egypt 0.40 million
Nepal 0.30 million
Sri Lanka 0.30 million
China 0.20 million
All other countries 1.71 million
Total Expat Population 8.45 million

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Digitization and Economic Status of the UAE

The UAE features among the top “adopter” economies in terms of connectivity within the Arab world according to Huawei’s Global Connectivity Index (GCI) 2017. The report analyzed 50 countries, of which 16 were considered as front-runners, 21 as adopters, while the remaining 13 as starters.

Front-runners mostly comprise of developed nations, Adopters have an average GDP per capita of $15,000 and starters are countries with an average GDP capita of $3,000. Adopters focused on increasing ICT demand and working towards digitization and economic growth.

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Most popular Social Media Platforms in the UAE

Facebook is the most popular social media in the UAE with 97.48% of population using the social media platform.

WhatsApp is the most popular messenger app in the UAE with 97% of people in UAE using WhatsApp.

YouTube users in the UAE have also increased compared to previous year.  According to Adwords insights, 80.92% of the UAE population (7.72 million) uses YouTube.

The Population Boom

Over the years, the country has gone through several key demographic changes. The discovery of oil gave momentum to the economy of the country. Recently, the UAE government has also been promoting a tourism and knowledge-based economy to spur the economic momentum. Today, Dubai ranks among the most visited cities of the world, ranking 6th with 16 million visitors in 2017, as per

The increase in the number of jobs across sectors led to an influx of workers at all levels of all nationalities. Within a span of a decade, the total population grew by about 5 million. This boom in population was largely due to the burgeoning expat and immigrant population. UAE has the world’s highest net migration rate, with nearly 88.52% of population composed of expatriates and immigrants.

This becomes even more apparent when we look at the fertility rate in the UAE. The average rate of babies born per fertile woman has been showing a downward trend for the past decade, and yet the population is soaring.

An in-depth analysis of the population of the UAE can help marketers formulate plans, goals and strategies to promote their brand. With more than 16 years of experience in the digital landscape of the Middle East, GMI has crafted the digital presence of some of the best brands in the region. We understand what it takes to tap into your target audience on various digital platforms. We can help ideate and weave a  digital strategy that works for your brand. Talk to our digital strategists  today and take your brand to the people you want to reach.

Disclaimer: GMI acknowledges that though we try to report accurately, we cannot verify the absolute facts of everything that has been represented on this infographic. The information represented is based on information researched from various sources on the internet. We are not liable for any errors, financial loss, or damages of any kind that may result from the use of, or reliance on, the information herein.


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