Saturday 2 November 2019

What Is The Ethnic Composition Of The United Arab Emirates?

Only 11.6% of the population of the UAE comprises of ethnic Emiratis.

The United Arab Emirates is a sovereign nation in West Asia and lies at the Southeastern point of the Arabian Peninsula and borders Saudi Arabia, Oman, Iran, and Qatar. It is made up of seven federations of Emirates, and one of them is Abu Dhabi, which also serves as the capital city. In 2013, the country had a population of 9.2 million inhabitants, and 1.4 million were Emirati, while 7.8 million were expatriates. It has been found that human settlement in the present-day region of UAE goes back to about 125,000 years ago. Burial sites in the region have been discovered which dates to the Neolithic and Bronze Ages.


The Emarati ethnic group refers to the native population or the citizens of the UAE, and there are about one million Emiratis. Initially, Emirates were known as the trucial states, and each had a ruling or a dominant family, for instance, Abu Dhabi was inhabited by the Bani Yas family tribes, while Dubai was occupied in 1833 by the scion of the Bani Yas, known as Al Bu Falasah. Ras Al Khaimah and Sharjah were home to the Qawasim or Al Qasimi, Fujairah was occupied by the Shargiyin, and Ajman was occupied by the Al Na’im. The word Emirati is derived from the Arabic word Emirates, and it is also a term which is used to refer to the Arabs with origins in the UAE.


Immigrants from India account for a significant part of the country's population (about 27%). The contact between the Indians and the United Arab Emirates goes back several centuries, and this was a result of the sea trade that was carried out between India and the Emirates. There was a huge migration of Indians to the country because of the prospect in industries such as finance and petroleum, among others. Indian immigrants in the United Arab Emirates play a significant role in transport, manufacturing, and financial industries while a few others are engaged in entrepreneurship and professional services. The countries in the Gulf area had created political and economic links with India that goes back several centuries.


The Bangladeshi ethnic group is estimated to be more than 500,000 in the UAE, accounting for approximately 9.5% of the total population in the country. The Bangladeshi expatriates form one of the largest ethnic communities in the country.


The Pakistani ethnic group in the United Arab Emirates refers to descendants of Pakistanis who have settled in the country, expatriates from Pakistan, and the Emirati people with Pakistani ancestry. They are estimated to be more than 1.2 million people accounting for 9.4% of the total population in the country. They form one of the largest groups in the country and the third-largest Pakistani community abroad after the Pakistanis in Saudi Arabia and the Pakistanis in the UK.

What Is The Ethnic Composition Of The United Arab Emirates?

Rank Ethnicity % of total population

1 Emirati 11.6%
2 South Asian 59.4% (includes Indian 38.2%, Bangladeshi 9.5%, Pakistani 9.4%, other 2.3%)
3 Egyptian 10.2%,
4 Filipino 6.1%
5 Other 12.8%

By Benjamin Elisha Sawe

•culled from

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