E.g., 12/04/2020
E.g., 12/04/2020

Country Resource - United Arab Emirates

United Arab Emirates

AE
  • Population..........................................................................9,992,083 (July 2020 est.)
  • Population growth rate .....................................................................1.49% (2020 est.)
  • Birth rate.......................................................9.5 births/1,000 population (2020 est.)
  • Death rate.....................................................2 deaths/1,000 population (2020 est.)
  • Net migration rate................................7.6  migrant(s)/1,000 population (2020 est.)
  • Ethnic groups..........................................Emirati 11.6%, South Asian 59.4% (includes Indian 38.2%, Bangladeshi 9.5%, Pakistani 9.4%, other 2.3%), Egyptian 10.2%, Philippine 6.1%, other 12.8% (2015 est.)

Population note: the UN estimated the country's total population was 9,771,000 as of mid-year 2019; immigrants make up 87.9% of the total population, according to UN data (2019)

CIA World Factbook

Recent Activity

Bangladeshi migrants in Egypt wait to return home

Bangladesh is one of the world’s largest migrant-origin countries, and money sent home by its workers abroad is crucial to an economy that has become one of the more vibrant ones in South Asia. Against this backdrop, the COVID-19 pandemic has injected turmoil into the economy as Bangladeshi migrants have lost their jobs, families are seeing reduced remittances, and would-be migrant workers have had to shelve their plans to work abroad.

Kenyan migration to the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) countries has been on the rise over the last few decades, spurred by rising unemployment and instability in Kenya combined with the GCC region's economic growth and proximity. While both sending and origin countries benefit economically from this new migration, it presents significant challenges for these governments, particularly in the area of labor rights, as this feature article explores. 

Mass cases of exploitation and abuse of migrant workers have drawn international scrutiny and criticism of the kafala system in Gulf Cooperation Council countries and private recruitment practices in Southeast Asia. With Qatar under scrutiny amid a frenzied construction boom in advance of the 2022 World Cup, international organizations and human-rights groups in 2014 stepped up their campaign for worker protection reforms.

As Qatar races to build its infrastructure for the 2022 World Cup, international civil-society actors increasingly are highlighting the harsh conditions under which temporary labor migrants often work in Qatar and other Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) countries. This article examines the emerging roles, challenges, and opportunities that civil-society groups face in the region; it also analyzes the prevailing legal and political structures where civil society operates in the Gulf.

The United Arab Emirates has the fifth-largest international migrant stock in the world, with 7.8 million migrants out of a total population of 9.2 million. Heavily reliant on foreign labor to sustain economic growth, the UAE government in 1971 introduced a temporary guest worker program. This article examines the economic, social, and political challenges and implications of the program for the government, Emirati nationals, and migrant workers in the UAE.

An ILO study of Bahrain, Kuwait, Lebanon, and the United Arab Emirates highlights the special risks of domestic work for women. Gloria Moreno-Fontes Chammartin discusses the findings and implications.
Reports
June 2010

The United Arab Emirates (UAE) is the third-largest destination for Filipino migrants, with private recruitment agencies in both countries managing the flow of 200,000 Filipino workers who head there annually. This report examines the recruiters’ practices as well as their regulation by the Philippine and UAE governments, offering recommendations to strengthen the system of oversight.

Policy Briefs
August 2012

This issue brief examines Asian labor migration to the Middle East—a region distinguished by its major dependence on migrant workers, the overwhelming majority from Asia. The author focuses on the role of private recruiting agencies as key facilitators of temporary labor migration and perpetrators of exploitative practices.