The UAE witnessed significant population increase during the past few years because of significant growth in the various economic sectors which lead to influx of workers from diverse cultural and religious backgrounds. From 4.1 million in 2005, the population of the UAE grew to 8.3 million by the end of 2010. Out of this, the number of UAE citizens is less than 1 million (947,947).
According to estimates by World Bank and Department of Census and Statistics of the United Nations, the UAE's population reached around 9 million in 2014; expatriates still outnumbering the Emiratis. Citizens and residents live in harmony proving that the UAE's society is a perfect example of tolerance and coexistence.
Statistics of the population in the two largest emirates in 2014 revealed that the number of residents of the emirate of Abu Dhabi was about 2.6 million (according to Statistics Centre - Abu Dhabi) and about 2.3 million in the emirate of Dubai (according to Dubai Statistics Center).
The UAE Government aims to balance the demographic mix between Emiratis and expatriates. Towards this, H. H. Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan, President of the UAE, had called for dedicating 2008 as the year of national identity, initiating official activities aimed at maintaining the country's national identity in an age of globalisation.
The President's call was in line with the strategic vision adopted by the federal government, which aims to promote and preserve the national identity of the UAE and launch initiatives that will maintain values of the community.
One of the KPIs set for maintaining a cohesive society and preserved identity to achieve National Agenda is National Identity Index. This composite indicator measures the sense of belonging and national identity of citizens. The index, as of 2014, stands at 90.8 per cent and is targeted to be 100 per cent by 2021.
Updated on 28 Feb 2019