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UAE population to grow 6% in 2009

posted on 19/05/2009: 4696 views

More than 300,000 people will be added to the UAE population this year to record the highest growth of 6.3 per cent in five years and Dubai would likely emerge as the fastest growing emirate, official figures show.

The rise rebuffs reports that the global financial turbulence has triggered a mass exodus of expatriates out of the country, mainly Dubai.

From 4.75 million in mid 2008, the UAE's population is projected to increase to 5.066 million in mid 2009, showed the figures by the Ministry of Economy.

Foreigners accounted for the bulk of the increase as they are forecast to grow by around 270,000 to 4.143 million from 3.873 million in the same period.

"The UAE still has one of the highest population growth rates in the world and last year's rate was more than double the average global growth," an Abu Dhabi-based economist said.

"The estimates of this year's population show that all those reports about a mass migration are not true."

This year's projected growth of 6.3 per cent is the highest in five years, with the rate standing at an average 6.1 per cent during that period. The figures showed Dubai is expected to record the highest growth this year of 7.8 per cent to 1.722 million from 1.596 million.

The high rate will allow the emirate to widen the previously closing population gap with Abu Dhabi, whose population will grow by around 4.2 per cent to 1.628 million this year from 1.559 million in mid 2008.

Sharjah is projected to have the second-highest growth rate of 7.5 per cent and maintain its position as the third-largest populated emirate in the UAE.

Growth was estimated 6.2 per cent in Fujairah, around 5.6 per cent in Umm Al Qaiwain, 5.4 per cent in Ajman and 4.3 per cent in Ras Al Khaimah. The figures showed UAE nationals are projected to grow by around 3.4 per cent or 31,000 this year, while expatriates would surge by 6.9 per cent.

A breakdown showed the country had around 3.286 million males and 1.479 million females in mid 2008 and their number is forecast to increase to 3.504 million and 1.562 million respectively by mid 2009.

The report also showed the 25-29 year age group was the largest in the UAE in mid 2008, standing at 777,186. It was followed by the 30-34 age group, which was estimated at 754,289 and 35-39 group of 588,505.

Despite the rapid growth in its population, the UAE has maintained its position as one of the wealthiest nations in terms of GDP capita income, which was estimated at 195,000 at the end of 2008, second only to Qatar in the Arab World.

Figures showed the per capita income has recorded its highest growth rates over the past six years mainly because of a surge in the oil income and expansion in non-hydrocarbon sectors. – Emirates Business 24|7


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