The population of the federation grew by 74.8 per cent over the past 10 years according to census data released by the Economy & Planning Ministry in late July. At the end of 2005, the population of the UAE stood at 4,104,695.

The federation’s dependence on expatriate workers was once again highlighted by the fact that UAE nationals accounted for just 21.9 per cent of the total. The majority of the expatriates are from India and Pakistan.

The distribution of people by emirate showed that Abu Dhabi has the largest population with 1,299,119 inhabitants, followed by Dubai with 1,200,309, and Sharjah with 724,859. The emirates of Ajman, Ras al-Khaimah, Fujairah and Umm al-Qaiwain have a combined population of 551,793.

The data also reflects a number of areas for concern within the federation’s demographics, including the disproportionate amount of males that come to the federation to work; women accounted for just 32.4 per cent of the total population.

The census included all nationals and non-nationals residing in the UAE as of 6 December 2005.