As most you already know, local population is a minority in UAE. That’s the easy part, however it has always intrigued me how the rest of the expat population is broken down by nationality. This is a very frequent question I hear from visitors and residents, however I’ve never been able to find a single official source on that, so that’s why I tried to give a rough answer to it in our classical UAE MythBusters format, trademark of Abu Phampi ;P
- Are all guys not wearing the national dresses (white for men, black for women) foreigners? How many of them are Indians? British? Filipinos? Europeans…?
As mentioned before there is no official data on the time I wrote this original post in Spanish. In reality, I even doubt this details are easy to have at the right time, given the population growth pace and migration fluxes it is difficult to maintain an accurate census. Las published census date back some years ago and they are not relevant anymore in my opinion.
Today we are trying to re-build this Noah’s Ark we live in by putting together some data from newspapers, embassies and websites and have a very rough bottom-up view of the UAE’s population pie.
Of course, if somebody is reading and have more inputs it would really be interesting to have comments or suggestions. This is a translation of an old exercise, and is a very rough “bottom-up” reconstruction, but gives some clarity for UAE beginners and curious readers.
Let’s jump to an even less precise subject… (we cannot always be 90% rigorous if we want to address all the questions…)
- OK fine, I got it but… What the h**l are al these people doing here?
The most politically correct answer to this questions would be “work”, or in other words “money”, we shouldn’t let ourselves be deceived…
- Ah OK… so then, salaries must be high, aren’t they?
High, as a national average, for sure not.
Higher than what we all got in our previous countries/lives, most probably.
Very High… depending on every case, opportunity, negotiations, needs, or luck…
I am convinced that many people eventually looking for information on the country are wondering what could be the salary range they could target. Unfortunately, anyone being able to give a number would probably be proven wrong because there is no minimum salaries by law here, and I would say there isn’t even a mid-class on which to benchmark. The only advise I can give is the following: try to estimate as well as possible the potential cost of life here, judge what is the price of living far from home and family and how much do you target to earn. After that, the equation is very simple ;P
I don’t really pretend to reveal any secret with this post, only explaining in a more factual way all this “legends on modern slavery” that always come to the table in many sensationalist TV shows and documentaries. This reminds me when North-Africans and Sub-Saharians used to come massively to my home country for the fruit season… at that time we found that wasn’t a respectable job for us locals… On the other hand, I don’t want to give pessimist expectations for the job seekers in the region, I truly believe this is a country full of golden opportunities! I really hope you enjoyed the chronicle, apologize for the quick translation from Spanish, and the very best luck to all the future expatriates!