Dubai, United Arab Emirates Population

Population in Urban Area, now

2,882,736
  • World: 173rd
  • Asia: 93rd
  • United Arab Emirates: 1st

Population in City Area, 2019-08-28

2,878,000
  • World: 86th
  • Asia: 58th
  • United Arab Emirates: 1st

Dubai Urban Area Population Graph

Dubai Population Review

The city of Dubai is located in the United Area Emirates on the coast of the Persian Gulf. It’s known for its exceptional wealth, luxury shopping, lively nightlife, and ultramodern architecture. Many exceptional architectural feats have been undertaken in Dubai, including the 830-meter tall Burj Khalifa, The Palm—a resort with water and marine-animal parks—and the artificial residential islands of Atlantis.

The city is home to 2.88 million people. While this may seem like a small city compared to many others, Dubai is unique in how rapidly the city has expanded and how densely populated it is. Since 1950, the population of Dubai has skyrocketed from just 20,000 people to its current population—that’s an increase of almost 9500%!

Religion and religious freedoms

Religion in Dubai is closely tied to the government and politics. The official state religion is Islam and the government funds or subsidizes almost 95% of all Sunni mosques and employs all Sunny imams (Islamic leadership position). The government also distributes guidance on the religious sermons delivered by the imams (whether the mosque is Sunni or Shi’a) and monitors all sermons for political content the government deems undesirable.

Dubai also has large expatriate communities of Christians, Hindus, Buddhists, and Sikhs. Non-Muslim religious groups are permitted to have their own houses of worship and can practice their religion freely, so long as they request a land grant and permission to build. If a group doesn’t have a building approved, they have to use the facilities of other religions or worship in private homes.

Dubai’s expatriate breakdown

Dubai is a city made up almost entirely of expats. Only 15% of the city’s population identify as native residents, with the remaining 85% composed of expats. About 71% of the total population is Asian, with 51% of this population hailing from India. The number of Western expatriates is quite small—only around 3%—however most of these Western expats are British.

Women’s rights

In Dubai, women’s rights conform to Islamic law. The country takes the first position in gender equality for the Gulf, but its 49th in the world. Alongside the glamor and prestige of its famous expat community, Dubai remains a highly traditional culture. While the country as a whole has signed progressive international treaties aimed at protecting women, it rarely has the arrangements to implement these changes.

While women do have the same constitutional rights as men—including the right to drive, vote, own property, and get an education—they remain unprotected in key areas. For example, many women still require the approval of their guardian to do many of these things. The ratio of women to men is also highly skewed, with around 75% of the population being male.

Wealth in Dubai

The UAE is the third wealthiest country in the world, with the bulk of its money coming from production of goods related to petroleum, petrochemicals, cement, and aluminium. The average salary in Dubai currently sits around $117,000 per year, with the most popular jobs being accountants, mechanical engineers, and civil engineers.

Dubai is a very attractive city for foreign companies. The Jebel Ali Free Zone also plays a large part in Dubai’s attractiveness for these foreign companies. This economic free zone was established in 1985 in the Jebel Ali area in Dubai’s western end. It covers 52 square kilometres and is the largest free zone in the world. The Jafza (as its called) offers tax breaks, custom duty benefits and fewer restrictions for its 7,000 global companies. This includes 100 Fortune Global 500 companies. The Jazfa accounts for about 35% of the total foreign direct investment that flows into the UAE.

Review Updated: July 26, 2020

Dubai Urban Area Population History

1950 20,000
1951 21,000
1952 22,000
1953 23,000
1954 25,000
1955 26,000
1956 27,000
1957 29,000
1958 30,000
1959 32,000
1960 34,000
1961 35,000
1962 37,000
1963 39,000
1964 41,000
1965 43,000
1966 46,000
1967 48,000
1968 52,000
1969 62,000
1970 73,000
1971 86,000
1972 101,000
1973 119,000
1974 141,000
1975 166,000
1976 187,000
1977 202,000
1978 218,000
1979 236,000
1980 254,000
1981 272,000
1982 289,000
1983 306,000
1984 325,000
1985 345,000
1986 366,000
1987 391,000
1988 416,000
1989 444,000
1990 473,000
1991 504,000
1992 537,000
1993 572,000
1994 610,000
1995 650,000
1996 694,000
1997 742,000
1998 793,000
1999 848,000
2000 907,000
2001 970,000
2002 1,037,000
2003 1,109,000
2004 1,186,000
2005 1,268,000
2006 1,365,000
2007 1,478,000
2008 1,600,000
2009 1,732,000
2010 1,875,000
2011 1,970,000
2012 2,070,000
2013 2,175,000
2014 2,285,000
2015 2,401,000
2016 2,523,000
2017 2,651,000
2018 2,785,000
2019 2,833,000
2020 2,878,000

Dubai Urban Area Population Projections

2021 2,921,000
2022 2,964,000
2023 3,008,000
2024 3,051,000
2025 3,095,000
2026 3,139,000
2027 3,183,000
2028 3,227,000
2029 3,271,000
2030 3,315,000
2031 3,358,000
2032 3,401,000
2033 3,443,000
2034 3,485,000
2035 3,526,000

Map of Dubai, United Arab Emirates

All Biggest Cities in United Arab Emirates

Dubai3M
Al-Ain611k
Ajman392k