Population in Urban Area, now
- World: 174th
- Asia: 92nd
- United Arab Emirates: 1st
Population in City Area, 2019-08-28
- World: 88th
- Asia: 63rd
- 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.
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.