RELIGION LIBRARY

United Arab Emirates

COUNTRY PROFILE

Map of United Arab Emirates

The country has an area of 32,300 square miles and a population of 4.8 million. An estimated 80 percent of the country's residents are noncitizens. Of the citizens, more than 85 percent are Sunni Muslim and an estimated 15 percent or fewer are Shi'a. Noncitizen residents are predominantly from South and Southeast Asia, although there are substantial numbers from the Middle East, Europe, Central Asia, and North America. According to the most recent Ministry of Economy census (2005), 76 percent of the total population is Muslim, 9 percent is Christian, and 15 percent is "other." According to unofficial figures, at least 15 percent of the resident population is Hindu, and 5 percent is Buddhist. Groups that constitute less than 5 percent of the population include Parsi, Baha'i, Sikh, and Jews. These estimates differ from census figures because census figures do not take into account "temporary" visitors and workers and they count Baha'is and Druze as Muslim.

Population Population (2009 est.) 4,798,491
Religious Demographics Muslim 96% (Shi'a 16%), other (includes Christian, Hindu) 4%
Ethnic Groups Ethnic Groups Emirati 19%, other Arab and Iranian 23%, South Asian 50%, other expatriates (includes Westerners and East Asians) 8% (1982)
Languages Languages Arabic (official), Persian, English, Hindi, Urdu
Country Flag Flag of United Arab Emirates