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United Arab Emirates, The People of the United Arab Emirates

busiest airport, major petroleum, emirate of Abu Dhabi, estimated population, industrial center

The UAE had an estimated population of 2,445,989 in 2002, with a density of 29 persons per sq km (76 per sq mi). Some 86 percent of the country’s population is urban. Abu Dhabi is the largest city and is the capital of the UAE. It serves as the financial, transportation, and communications center of a major petroleum-producing area. Abu Dhabi is also a significant port and is home to a majority of the federal government ministries. Dubai is the main trading center of the entire Persian Gulf, has the principal port facilities of the UAE as well as its busiest airport, and has several federal ministries. Ash Shariqah is an important port and industrial center. The emirate of Abu Dhabi contains nearly 40 percent of the total UAE population.

Several aspects of the UAE’s population are unusual. The population in 1995 was 15 times larger than it was in 1965, largely due to the immigration of oil workers. Four-fifths of the UAE’s inhabitants are foreign workers and their dependents. The UAE also has a very young population, due to the influx of young foreign workers, cultural preference for large families, and improved medical care.

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