The UAE had 7.2 million people at the end of 2011 and the figure is expected to grow by around 5.6 per cent to 7.6 million at the end of 2012.
According to the Abu Dhabi Chamber of Commerce and Industry, Abu Dhabi’s population stood at around 2.9 million at the end of 2011 and is forecast to rise by about 5.4 per cent to nearly 3.1 million at the end of this year.
In a report released this week, the Chamber gave no reason for the wide discrepancy in its estimates with those by the National Bureau of Statistics, which put the UAE’s population at nearly 8.2 million at the end of 2010.
A breakdown by the Bureau showed expatriates stood at nearly 7.316 million, accounting for around 88.5 per cent of the country’s total population.
The Bureau’s report showed Emiratis were estimated at 947,997, nearly11.5 per cent of the total, making the UAE among the Gulf countries have the lowest proportion of natives to the overall population.
The Chamber noted that its figures for Abu Dhabi covered the capital, the eastern town of Al-Ain and the Western region. This means Abu Dhabi emirate is the most populous member of the UAE, followed by Dubai, which had around two million people at the end of March this year.
With a GDP of around Dh691 billion in 2011, Abu Dhabi’s per capita income stood at nearly Dh236,000, one of the highest in the world. The report expected it to climb to about Dh242,700 in 2012, when GDP will reach Dh749.6 billion.