Although Bangladesh only came into existence in 1971, the land which is today Bangladesh has strong ties to the Middle East. Bangladeshis in the Middle East form the largest part of the worldwide Bangladeshi diaspora. Out of the 3,975,550 Bangladeshis abroad approximately 2,820,000 live within the Middle East, 0.075% of the Middle East population, with half of them in Saudi Arabia, and a quarter of them in the United Arab Emirates. Bangladeshis who come to the Middle East are primarily guest workers or day labourers. Bangladesh is one of the largest labour suppliers to Saudi Arabia, in 2007 Bangladeshi workers obtained the biggest share, with 23.50 per cent of the 1.5 million Saudi Arabia visas issued.
Integrating into the Middle East has been much easier for Bangladeshis than for non-Muslims since Islam is the dominant religion for both communities. Both communities share similar values and cultures, which has been the primary reason for so many Bangladeshis to settle in the Middle East. It is also the mandatory for every Muslim to perform the Hajj by visiting Mecca in Saudi Arabia at least once in his or her lifetime if possible.
Countries with significant populations , June 2009