It is estimated that in
the Middle East around 900,000 people, perhaps more, profess as their religion. Buddhist adherents make up just over 0.3% of the total population of the Middle East. Many of these Buddhists are workers who have migrated from Asia to the Middle East in the last 20 years, many from countries that have large Buddhist populations, such as Buddhism China, Vietnam, Thailand, Sri Lanka, and Nepal. A small number of engineers, company directors, and managers from Japan, Taiwan, Hong Kong, Singapore, and South Korea have also moved to the Middle East.
Demographics [ edit ]
Theravada Buddhism is the predominant religion of workers from Thailand and Sri Lanka. Mahayana Buddhism is the predominant religion of workers from East Asia and Vietnam, although Taoism, Confucianism, and Shinto are also represented among these people. In Dubai (the United Arab Emirates) and  Qatar, the workers from Sri Lanka were allowed to celebrate  Vesak (the most important holiday in Buddhism) in those Islamic countries.
Buddhism in Saudi Arabia [ edit ]
This section needs to be updated. (May 2015)
U.S. State Department's International Religious Freedom Report 2007 estimates that more than 8 million foreigners are living and working in Saudi Arabia, including Muslims and non-Muslims.
In addition to 400,000
Sri Lankans, there are a few thousand Buddhist workers from East Asia, the majority of whom are Chinese, Vietnamese, and Thai. A number of Tibetan- Nepalese immigrants may also be among the foreign population of Saudi Arabia.
Thus approximately 1.5% of Saudi Arabia's population – or around 400,000 people – are Buddhist, likely giving Saudi Arabia the largest Buddhist community in either the
Middle East or the Arab World 
Buddhist population by country [ edit ]
Buddhist percentages in the Middle East
Buddhism by country in the Middle East
% of Buddhists
United Arab Emirates
5%   222,201
5%   45,361
4%  100,222
1.5%  414,016
1%  7,530
1%   32,049
0.1%  6,426
0.1%  3,926
0.1%  71,159
External links [ edit ]
References [ edit ]
^ "Lankans in Dubai to celebrate ‘Vesak’", Emirates 24/7, 2011-05-05 , retrieved 2013-07-22
^ "Sri Lankans celebrate Vesak in Qatar", THE PENINSULA, 2009-05-09 , retrieved 2013-07-22
^ U.S. Department of State. International Religious Freedom Report: Saudi Arabia. Accessed 20 Nov 2008.
^ "International Religious Freedom Report: United Arab Emirates".
^ "Country Profiles". Archived from the original on September 27, 2007.
^ "International Religious Freedom Report: Qatar".
^ "CIA World FactBook: Qatar".
^ "International Religious Freedom Report: Kuwait".
^ "International Religious Freedom Report: Saudi Arabia".
^ "International Religious Freedom Report: Bahrain".
^ "Religious Freedom Nation Profile: Oman".
^ "Religious Freedom Nation Profile: Oman". Archived from the original on September 30, 2007.
^ "International Religious Freedom Report: Israel".
^ "International Religious Freedom Report: Lebanon".
^ "Religious Freedom Nation Profile: Turkey".