Pakistanis in the United Arab Emirates
12.53% of the UAE's population
|Regions with significant populations|
|Abu Dhabi · Dubai · Sharjah · Al Ain · Ras-al-Khaimah|
|Urdu · Punjabi · Pashto · Sindhi · Balochi · Seraiki · Kashmiri · Arabic · other Pakistani languages|
|Islam · Christianity · Hinduism|
Pakistanis in the United Arab Emirates include expatriates from Pakistan who have settled in the United Arab Emirates (UAE), as well as Emirati people who have Pakistani heritage. With a population of over 1.2 million, Pakistanis are the second largest national group in the UAE after Indians, constituting 12.5% of the country's total population. They are the third largest overseas Pakistani community, behind the Pakistani diaspora in Saudi Arabia and the United Kingdom. The population is diverse and consists of people from all over Pakistan, including Punjab, Sindh, Khyber Pakhtunkhwa and FATA, Balochistan, Azad Kashmir and Gilgit Baltistan. The majority of Pakistanis are Muslim, with significant minorities of Christians, Hindus and other religions. The majority are found in Dubai and Abu Dhabi respectively, while a significant population is spread out in Sharjah and the remaining Northern Emirates. Dubai alone accounts for a Pakistani population of 400,000.
From the time when heavy Pakistani migration occurred to the Middle East, a number of Pakistanis went to the United Arab Emirates. While many tend to be skilled and semi-skilled professionals, most are unskilled migrant workers. People from the Balochistan coast have been migrating to the UAE's shores since centuries, with many being part of the Bedoon community. Pakistanis outnumber Emirati nationals in three of UAE's emirates: Dubai, Sharjah and Ajman.
Pakistani ethnic groups with significant populations include Punjabis, Pashtuns, Sindhis, Baloch, Muhajirs and smaller populations of Saraikis, Kashmiris, Hindkowans and other ethnic groups. There are also smaller populations of Pakistani expatriates from other countries who live and work in the UAE, such as British Pakistanis and Pakistani Canadians.
Pakistan and the United Arab Emirates maintain strong economic relations with each other, with the UAE being the second biggest trading partner of Pakistan in terms of bilateral trade. A large skilled and semi-skilled Pakistani workforce contributes to the UAE economy. Around 20% of Pakistanis are white-collar professions, and the remaining 80% are involved in the blue-collar industry. The ratio of blue-collar Pakistani labour migrating to the UAE has dropped since 2008, although the volume of remittances has increased. Pakistan ranks among the top five sources of migrant professionals in the UAE. The United Arab Emirates is a major investment destination for Pakistan. Pakistanis are among the top ten investors in the UAE property market, ranking as the second largest nationality that bought most property in Dubai. Many wealthy Pakistanis have bought expensive properties in Dubai and have second homes there. Pakistani expatriates in the UAE are actively involved in the country's business, investment and services sectors. The UAE is the second largest source of remittances to Pakistan; in 2012, remittances from the UAE amounted to $2.9 billion.
Pakistanis in UAE dominate the transport sector i.e. from logistics to crane operators and up to taxi drivers. There are many Pakistani bankers working in various local and multinational banks. It is not uncommon to find Pakistani Professionals working in various Multinationals in UAE. There are many Pakistani restaurants in UAE owned and run by these expatriate Pakistanis.
Notable professional includes Atiq ur Rehman, CEO for Citigroup Middle East and Africa and Waleed Murrawat appointed as CEO ME for NAI Global, one of the largest global commercial real estate company for their operations in Saudi Arabia and U.A.E.
There are number of organisations which represent Pakistanis in UAE. Some of them are as follows:
- Pakistan Business Council (PBC)
- Pakistan Association of Dubai (PAD)
- Pakistan Professional Wing (PPW)
- Institute of Chartered Accountants of Pakistan (ICAP)- UAE Chapter Wing
- Institute of Business Administration (IBA) Alumni - UAE Chapter
- Pakistan – United Arab Emirates relations
- Embassy of Pakistan, Abu Dhabi
- Consulate-General of Pakistan, Dubai
- Overseas Pakistani
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