Dubai’s unemployment rate stood at 0.5% in 2018

The unemployment rate among Emiratis residing in Dubai increased by over one percentage point between 2016 and 2018



Dubai’s unemployment rate stood at 0.5 per cent last year – same as in 2017, according to a latest annual survey published by the Dubai Statistics Centre.

Up to 83.2 per cent of the working-age population is currently employed, the survey said.

The Labour Force survey 2018 also found that the total number of unemployed persons residing in Dubai was 10,468 in 2018, up by 2,893 from 2016.

Meanwhile the unemployment rate among Emiratis residing in Dubai increased by over one percentage point between 2016 and 2018, rising from 2.9 per cent in 2016 to 3.4 per cent in 2017, and 4 per cent in 2018.

The unemployment rate of Emirati males increased from 2 per cent in 2016 to 2.6 per cent in 2017, and 2.7 per cent in 2018 while that of Emirati females rose by double the percentage compared to males.

“Such a rate is attributed to the fact that Emirati females prefer to work in the government sector and in certain jobs and professions,” said Arif Al Mehairi, executive director of Dubai Statistics Centre.

Half of the Emiratis of working-age are involved actively in economic activities, the survey found.

While Emirati males had a higher workforce participation at 62.6 per cent, the figure for Emirati females was 36.5 per cent.

The number of Emiratis employed and residing in Dubai went up by the end of 2018 to 82,630 compared to 75,856 by the end of 2016.

Overall, a total of 2,242,363 Emiratis were employed in the emirate last year, out of which 81.3 per cent were males while 18.7 per cent were females.

“The results of the Labour Force survey 2018 illustrate the flexibility and strength of Dubai’s economy as it continues to record the lowest rates of unemployment in the world and one of the highest rates in economic participation,” said Al Mehairi.

On the issue of unemployment rate among non-Emiratis residing in Dubai, the rate remained below 0.5 per cent between 2016 and 2018 with male non-Emirati males having an unemployment rate of 0.2 per cent and females 1 per cent.

Al Mehairi attributed the low rates to the “constructive policies, which grant residency visas to employees, investors, students and persons of equivalent status with the condition that persons of working-age will not be allowed to stay in the UAE without a job”.

The survey found that 85.5 per cent of working-age non-Emiratis residing in Dubai were working – including 96.9 per cent males and 55.9 per cent females.

The survey used “smart geospatial tools” to infer the data from a representative sample of 3,000 households in Dubai.

The sample included 1,500 Emirati households and 1,500 non-Emirati households distributed across various Dubai communities, Al Mehairi confirmed.