The population of the United Arab Emirates has reached six million, with UAE citizens representing just 16.5 percent of the expatriate-dominated total, a newspaper reported on Wednesday.
The figures were the result of a count of visa registrations and the number of people employed in the country, the Gulf News said, quoting unnamed senior officials.
The total population was 1.9 million up from the last census held in 2005.
South Asians continued to represent the majority of the population, with Indians the largest community at 1.75 million, followed by Pakistanis at 1.25 million and Bangladeshis 500,000, the newspaper said.
Around a million came from other Asian countries including Afghanistan, China, Iran, Korea, the Philippines and Thailand, while Westerners, Africans, North Africans and citizens of Latin American states totalled 500,000.
Although the paper said the new figures show a rapid population increase since 2005, it does not refer to figures published by the Federal National Council last year showing a population of 6.4 million at the end of 2007.
Many expatriates have reportedly left the UAE after losing their jobs in the wake of the global financial crisis, which hit the UAE economy hard, mainly in former boomtown Dubai.