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Dubai has become the most populous city in the UAE, accounting for more than a third of the urban population at the end of 2001, according to official figures.

An estimated one million people live in this city, almost double the population of Abu Dhabi which has just above 500,000 residents, the Ministry of Planning said.

The smallest urban population is in Umm Al Quwain, with around 35,000, while Ajman recorded the highest population growth rate.

The figures showed that the UAE’s urban population totalled 2.66 million at the end of last year, nearly 76 per cent of the overall population of 3.48 million.

Emirate-wise, Abu Dhabi has the biggest population at around 1.36 million compared with 1.029 million in Dubai and 562,000 in Sharjah.

The population stood at around 196,000 in Ajman, 181,000 in Ras Al Khaimah, 106,000 in Fujairah and 52,000 in Umm Al Quwain.

Ajman recorded the highest growth, with its population surging nearly 12-fold between 1975 and 2001, according to the Ministry’s annual report for 2002.

In terms of gender, Abu Dhabi had the highest ratio of males, with 244 men for every 100 women. The ratio stood at 229 in Dubai, 176 in Sharjah, 159 in Fujairah, 148 in Ajman and Umm Al Quwain and 141 in Ras Al Khaimah.

Officials said Dubai city recorded one of the highest growth rates in urban population because of a business upsurge that has turned the city into the region’s main commercial hub.

Growth is set to remain high as more visitors are attracted by the city’s business opportunities, prompting plans for expansion in population centres.

As per the Dubai Development And Investment Authority:

The population of the UAE as of 2001 was estimated to be 3,290,000. The population of Dubai was estimated to be 971,000. The UAE is a highly cosmopolitan environment and a large part of the population are non-UAE nationals, primarily a mix of other Arab nationals, Asians and Europeans. 80% of Dubai’s population is comprised of expatriates with Europeans and Asians accounting for approximately 70% of households. Approximately 71% of the population is male and 29% is female. The UAE population is expected to grow by 3.3% per annum to reach 4.15 million by 2010. Dubai is expected to have a population of 1.4 million by 2010.

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