Abu Dhabi: The UAE has made major strides and progress in key areas such as health, education and social policies in regard to narrowing the gender gap in workplaces, with the findings published by UAE University (UAEU) in its Human Development Report 2018.

The report was compiled and written by more than 12 authors and researchers in collaboration with the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), with the last nationwide human development report released more than 20 years ago in 1997.

The latest report looked at some of the most recent available numbers and statistics available for the UAE with the sources, including UAE government agencies and international organisations such as the United Nations, the World Bank, and the World Health Organisation, among others.

“Issuing this report in the Year of Zayed highlights the role of the founding father in laying the foundations of the UAE’s renaissance in different walks of life. This report contributes to enhancing the developmental policies and promoting … the UAE human development value,” professor Mohammad Al Baili, UAEU vice-chancellor, said commenting on the report.

“[The report also] contributes to achieving the UAE vision of 2021 and Abu Dhabi Vision of 2030 through focusing on vital sectors like the economy, education, health, job market and social policies,” he added.

Key findings

According to some of the key findings of the report, the UAE has seen a massive population surge since the 1970s thanks to the continued opportunities provided by the country. The population size of the UAE stood at 9,121,167 people in 2016 compared to just 557,887 in 1975. Out of those numbers, 12 per cent are made up of local citizens with the rest being foreign nationals.

The report also showed that life expectancy has gone up to age 78 for females and 76 for males, this is compared to 64 and 60, respectively, in 1970. Challenges to the health sector do however remain, according to the report: 19.3 per cent of the UAE’s population is diabetic, and 66 per cent of males and 60 per cent of females are obese.

The report also showed that cardiovascular diseases are the leading cause of death in the UAE (30 per cent).

The number of schools in the UAE for the academic year 2016-2017 was 659 — 567 of them private schools — with a total of 1,058,300 students.

Gender parity

The report had positive news about women in the workforce, which found that there was at least one female worker for every six male workers, a major improvement compared to 1975 when the number was 29 male workers for every one female worker. The total female workforce in the UAE in 2015 was 882,000 compared to just 10,000 in 1975. Of these numbers, 135,000 of them are Emirati women, which is also up compared to 1975 when it was only 1,000 Emirati women in the workforce.

The total national workforce in 2015 was 342,000, up from 45,000 in 1975. Foreign workers, meanwhile, make up more than six million of the country’s entire workforce, this too is up from 250,000 in 1975.

Key health sector facts

162 hospitals as of 2015

1,662 physicians as of 2014

3,844 nurses as of 2014

3,799 beds at private hospitals as of 2014

6,006 beds in public hospitals as of 2014

Life expectancy: 76 for males, 78 for females

UAE ranked first among Eastern Mediterranean and Arab countries by WHO in 2015 in the average age of health rate

Key education sector facts

659 schools in the 2016-2017 academic year

22,330 public teachers in the 2016-2017 academic year

94 universities, colleges and higher education institutes in the 2015-2016 academic year

497 public and private schools with a level of accreditation for 2014-2015 academic year

Key economy facts

GDP up from $56 billion in 1957 to $360 billion in 2015

UAE ranked 17th in world competitiveness index for 2017-2018 and first in the Arab world

Foreign investment by UAE reached $126 billion in 2015

UAE economy ranked 30th worldwide and second in the Arab world

Key labour force facts

6 million foreign workers as of 2015

342,000 Emiratis in the workforce as of 2015

77% of working Emiratis in public sector

17% of working Emiratis in joint sector

6% of working Emiratis in private sector

882,000 female workers as of 2015

Key population facts

9,121,167 residents as of 2016

69% are male, 31% female

8,095,126 foreign residents

1,061,837 nationals

90% of all residents feel safe