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The UAE capital's population has increased to 3.8 million since 2011. Image Credit: Afra Mubarak Alnofeli/Gulf News

Abu Dhabi: The Statistics Centre - Abu Dhabi (SCAD) on Tuesday reported that the population of Abu Dhabi has reached 3,789,860 people, an increase of 83 per cent compared to 2011, according to the primary results of the Abu Dhabi Census 2023, the first to be based entirely on the administrative registers.

The census data indicates that the number of males in the emirate reached 2,541,465 people, representing 67 per cent of the total population, whilst the total number of females reached 1,248,395 people, accounting for 33 per cent of the total population of the emirate. The results indicate that the median age of the population in the emirate is 33 years.

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According to the published data, the Abu Dhabi region, with a population of 2,495,925 people, is the largest in terms of population, representing 66 per cent of the total population of the emirate. This is followed by the Al Ain region, with a population of 1,009,735 people, representing 27 per cent of the total population of Abu Dhabi, and the Al Dhafra region, with a population of 284,205, representing seven per cent.

The results of Abu Dhabi Census 2023 can be found on

Employment figures

Powered by the economic growth and the transition towards a knowledge-based economy, Abu Dhabi has seen a substantial 82 per cent increase in the employed population since 2011, bringing the total employment to 2,522,390 individuals, which reflects the significant shift of Abu Dhabi’s position as a preferred destination for business, investment, and talents.

The employed workforce is divided into 46 per cent white-collar workers, a category that has seen 109 per cent surge since 2011, and 54 per cent blue-collar workers, a group that has experienced 65 per cent growth compared to 2011. This data highlights the dynamic expansion and diversity of the workforce in Abu Dhabi.

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Residential units

In addition, Abu Dhabi has seen a 66 per cent increase in the number of residential and non-residential units since 2011, totaling 754,555 units. Of these, residential units account for 58 per cent with 441,410 units, while non-residential units make up the remaining 42 per cent with 313,145 units. This growth is a testament to the positive effects of the continuous infrastructure developments undertaken by the emirate in recent years.

Ahmed Tamim Hisham Al Kuttab, Chairman of the Department of Government Enablement – Abu Dhabi, and Chairman of the Higher Census Committee, highlighted the instrumental support of Sheikh Khaled bin Mohamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi and Chairman of the Abu Dhabi Executive Council, in the successful completion of the Abu Dhabi Census 2023. Al Kuttab emphasised that this census, the first of its kind to rely entirely on administrative records, is a testament to the exceptional levels of coordination and integration achieved among the relevant government entities.

Real-time databases

Al Kuttab said: “The population census provides modern and real-time databases on the number of populations, their characteristics, and geographical distribution. This is an important step towards strengthening national efforts to improve the quality of services and support comprehensive development plans in the emirate of Abu Dhabi. The census’ output support the decision-making process and monitoring of variables and trends that government entities rely on in formulating economic and social programmes and policies, as well as supporting the private sector and investors with accurate data that enhances investment in the emirate.”

Abdulla Gharib Alqemzi, Acting Director General of the Statistics Centre - Abu Dhabi (SCAD), emphasised SCAD’s commitment to align with the comprehensive strategic transformations observed across the emirate. Alqemzi said: “SCAD is dedicated to ensuring that the statistical ecosystem aligns with the goals of digital transformation in the emirate and supports the work environment with optimal procedures for managing and governing Abu Dhabi Census 2023 data. The pillars of this mechanism include the development of digital infrastructure, the use of innovative solutions, the employment of artificial intelligence techniques, and adherence to the best technical practices for implementing the census.

“With the support and cooperation of relevant government entities, SCAD has been able to enhance the level of integration and coordination to link and merge the administrative records from entities and stakeholders with SCAD’s statistical data. This has significantly contributed to ensuring the quality and comprehensiveness of the census outputs.”


In terms of information security, Abdulla Gharib Alqemzi affirmed SCAD’s commitment to applying advanced standards for data governance to ensure the highest levels of privacy and confidentiality through an integrated statistical ecosystem. Alqemzi lauded the positive interaction and cooperation of partners in implementing Abu Dhabi’s first register-based population census. Alqemzi said: “This approach not only saves effort and time but also allows for future implementations within shorter periods than the traditional five/ten-year interval.”

The Statistics Centre - Abu Dhabi is working to develop an integrated and advanced statistical ecosystem by unifying and organising all aspects of statistical work in the emirate. This includes building and developing statistical frameworks for all activities and sectors, updating them periodically, and providing technical supervision. SCAD adopts advanced technologies to collect process data and provide forward-looking statistics to support decision-makers, researchers, planners, and the public.