(from left) Statistic Centre – Abu Dhabi officials Hanan Al Marzouqi, Abu Bakr Al Amoudi, and Eid Muhammad Al Qubaisi during the press conference at the Centre’s headquarters on Monday Image Credit: Supplied

Abu Dhabi: A year-long ‘Household Income and Expenditure Survey’ will poll 19,000 families in the UAE between January and December in 2024, it was announced on Monday.

The Statistics Centre - Abu Dhabi revealed that the Survey will include collecting data from about 11,000 families in the emirate of Abu Dhabi, distributed among 260 administrative regions, covering 850 families per month, within a sample that includes 70 per cent of citizen families, and 30 per cent of non-nationals, with the participation of 252 field researchers.

The announcement came during a press conference organised by the Statistics Centre - Abu Dhabi at its headquarters in the capital on Monday, in light of the Ministry of Community Development’s announcement a day earlier about launch of the 2024 Survey in cooperation with the national statistics centres in all seven emirates, in a comprehensive national initiative that will continue over the course of a full year, with about 19,000 families across the UAE to benefit from it.

Abdullah Gharib Al Qamzi, Acting Director-General of the Statistics Centre - Abu Dhabi, confirmed that the Survey’s samples sizes were designed according to the distribution method proportional to the number of families in the emirate, so as to achieve the required level of accuracy, in an integrated process that was carried out in cooperation with the Federal Centre for Competitiveness and Statistics and the national statistical centres, and using the latest scientific methods. .

Al Qamzi said: “The Household Income and Expenditure Survey is carried out periodically to provide data on household income and expenditure according to demographic and family characteristics, and to study the income and expenditure levels of the family and the individual and show its relationship to economic and social factors in addition to the distribution of individuals and families according to income and expenditure categories, and to collect the necessary data to support relevant projects.”

Abu Bakr Al Amoudi, technical advisor at the Statistics Centre - Abu Dhabi, said: “Accordingly, we are looking forward to developing an accurate, advanced and modern family database that supports strategic decision-making related to providing the highest levels of decent life for Emirati families, in line with the National Strategy for Quality of Life 2031, and in accordance with the wise vision of His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Zayed Al Nahyan, President of the UAE, may God protect him, in enhancing the quality of life in the country and ensuring the provision of a decent and sustainable living and a bright future for all family members.”

Seasonal changes and averages

He explained that the target sample of this survey amounts to 19,000 families at the state level, in order to provide data and indicators related to the families’ lifestyle from the economic and social perspectives, and to study the conditions and standards of living in the country and the variables facing families on a seasonal basis and during the months and seasons of the year, in addition to calculating the average individual and family spending income, and linking it to influencing and surrounding factors, such as educational and professional level, economic activity, and demographic, social, and economic factors.

Al Amoudi continued: “As for the role of the Statistics Centre - Abu Dhabi, this project is considered the sixth survey of its kind in the emirate of Abu Dhabi, and it is the largest statistical survey in terms of cost, effort and time in the Emirate after the population census.”

He pointed out that families were selected randomly using approved statistical methodologies that ensure correct proportional representation, and a distinct mechanism was developed to avoid repetition, while field researchers were selected with high precision, and specialised training programs were provided to them, in addition to providing the latest devices equipped with map and coordinate systems.

Data-driven policymaking

Al Amoudi stressed that the project seeks to support decision-makers and officials in developing strategic plans and specific initiatives that work to improve the lives of families in the UAE. The importance of the survey lies in feeding the household database in a manner that is integrated with relevant national plans and initiatives. The survey seeks to provide indicators about the monthly income and expenditure of the family and the individual, estimating the size of the current demand for goods and services, and helping to predict the population’s future needs for goods and services.

Survey mechanism

Regarding the survey mechanism at the level of the emirate of Abu Dhabi, Hanan Al Marzouqi, Director of the Field Surveys Department at the Statistics Centre - Abu Dhabi, said that the Household Income and Expenditure Survey is one of the largest statistical survey projects in terms of cost, effort and time at the level of the emirate, and the survey includes families and individuals residing in the emirate of Abu Dhabi within the categories of citizen families, non-citizens, collective families, and labour camps.

She stated that the survey includes 4 basic forms: the housing characteristics form, the individuals’ characteristics form, sources of income and capital operations, including borrowings from banks, and the family expenditure form that covers consumption and its types. Households were randomly selected based on approved statistical methodologies that ensure correct representation according to a clear mechanism to avoid repeat captivity.

Al Marzouqi indicated that the field researchers were selected with high precision and specialised training programmes were provided to them. The researchers were provided with the latest devices equipped with mapping systems and geographic coordinates. The researcher provides the head of each family with an auxiliary notebook to record all expenses for which there are no invoices throughout the month.


Regarding the timetable for the survey project, Eid Muhammad Al Qubaisi, head of the Income and Price Statistics Department and project manager, said that in November 2022 the needs were identified, and by December 2023 the survey and the pilot survey process were prepared, and in January 2024 the field work will begin, and in December 2024, the work will be completed.

In June 2025, the results will be extracted, and in October 2025, analytical studies will be conducted.

What will be measured?

He gave examples of the indicators that the survey measures, most notably: average spending on goods and services and the consumption pattern of families, providing special data on the income of families and individuals in the Emirate of Abu Dhabi, providing the necessary data to build the consumer price index basket and its weights, providing data for calculating various poverty indicators. From poverty lines, ratios and gaps, providing data on the food budget related to per capita calorie consumption, estimating the size of current demand for goods and services and helping to predict the population’s future needs for goods and services.

Cooperation and confidentiality

The Statistics Centre - Abu Dhabi called on all participating families to cooperate and interact positively, given the importance of the objectives of this survey and its impact on development policies in the emirate. Household interaction has a pivotal role in producing accurate results that help decision-makers in developing development and economic policies and plans aimed at raising the standard of living and achieving stability and well-being.

This survey was designed to measure a large number of important indicators and variables that reflect the social and economic levels of families and directly affect the well-being of society. A phone number and an account on the WhatsApp application were allocated to ensure effective communication around the clock. The Statistics Center - Abu Dhabi ensures that household data is treated with complete confidentiality. In accordance with the law establishing the Centre, which stipulates that all information and individual data are confidential and may only be used for statistical purposes only.