The UAE has one of the highest male to female population ratios in the world and is far ahead of other Arab countries because of its heavy reliance on expatriate male workers.

In the 22-nation Arab League, the average sex ratio which includes the number of males per 100 females is estimated at 104, slightly higher than the world average of 102, according to UNDP.

But individually, the UAE's ratio stood at 195 at the end of 2000, the highest level in the region, UNDP said in its Arab Human Development Report for 2002.

In the remaining GCC countries, the ratio was put at 184 in Qatar, 139 in Kuwait, 135 in Bahrain, 115 in Saudi Arabia and 113 in Oman. Djibouti had the lowest rate in the Arab world, standing at 89, the report showed.

"The sex ratio is higher in the GCC than in other Arab countries, reflecting the presence of large numbers of male foreign workers," it said.