Some confusion over report on population

DUBAI — The report released by Dubai Municipality’s Statistics Centre that put Dubai’s population at 1.086 million, has led to some confusion as the figures do not tally with the general trends in population growth.

By A Staff Reporter

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Published: Wed 22 Jun 2005, 9:55 AM

Last updated: Thu 2 Apr 2015, 8:06 PM

Consider the following aspects: the Ministry of Planning anticipates Dubai’s population to cross the 2 million mark by year 2010, with the emirate recording an annual growth rate of 7.5 per cent in its population.

The population of Dubai had crossed the million mark in 2002 as per the census figures for that year and announced by the Statistics Centre in 2003.

So, with such an annual growth rate (7.5 per cent) in Dubai’s active population (since 1997), how has the centre’s report for the first quarter of 2005 put the total population figure at 1.086 million, is the question.

According to the centre’s report, released on Monday, Dubai’s population has increased by about 16,000 in the first quarter of 2005, which indicates a growth rate of barely 1.5 per cent (quarterly).

Speaking to Khaleej Times, Juma Alhosani, Head of Production and Trade Statistics at the Centre, claimed that the emirate’s population is often ‘misquoted’ to be 1.3 million or more, which was probably “the day-time population of Dubai”, which includes residents of neighbouring emirates who come to Dubai everyday for work.

While the centre clarified that the ‘floating population’ in Dubai is not taken into consideration, the quarterly report, however, does not mention the centre’s estimate of the emirate’s daytime population.

With scores of development projects being carried out in the emirate, a higher rate of population growth is expected, and the projected population figures for the emirate are indicative of this growth rate.

Explaining the census methodology followed by the authority to collect data on the emirate’s population, Alhosani said it is based on surveys and does not account for those with Dubai residence visas living in the neighbouring emirates. “The day-time population of Dubai is higher because many people living in neighbouring emirates commute to Dubai and work here. Our focus is essentially the night-time population, which is the real population of the emirate, and data on this is collected through our surveyors” he explained.

According to Alhosani, there are a number of factors that have to be taken into account when conducting a census of the population, and the centre follows the best possible formula to arrive at the final figure. He claimed that the final figure has an error margin of less than a per cent.

The report reveals that males (803,000) constitute almost 74 per cent of the population while females total around 283,000.

Replying to a question, Saeed Ibrahim Abdul Rahman bin Kalbet, Head of Data Processing and Database Section at the centre, clarified that almost all data collected by the centre for various purposes from time to time is made available to the public and there is absolute transparency in its working methods. “Of course for specific institutions and organisation, both private and government, we prepare special analytical reports according to their needs, and these are usually for business and trade and for decision-making process for planners. These specific reports are meant for certain categories of users,” he said.

He, however, added that over the next few years, the project to make all statistical data on the emirate available online for all kinds of users would be completed and facilitate easier access to a variety of information.

The quarterly report also gives figures on building and construction activity, transportation and communication, hotels and tourism, the business sector in general, vehicles, telecommunications, education and environment and waste management in the emirate.

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