UAE: Pakistani job-seekers' influx drops for second consecutive year

The Covid-19 pandemic hampered the manpower export

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Waheed Abbas

Published: Sun 12 Jun 2022, 1:12 PM

Last updated: Sun 12 Jun 2022, 10:09 PM

The number of Pakistanis who migrated to the UAE for jobs dropped for consecutive years in 2021.

According to the recently-released Pakistan Economic Survey, the number of Pakistanis registered with the Bureau of Emigration and Overseas Employment to go for employment in the UAE halved to 27,442 in 2021 as compared to 53,676 in the previous year.

The numbers fell for the second consecutive year as Pakistani job seekers coming to UAE fell from 211,216 in 2019 to 53,676 in 2022.

The UAE was the fourth largest destination for Pakistani diaspora who went abroad for greener pastures, contrary to previous years when the country was the second major destination for South Asian nationals.

However, the UAE remained the second largest source of remittances for Pakistan despite a 5.3 per cent shrinkage in July-March financial year 21-22 as Pakistanis in the UAE remitted $4.28 billion as compared to $4.52 billion in the previous year. The Emirates accounted for 18.7 per cent of total remittances, which totalled $22.952 billion, up by 7.1 per cent.

The decline in the South Asian nationals’ migration is attributed to the local market becoming highly competitive for job-seekers, especially for the semi-skilled.

Pakistan Economic Survey said the Covid-19 pandemic hampered the manpower export not only from Pakistan but other regional countries as well.

In total, 286,648 emigrants were registered for overseas employment from Pakistan in 2021 as compared to 224,705 registered in 2020, an increase of 61,943 emigrants.

Out of more than 11.7 million Pakistanis that live abroad, approximately 1.6 million Pakistanis currently live and work in the Emirates.

Oman and Qatar saw a massive increase in South Asian nationals migrating to the two Gulf countries last year, emerging second and third largest destinations.

Saudi Arabia remained the top country as 155,771 Pakistani job seekers migrated to the Kingdom last year followed by Oman (38,349), Qatar (37,985), the UAE, Bahrain (12,977), Malaysia (106) and other countries.

In total, 286,648 Pakistani workers registered with the Bureau of Emigration and Overseas Employment to go abroad for employment

Saudi Arabia accounted for the largest share at 54 per cent, while Oman, Qatar, UAE and Bahrain contributed 13.4 per cent, 13.2 per cent, 9.5 per cent and 4.5 per cent, respectively.


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