UAE: More than 230,000 Pakistanis moved to Emirates in 1 year

The UAE was also the second-largest source of remittances, which have been one of the critical sources of foreign exchange earnings for Pakistan


Waheed Abbas

  • Follow us on
  • google-news
  • whatsapp
  • telegram

Top Stories

Photo: KT File
Photo: KT File

Published: Thu 13 Jun 2024, 1:36 PM

Last updated: Thu 13 Jun 2024, 5:12 PM

More than 230,000 Pakistanis migrated to the UAE last year in search of greener pastures, authorities from the South Asian country have said.

The UAE was the second top destination for Pakistanis —who accounted for 26.77 per cent of the total number of people who migrated from South Asian countries in 2023 — said the Bureau of Emigration and Overseas Employment (BE&OE) and Overseas Employment Corporation (OEC).

Stay up to date with the latest news. Follow KT on WhatsApp Channels.

The Emirates is already home to 1.7 million Pakistani expats, the second largest community in the country.

Several professionals — such as doctors, engineers and white-collar workers in the field of IT — migrated out of the country due to the lack of job opportunities in the South Asian nation, sparking fears of brain drain.

Countries in the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) region were the top migration destinations as 862,625 Pakistanis went abroad globally for livelihood, authorities said.

Saudi Arabia was the No. 1 choice, with 426,951 Pakistanis moving to the kingdom for jobs, based on the data published in Pakistan Economic Survey 2023-24.

Oman employed 60,046 Pakistani workers, accounting for 7 per cent, while Qatar offered jobs to 55,112 individuals. Bahrain and Malaysia hosted 13,345 and 20,905 workers, respectively.

More than 13.53 million Pakistanis have gone abroad through official procedures to work in more than 50 countries until April 2024.

About 96 per cent of Pakistanis registered for overseas employment in GCC countries, especially Saudi Arabia and the UAE. They contribute to the development of the South Asian nation's economy by sending remittances, the primary source of foreign exchange after exports.


The UAE was also the second-largest source of remittances, which have been one of the critical sources of foreign exchange earnings for Pakistan over the years.

Pakistanis in the UAE remitted $3.7 billion during the July-March 2024 fiscal year. Saudi led with $5.1 billion, followed by the UK ($3.2 billion), the US ($2.5 billion), other GCC countries ($2.3 billion), EU ($2.6 billion), Australia ($0.5 billion) and other countries ($1.3 billion).

The Pakistani rupee has been consistently weakening against Emirati dirham over the past decade, falling from 28 in 2013-14 to 77.44 in 2023-24.

The UAE and Pakistan also enjoy close relationships with the government. Last year, UAE made a $1-billion deposit for the balance of payment support.

Pakistan’s exports to the UAE reached Rs328.6 billion in the July-March 2023-24 financial year, higher than Rs259.7 billion registered during the same months in the previous fiscal year.

Meanwhile, imports from the UAE grew to Rs2.955 billion in July-March 2023-24, an increase from Rs2.167 billion during the same period last year. Imports from the UAE accounted for 26 per cent of the South Asian country’s total imports.


More news from UAE