United Arab Emirates Emigration and Immigration

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How to Find the Records[edit | edit source]

Online Sources[edit | edit source]

British Overseas Subjects[edit | edit source]

Finding the Town of Origin in United Arab Emirates[edit | edit source]

If you are using emigration/immigration records to find the name of your ancestors' town in United Arab Emirates, see United Arab Emirates Finding Town of Origin for additional research strategies.

United Arab Emirates Emigration and Immigration[edit | edit source]

"Emigration" means moving out of a country. "Immigration" means moving into a country.
Emigration and immigration sources list the names of people leaving (emigrating) or arriving (immigrating) in the country. These sources may be passenger lists, permissions to emigrate, or records of passports issued. The information in these records may include the emigrants’ names, ages, occupations, destinations, and places of origin or birthplaces. Sometimes they also show family groups.

Immigration into United Arab Emirates[edit | edit source]

  • With the expansion of European colonial empires, Portuguese, English and Dutch forces appeared in the Persian Gulf region.
  • By the 18th century, the Portuguese maintained an influence over the coastal settlements, building forts in the wake of the bloody 16th-century conquests of coastal communities by Albuquerque and the Portuguese commanders who followed him – particularly on the east coast at Muscat, Sohar and Khor Fakkan.
  • The southern coast of the Persian Gulf was known to the British as the "Pirate Coast", as boats of the Al Qawasim federation harassed British-flagged shipping from the 17th century into the 19th.
  • British expeditions to protect their Indian trade routes led to campaigns against the city of Ras Al Khaimah and other harbours along the coast, including the Persian Gulf Campaign of 1809 and the more successful campaign of 1819. The following year, Britain and a number of local rulers signed a maritime truce, giving rise to the term Trucial States, which came to define the status of the coastal emirates.
  • A further treaty was signed in 1843 and, in 1853 the Perpetual Maritime Truce was agreed. To this was added the 'Exclusive Agreements', signed in 1892, which made the Trucial States a British protectorate.
  • Under the 1892 treaty, the trucial sheikhs agreed not to dispose of any territory except to the British and not to enter into relationships with any foreign government other than the British without their consent. In return, the British promised to protect the Trucial Coast from all aggression by sea and to help in case of land attack. British maritime policing meant that pearling fleets could operate in relative security. However, the British prohibition of the slave trade meant an important source of income was lost to some sheikhs and merchants.
  • From 1922-1971, various companies were formed to explore the area to drill for oil, contributing to independence from the UK in 1971-2.
  • Migrant workers in the United Arab Emirates describe the alien foreign workers who have moved to the United Arab Emirates (UAE) for work. As a result of the proximity of the UAE to South Asia and a better economy and job opportunities, most of the migrant foreign workers are from India, Nepal, Sri Lanka, Bangladesh, and Pakistan.
  • The United States maintains three military bases in the UAE.
  • According to an estimate by the World Bank, expatriates and immigrants account for 88.52% while Emiratis make up the remaining 11.48%.
  • The UAE is ethnically diverse. The five most populous nationalities in the emirates of Dubai, Sharjah, and Ajman are Indian (25%), Pakistani (12%), Emirati (9%), Bangladeshi (7%), and Filipino (5%).
  • Expatriates from Europe, Australia, Northern America and Latin America make up 500,000 of the population. More than 100,000 British nationals live in the country. The rest of the population are from other Arab states.[1]

Indians in the United Arab Emirates[edit | edit source]

  • Countries in the Persian Gulf region have had a long-established economic and political link with India. Trucial Oman (now UAE), was nominally independent in the 19th century but was administered by the British Raj; trade and banking sectors in the territory were administered by the Khoja and Kutchi communities of India. In 1853, the rulers of the emirates signed a Perpetual Maritime Truce with the British, effectively bringing the region under Britain's sphere of influence. Administered from British India, the emirates developed commonalities with South Asia.
  • Dubai was also an important trading post for Indians even prior to the discovery of oil (in commercial quantities) in the UAE in 1959.
  • The discovery of oil brought with it an influx of workers from India from the mid-1960s onward. Most of the shopkeepers were from the state of Kerala, or were Indian Arabs, descendants of Arabs who had previously emigrated to India.
  • Indian migration to the UAE drastically increased in the 1970s and 1980s, with the expansion of the oil industry and the growth of free trade in Dubai. Annual migration of Indians to the UAE, which stood at 4,600 in 1975, rose to over 125,000 by 1985, and stood at nearly 200,000 in 1999.[2]

Pakistanis in the United Arab Emirates[edit | edit source]

  • With a population of over 1.5 million, Pakistanis are the second largest national group in the UAE after Indians, constituting 12.5% of the country's total population. They are the third largest overseas Pakistani community. The majority of Pakistanis are Muslim, with significant minorities of Christians, Hindus and other religions. The majority are found in Dubai and Abu Dhabi respectively, while a significant population is spread out in Sharjah and the remaining Northern Emirates.<ref>"Pakistanis in the United Arab Emirates", in Wikipedia, https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pakistanis_in_the_United_Arab_Emirates, accessed 22 June

For Further Reading[edit | edit source]

References[edit | edit source]

  1. "United Arab Emirates," in Wikipedia, https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/United_Arab_Emirates, accessed 22 June 2021.
  2. "Indians in the United Arab Emirates", in Wikipedia, https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Indians_in_the_United_Arab_Emirates, accessed 22 June 2021.