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Iraqis in the United Arab Emirates

Iraqis in the United Arab Emirates
Total population
Regions with significant populations
Abu Dhabi, Dubai and Sharjah.
Arabic, Kurdish, Turkmen
Neo-Aramaic (incl. Mandaic)
Predominantly Islam
Related ethnic groups
Arabs, Armenians, Assyrians, Azeris, Iranians, Mizrahim, Turkmen

Iraqis in the United Arab Emirates have a population exceeding 100,000,[1] closer estimates report a total of 150,000[2] Iraqis in the Emirates. Iraqi people form one of the largest community of non-citizen Arabs in the UAE. Most Iraqis are recent immigrants who have fled instability back home; while Syria, Jordan, Iran and Lebanon were ultimate destinations for most refugees, a large influx sought the United Arab Emirates. In addition, an increasing number of Iraqi students seeking education and career opportunities opted for the country in light of its relatively reputable institutions across the Middle East.

The Iraqi people tend to be spread out over various emirates of the country, with areas of high concentration being Abu Dhabi and Dubai.


Early migration of Iraqi people to the Emirates began after Abdul Salam Arif's 1968 Arab nationalist revolution in Baghdad[3] which resulted in a high influx of Iraqis moving their businesses to Dubai[3] and continued to do so during the 1970s,[4] as well as throughout the Iran-Iraq war, the first Gulf war and the further ongoing civil unrest in Iraq due to the 2003 invasion of Iraq.[3]

The majority of Iraqi expatriates that fled to the UAE are educated and affluent[5] peoples who are now active in Emirati society, from being engineers to teachers and jewellers,[4] as well as being involved in business and the media as presenters and news anchors.

Economic contributions

There are 500 Iraqi companies[6] operating in the Jebel Ali Free Zone alone, an economic hub located in Jebel Ali, a city in Dubai.

Iraqi people in the United Arab Emirates