Demographic Characteristics of the Female Emirati Workforce in Dubai, United Arab Emirates

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Women are seen traditionally in the United Arab Emirates (UAE) as fundamental for safeguarding the family and social structure of the country as well as preserving the cultural and religious heritage of the nation. This role, however, has changed in the aftermath of the rapid development occasioned by the discovery of oil and establishment of the country in 1971. Women are now at the forefront of several socioeconomic endeavours in various sectors of the country, thereby contributing to national development. The study aims to survey the characteristics of the Emirati female workforce in Dubai and compare it with corresponding national statistics. The aim is to assist policy makers with identifying priority areas for improvement as well as unearthing the challenges faced by working women in the country. Qualitative surveys were conducted based on a structured questionnaire distributed to 257 working women in Dubai City. Results obtained indicate that the majority of women working in Dubai are young and married. Additionally, the bulk of the respondents possess a bachelor's degree and higher degrees, thereby earning a decent monthly income. The childcare and transportation options employed by working women revealed the prevailing cultural norms, with the majority utilizing the help of family members and personal/family vehicles, resp. All these findings are in tune with nationwide standards; however, the majority of the respondents in the current study are employed in the governmental sector earn much higher salaries. The overall findings of the study would be useful for policy makers to formulate strategies for enhancing the female workforce in Dubai and the UAE at large. It is also useful for private and public organizations for addressing the challenges faced by the female workforce in the country thereby providing a better work-life balance for their employees.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)240-252
Number of pages13
JournalArab World Geographer
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - Sept 1 2021


  • Dubai
  • Women
  • demographic characteristics
  • public sector
  • salary
  • workforce

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Geography, Planning and Development
  • Earth-Surface Processes


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