A Country of Healthy Foreigners

Dubai_Wingsuit_Flying_Trip_(7623566780) (1)The United Arab Emirates, a.k.a. the Emirates or the UAE, is an Arab country in the southeast of the Arabian Peninsula on the Persian Gulf, bordering Oman to the east and Saudi Arabia to the south, as well as sharing sea borders with Qatar and Iran. It is a federation of seven emirates, which is like principalities, each governed by a hereditary emir. The emirs choose one of their members to be the president of the federation. The most prominent emirates are Abu Dhabi and Dubai, with Abu Dhabi being the capital. Islam is the official religion of the UAE, and Arabic is the official language.

The UAE is estimated to have a population of 5, 314, 317 with a population growth rate of 3.055% and total sex ratio is 2.19 males/females. The age structure goes as follows: 20.5% of the population is between the ages of 0 to 14, 14% of the population is between the ages of 15 and 24, 61.6% of the population is between the ages of 25 to 54, 3% between the ages of 55 to 64 and 0.9% of the population is over 65 years old.

The birth rate is 15.76 births/1,000 population whereas the infant mortality rate is in total: 11.59 deaths/1,000 live births with 13.54 deaths/1,000 live births for males and 9.55 deaths/1,000 live births for females. According to the 2010 World Bank Indicators, the infant mortality rate in the Middle East and North Africa is 27.39 deaths/1,000 live births. So that means that the mortality rate in the UAE is below the average mortality rate in Middle East and North Africa. Now the infants that live after birth have the life expectancy of 76.71 years, with males living for approximately 74.12 years and females for 79.42 years.

The education expenditures for the UAE are 1.2% of the GDP. The literacy rate for the whole population that are over 15 year is 77.9% with 76.1% for men and 81.7% for women.

Net migration rate is 16.82 migrant(s)/1,000 people and the urban population is 84% of total population, where the rate of urbanization is 2.3% annual rate of change. Migrant workers make up a staggering 90 per cent of the labor force which is reflected in the population with Emirates consisting of 19%, other Arabs and Iranians 23%, South Asians 50%, and other expatriates like Westerners and East Asians 8%.

With regard to the health situation, the formula, (GDP x health expenditure) / population helps us find out how much the government is spending on health per capita. In the USA the number is $8,103.94/capita with the GDP being $15.7 trillion while the number in UAE is $1,896.76/capita with the GDP being $360 billion. From this calculation, one would assume that the USA’s higher investment in health care would result in better results than the UAE. However, in comparison to the USA, the Emirates is doing better health wise even though USA is a developed country while the UAE is considered to be a developing one. This demonstrates that improving health needs a comprehensive approach that does not only focus on increasing health expenditure.

HIV/AIDS adult prevalence rate is 0.2% and obesity adult prevalence rate is 33.7%.  The total fertility rate is 2.38 children born/woman with a 12 maternal deaths/100,000 live births. The death rate is 2.04 deaths/1,000 people. On the other hand, the USA has an HIV/AIDS adult prevalence rate of 0.6% and an obesity adult prevalence rate of 33.9%. The total fertility rate is 2.06 children born/woman with a 21 maternal deaths/100,000 live births. The death rate is 8.4 deaths/1,000 population.

This shows that even if your country is considered to be a developed one that does not mean that all the problems like health care are solved or in better shape than the ones in developing countries.

By Maya Beaini, an intern at the World Youth Alliance Middle East.