According to the report, the UAE’s population reached 3.75 million in 2002, and is expected to grow a further 6.5 percent this year – reaching four million.

Those aged between 15 and 40, make up more than half the population.

But the increase was mainly due to a large influx of foreigners, mostly from Southeast Asia – drawn by plentiful job and business opportunities.

Making up 90 percent of the population, the UAE has the highest percentage of foreigners in the Gulf.

Although the number of UAE nationals also increased, the government has urged locals to have more children.

The UAE is a federation of seven emirates: Abu Dhabi has a population of 1.47 million, Dubai 1.112 million, Sharjah 599,000, Ajman 215,000, Ras al-Khaimah 187,000, Fujairah 112,000 and Umm al-Qawain 59,000.

Despite the rapidly expanding population, the UAE has a high per capita income of about $18,870 in 2002.

The trade and repair services sector was the UAE's biggest employer, followed by the construction industry.

The oil sector, which provides more than a third of the UAE's income, had the lowest number of jobs.