What is it about?

The purpose of this study is to investigate developments in migration and population trends in the United Arab Emirates since the 1960s, including trends that concern the duration of migrants’ stay. Furthermore, we also identify some of the major strategies used by migrants to prolong their sojourn in the UAE. It is maintained that the migrant stock has increased continuously in the last decades and that a large number of migrants devise strategies to further their residence and remain in the country for years. We also identify and discuss migrants’ transition within and in-between regularity and irregularity throughout the course of their stay in the UAE, and we analyze the reasons for utilizing different strategies over time.

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Why is it important?

First article to address the difficulty of expatriates working and prolonging their residence in the country within the regular immigration system has also led to the use of alternative strategies.


This long-term temporariness of residency produces unpredictability and insecurity for the migrants. However, given conditions in their home countries, they still prefer to continue to hold the status of temporary residents to going back to their home countries.

Dr. Mouawiya Al Awad
Zayed University

Read the Original

This page is a summary of: Temporary Labour–Migration System and Long–term Residence Strategies in the United Arab Emirates, International Migration, February 2019, Wiley,
DOI: 10.1111/imig.12551.
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