Historical Background on the Development of Statistics in UAE
As is well-known, the journey of statistical work in the UAE started in the late 1960s; specifically, in 1968 when the first population census of Abu Dhabi was conducted. It was the first statistical project to be done based on an organized scientific approach that covered numerous demographic and social characteristics of the Emirate, including population distribution by gender, age, nationality, educational level, marital status and their relationship with the labor force, in addition to several other characteristics.
With the birth of the Union on 2nd December 1971, the late Sheikh Zayed bin Sultan Al Nahyan, may God grant his soul peace, issued a federal decree on the establishment of the UAE’s Cabinet. H.E. late Mohammed Saeed Al Kindi was appointed as the Minister of Planning at the time and in line with the provision of the UAE constitution, the Ministry of Planning became entrusted with the supervision of statistical activities in the UAE.
Fast forward to 2009, the National Bureau of Statistics was established to build a modern national statistical system, the NBS endeavored to harness all its capacities and capabilities to serve this goal. The NBS implemented various initiatives and activities to build databases acquired from data extracted from administrative records and field surveys. Furthermore, the NBS had been very keen to maintain close relationships with its strategic partners, including data producers, such as national statistical centers, government service entities and data users in different local, regional and international authorities. The NBS continued to produce data of all kinds and publish periodicals until the promulgation of the law to establish the Federal Competitiveness and Statistics Authority on 13thSeptember 2015.
The decision was taken to establish the Federal Competitiveness and Statistics Authority (FCSA) to further boost the statistical work journey, to provide the UAE with a competitiveness edge globally and to develop partnerships with all the institutions and segments of society. Within the brief period since the time of its establishment, the FCSA has developed databases, set up a plan for electronic connectivity with countless data sources, continued to issue specialized monthly and periodical statistical manuals and bulletins of all types, and carried out further wide-ranging and specialized statistical projects, including statistics on indices of happiness and positivity as well as youth welfare and development. Additionally, it took upon itself the obligation of qualifying national staff to embrace the responsibility of maintaining statistical work in all its stages and specializations.