Palestinian Arab in United Arab Emirates

Main Language
Largest Religion
Progress Gauge

Introduction / History

The majority of people living in the Persian Gulf nation of the United Arab Emirates are not from the UAE. The income of UAE citizens is one of the highest in the world. The leaders of the UAE have used their oil and natural gas earnings to diversify their economy. Workers from all over the world come to the UAE looking for employment. Palestinian Arabs make up one of these groups of foreign workers. The Palestinians usually work in jobs that the UAE citizens find beneath them. Only about half of the total population of Palestinian Arabs live in Palestine. Palestinian Arabs are a subset of the larger Levant Arab peoples.
Islam came to Jerusalem and Palestine soon after the death of Mohammed. The Palestinian population at that time was mainly Jewish and Eastern Orthodox Christians. Over the centuries more and more people converted to Islam and more and more Muslims moved into the area. In the first Arab-Israeli War of 1947-1948, thousands of Palestinian Arabs fled their homes in the area now known are Israel. Atrocities were committed by both sides in the war. Since that time, Arabs who departed Israel have not been allowed to return to their homeland. During the 1967 Arab-Israeli War, thousands more left east Jerusalem, Gaza and the West Bank. Some of these Palestinians now live in the UAE. Many of them send money they earn to their families in Gaza, the West Bank, Egypt, Syria, and Lebanon. Regardless of one's Middle Eastern political views, many Palestinians live tragic lives of poverty and neglect. The billions of dollars donated by the United Nations and the West for the needs of common Palestinians often ends up in the bank accounts of Palestinian leaders or is used to buy weapons.

What Are Their Lives Like?

Since many of the Palestinians living in the UAE are educated, they are able to take middle and lower management jobs in the oil, tourist and manufacturing industries. These middle-class Palestinians can read and write Arabic plus speak English and some French. These men can sometimes make enough money to bring their families to the UAE if they can gain the government's permission. If the men's families do come, they are able to purchase a small home or afford a decent apartment. Uneducated Palestinians must take any job they can find. These low positions include digging ditches, cleaning streets and sewers and taking care of animals. These lower-level workers are not allowed to bring their families to the UAE and may be in the country illegally. They send their earnings home and often live in squalid conditions with a dozen or more living in one apartment.

What Are Their Beliefs?

The large majority of Palestinians are Muslims, mostly Sunni. A small group are Christians. Many of these Christians have departed Palestine, preferring to live in areas where Christians are not persecuted. Sunnis believe that by following the Five Pillars of Islam that they will attain heaven when they die. However, Allah, the supreme God of the universe, determines who enters paradise. Sunnis pray five times a day facing Mecca. They fast the month of Ramadan. They attend mosque services on Friday. If a Muslim has the means, he or she will make a pilgrimage to Mecca once in his or her lifetime. Muslims are also prohibited from drinking alcohol, eating pork, gambling, stealing, using deceit, slandering, and making idols.
The two main holidays for Sunni Muslims are Eid al Fitr, the breaking of the monthly fast and Eid al Adha, the celebration of Abraham's willingness to sacrifice his son to Allah.

What Are Their Needs?

The Palestinians living in the UAE may not ever have heard a clear presentation of the gospel. Isa or Jesus is much more than the human prophet that he is deemed to be in Islam. The Palestinians working in lower-level jobs in the UAE would benefit by medical teams of Christians coming to help them and show them the love of Christ.

Prayer Points

Ask the Lord to raise up a Disciple Making Movement among the UAE Palestinians.
Pray the Holy Spirit produces a hunger for spiritual things among Palestinians in the UAE.  Pray that Palestinians would tune into Christian TV and radio programs.
Pray that Palestinian parents would be able to provide adequately for their children.

Scripture Prayers for the Arab, Palestinian in United Arab Emirates.

Profile Source:   Joshua Project  

People Name General Arab, Palestinian
People Name in Country Arab, Palestinian
Natural Name Palestinian Arab
Pronunciation pail-uh-STIN-ee-un AE-rub
Alternate Names Arabic, Palestinian-Jordanian; Gazan Arab; Israeli Arab Muslim; Lebanese Arab; Levantine Arabs; Palestinian Arab; Syro-Lebanese Arab
Population this Country 98,000
Population all Countries 11,593,000
Total Countries 26
Indigenous No
Progress Scale 1
Unreached Yes
Frontier People Group No
GSEC 1  (per
Pioneer Workers Needed 2
People ID 14276
ROP3 Code 107785
ROP25 Code 300415
ROP25 Name Arab, Palestinian
Primary Religion: Islam
Major Religion Percent
0.00 %
Christianity  (Evangelical 0.50 %)
4.00 %
Ethnic Religions
8.00 %
0.00 %
86.00 %
0.00 %
Other / Small
2.00 %
0.00 %
Primary Language Arabic, Levantine (98,000 speakers)
Language Code apc   Ethnologue Listing
Language Written Yes   ScriptSource Listing
Total Languages 1
Primary Language Arabic, Levantine (98,000 speakers)
Language Code apc   Ethnologue Listing
Total Languages 1
People Groups Speaking Arabic, Levantine
Photo Source Levi Meir Clancy - Wikimedia  Creative Commons 
Map Source Bethany World Prayer Center  
Profile Source Joshua Project 
Data Sources Data is compiled from various sources. Learn more.

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