British Arabs

British Arabs

ethnic group
group=British Arabs
"العرب البريطانية"

caption =Notable Arab Britons (From left to right):
Mika and Karima Adebibe
poptime= 1,030,000+
(1.70% of the UK population)
popplace= London, Birmingham, Manchester, Sheffield, Glasgow, Cardiff, Newcastle upon Tyne, Leeds, Derby
langs = British English, Arabic
rels = Islam, Christianity, Judaism
related-c = 'Other Ethnic Group' (UK Census), Arabs

British Arabs are people in the United Kingdom who were born in or have ancestry from the Arab world. In the 2001 UK Census, Arabs could identify themseleves under the codes 83 - Middle Eastern or 34 - Arab.

Most Arabs live in the Greater London area, and many are either businesspeople, recent immigrants or students.


The first Arabs to settle in Britain in sizeable numbers were Yemeni seafarers, reflecting the close political and economic ties that the British had developed with the Yemeni port of Aden in the 19th century. These migrants, who formed communities in several British port cities, were mostly men. Following the Second World War, more Yemenis arrived in Britain to work in the steel mills and factories in cities like Sheffield, and many of these were joined by families. The well-established Yemeni origin communities of Sheffield, Cardiff, Birmingham, and Liverpool, continue to be an important component of the Arab British population, growing in recent decades due to family reunification and to some refugee settlement following political crisis inYemen in the 1990s. While still numerically significant, the Yemeni communities in Britain’s former industrial centres have been eclipsed by the diverse Arab community that has emerged mainly in London since the 1960s.cite web |url= |title=About British Arabs |accessdate=2008-02-29 |]

Between 1997 and 2005, over 63,560 people from Arab countries, mainly Iraq and Algeria, with smaller numbers from Sudan, Libya, Syria, and Yemen, claimed asylum in Britain. In 2002, on the eve of the US/UK invasion of Iraq, Iraqis alone represented 17 percent of total asylum applications in the UK.These migrants have come as a result, on the one hand, of political turmoil and economic stagnation in the Arab world, and on the other hand, of opportunities for higher education and professional advancement in Britain, especially in medicine, engineering, technology, and business.The main source countries, in descending order, are Iraq, Morocco, Lebanon, Algeria, Yemen and Syria. A recent survey showed data by country of birth, showing immigrants from the several of the main source countries—Iraq, Lebanon, and Syria—as professional academics in London. Results confirm 47 percent of Iraqis, 42.5 percent of Lebanese, and 43 percent of Syrians.

Immigration data provide additional insights into Arab British communities by revealing the dynamics of population movements between the Arab world and Britain. Over the past decade, inflows from the Middle East to the UK generally have outweighed outflows from the UK to the Middle East. Between 1995 and 2004, net migration from the Middle East to the UK, based on place of last and next residence, has ranged from +3,300 to +20,500 per year, with the high point of migration taking place between 2001 and 2002.


One of the largest segments of the overall migrant population in Britain comprises students, with about 131,000 people coming to Britain in 2004 alone for formal study. This is about 7 percent of all foreign students in Britain’s higher education system. The data report commissioned by the Greater London Authority shows a disproportionately high representation of students among some Arab immigrant groups in London. While 9.5 percent of Londoners over the age of 16 are students, 32 percent of Kuwaitis, 40 percent of Omanis, and 50 percent of Saudis in London.



Notable Iraqi BritonsSee: List of Iraqi Britons



Notable Sudanese Britons
*Alexander Siddig, Actor


Yemeni Britons are British citizens of Yemeni descent. There are an estimated 60,000 Yemenis in the United Kingdom, with the largest community living in Sheffield. Other communities exist in Cardiff, Birmingham, South Shields and London.A large number of Yemenis came to the UK to work in its major port cities in the early twentieth century. The community then began to move to inland cities such as Sheffield and Birmingham

Notable Yemeni Britons
*Naseem Hamed, Boxer
*Norman Hassan, Singer UB40
*Khalid Yafai, Boxer

References and notes

=External Links (in English unless otherwise indicated)=

*en fr [ UK Moroccans forum]
* [ Tunisian Expat forum]
* [ National Association of British Arabs]
* [ British Arabs Resource Centre]
* [ Sharq - the UK's first and only English language Arab lifestyle magazine]
* [ BBC Arab London]
* [ UK Algerian forum]
* [ Maroush - the most famous collection of Lebanese restaurants in the UK]
* [ British Lebanese Association]
* [ Moroccan Stars]
* []
* []
* []
* []
* []
* [ Reassessing what we collect website – Arab London] History of Arab London with objects and images

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