Expatriate children are being counted as a way to gauge the strength of the real estate market in Dubai, it has emerged.
Citigroup has published a report which predicts the growth of the expat population in the emirate through the patterns of children enrolling into schools.
This data can then be used to understand the economic wellbeing of the population, which helps to show how the property sector is performing.
Farouk Soussa, Middle East economist for Citigroup, said: "In an economy where 96 per cent of the workforce is made up of expatriates whose right to reside in the emirate is linked to their ongoing employment, the feedback between growth and demographics is particularly acute."
Banks in the West are not party to much of the information from the Dubai Statistics Centre, which means that they rely on other methods to find out information about the demographic.
This latest way of assessing the property market is an example of such an innovative approach.