I'm gobsmacked.Very well said! Before that it used to be Amitabh, Rajesh Khana, Shatrugan Sinha, Amjad Khan, Prem Chopra etc.
The UAE has been a cross road of trade for ages, with the sub continent being its biggest trade partners. Most of my fathers generation studied in the Sub continent, since we were a British colony upto 1971, hence no universities.
His generation, the educated ones, can speak fluently, while mine can, to a very great extent, and those who can't speak, understand it at least. The cinema, has played its part in it as well.
If I'm not mistaken, we have about +/- 4.3m from the Subcontinent, out of a total population of 9.5m/10m.
I've been dealing with the UAE for years - well, not as much as Kuwait, perhaps - and never suspected this. Other than the shock of meeting our sponsor in Dubai, and finding a polished gentleman who spoke a very pukka British English, and told me stories of his personal encounters with Nehru over tea, served in exquisite china, with paper-thin cucumber sandwiches, a delicious caraway-seed tea cake, and little cupcakes, with another zillion little snacks. Impressed by all these, I tried to make a good impression on him and told him how much I liked the mezzeh they served me in Egypt, and he leant back in his wickerwork chair, smiled indulgently and exclaimed, "Ah! So you like our Arab hor d'ouvres! Splendid, young man. I must have you over for dinner next time you pop across on a visit."
But that so many spoke Urdu I had no idea.