United Arab Emirates Travel Information

Mother Earth Travel > Country Index > UAE > Map Economy History

Natural UAE Animals, plants and geology of the United Arab Emirates.

Facts About the United Arab Emirates

Background: The Trucial States of the Persian Gulf coast granted the UK control of their defense and foreign affairs in 19th century treaties. In 1971, six of these states - Abu Zaby, 'Ajman, Al Fujayrah, Ash Shariqah, Dubayy, and Umm al Qaywayn - merged to form the UAE. They were joined in 1972 by Ra's al Khaymah. The UAE's per capita GDP is not far below those of the leading West European nations. Its generosity with oil revenues and its moderate foreign policy stance have allowed it to play a vital role in the affairs of the region.
Government type: federation with specified powers delegated to the UAE federal government and other powers reserved to member emirates
Capital: Abu Dhabi
Currency: 1 Emirati dirham (AED) = 100 fils

Geography of the United Arab Emirates

Location: Middle East, bordering the Gulf of Oman and the Persian Gulf, between Oman and Saudi Arabia
Geographic coordinates: 24 00 N, 54 00 E
total: 82,880 sq km
land: 82,880 sq km
water: 0 sq km
Land boundaries:
total: 867 km
border countries: Oman 410 km, Saudi Arabia 457 km
Coastline: 1,318 km
Maritime claims:
contiguous zone: 24 nm
continental shelf: 200 nm or to the edge of the continental margin
exclusive economic zone: 200 nm
territorial sea: 12 nm
Climate: desert; cooler in eastern mountains
Terrain: flat, barren coastal plain merging into rolling sand dunes of vast desert wasteland; mountains in east
Elevation extremes:
lowest point: Persian Gulf 0 m
highest point: Jabal Yibir 1,527 m
Natural resources: petroleum, natural gas
Land use:
arable land: 0%
permanent crops: 0%
permanent pastures: 2%
forests and woodland: 0%
other: 98% (1993 est.)
Irrigated land: 50 sq km (1993 est.)
Natural hazards: frequent sand and dust storms
Environment - current issues: lack of natural freshwater resources being overcome by desalination plants; desertification; beach pollution from oil spills
Environment - international agreements:
party to: Biodiversity, Climate Change, Desertification, Endangered Species, Hazardous Wastes, Marine Dumping, Ozone Layer Protection
signed, but not ratified: Law of the Sea
Geography - note: strategic location along southern approaches to Strait of Hormuz, a vital transit point for world crude oil

People of the United Arab Emirates

Only 27% of the total population of 2.4 million are UAE citizens. The rest include significant numbers of other Arabs--Palestinians, Egyptians, Jordanians, Yemenis, Omanis--as well as many Iranians, Pakistanis, Indians, Filipinos, and west Europeans.

The majority of UAE citizens are Sunni Muslims with a small Shi'a minority. Most foreigners also are Muslim, although Hindus and Christians make up a portion of the UAE's foreign population.

Educational standards among UAE citizens population are rising rapidly. Citizens and temporary residents have taken advantage of facilities throughout the country. The UAE University in Al Ain had roughly 16,000 students in 2000. A network of technical-vocational colleges opened in 1989.

Population: 2,563,212 (July 2005 est.)
Age structure:
0-14 years: 30% 
15-64 years: 68%
65 years and over: 2% 
Population growth rate: 1.61% 
Birth rate: 18 births/1,000 population 
Death rate: 3.68 deaths/1,000 population 
Net migration rate: 1.82 migrant(s)/1,000 population 
Infant mortality rate: 17.17 deaths/1,000 live births 
Life expectancy at birth:
total population: 74.06 years
male: 71.64 years
female: 76.61 years 
Total fertility rate: 3.29 children born/woman 
noun: Emirian(s)
adjective: Emirian
Ethnic groups: Emiri 19%, other Arab and Iranian 23%, South Asian 50%, other expatriates (includes Westerners and East Asians) 8% (1982)
note: less than 20% are UAE citizens (1982)
Religions: Muslim 96% (Shi'a 16%), Christian, Hindu, and other 4%
Languages: Arabic (official), Persian, English, Hindi, Urdu
definition: age 15 and over can read and write
total population: 79.2%
male: 78.9%
female: 79.8% (1995 est.)

SOURCES: The World Factbook, U.S. Department of State

Mother Earth Travel > Country Index > United Arab Emirates > Map Economy History