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  Flag of Unitedarabemirates  Information on the United Arab Emirates
 
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UNITED ARAB EMIRATES
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Map of U.Arab Emirates
 

 
Geography

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

Map references: Middle East

Area:
total: 82,880 sq km
land: 82,880 sq km
water: 0 sq km

Area—comparative: slightly smaller than Maine

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: Climate Change, Endangered Species, Hazardous Wastes, Marine Dumping, Ozone Layer Protection
signed, but not ratified: Biodiversity, Law of the Sea

Geography—note: strategic location along southern approaches to Strait of Hormuz, a vital transit point for world crude oil

 
People

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Population: 2,303,088 (July 1998 est.)
note: includes 1,561,840 non-nationals (July 1998 est.)

Age structure:
0-14 years: 32% (male 372,413; female 356,834)
15-64 years: 66% (male 995,798; female 535,014)
65 years and over: 2% (male 29,169; female 13,860) (July 1998 est.)

Population growth rate: 1.78% (1998 est.)

Birth rate: 18.61 births/1,000 population (1998 est.)

Death rate: 3.06 deaths/1,000 population (1998 est.)

Net migration rate: 2.25 migrant(s)/1,000 population (1998 est.)

Sex ratio:
at birth: 1.05 male(s)/female
under 15 years: 1.04 male(s)/female
15-64 years: 1.86 male(s)/female
65 years and over: 2.1 male(s)/female (1998 est.)

Infant mortality rate: 14.77 deaths/1,000 live births (1998 est.)

Life expectancy at birth:
total population: 74.93 years
male: 73.5 years
female: 76.44 years (1998 est.)

Total fertility rate: 3.56 children born/woman (1998 est.)

Nationality:
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

Literacy:
definition: age 15 and over can read and write but definition of literacy not available
total population: 79.2%
male: 78.9%
female: 79.8% (1995 est.)

 
Government

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Country name:
conventional long form: United Arab Emirates
conventional short form: none
local long form: Al Imarat al Arabiyah al Muttahidah
local short form: none
former: Trucial States
abbreviation: UAE

Data code: TC

Government type: federation with specified powers delegated to the UAE federal government and other powers reserved to member emirates

National capital: Abu Dhabi

Administrative divisions: 7 emirates (imarat, singular—imarah); Abu Zaby (Abu Dhabi), 'Ajman, Al Fujayrah, Ash Shariqah (Sharjah), Dubayy (Dubai), Ra's al Khaymah, Umm al Qaywayn

Independence: 2 December 1971 (from UK)

National holiday: National Day, 2 December (1971)

Constitution: 2 December 1971 (made permanent in 1996)

Legal system: federal court system introduced in 1971; all emirates except Dubayy (Dubai) and Ra's al Khaymah have joined the federal system; all emirates have secular and Islamic law for civil, criminal, and high courts

Suffrage: none

Executive branch:
chief of state: President ZAYID bin Sultan Al Nuhayyan (since 2 December 1971), ruler of Abu Zaby (Abu Dhabi) (since 6 August 1966) and Vice President MAKTUM bin Rashid al-Maktum (since 8 October 1990), ruler of Dubayy (Dubai)
head of government: Prime Minister MAKTUM bin Rashid al-Maktum (since 8 October 1990), ruler of Dubayy (Dubai); Deputy Prime Minister SULTAN bin Zayid Al Nuhayyan (since 20 November 1990)
cabinet: Council of Ministers appointed by the president
note: there is also a Federal Supreme Council (FSC) which is composed of the seven emirate rulers; the council is the highest constitutional authority in the UAE; establishes general policies and sanctions federal legislation, Abu Zaby (Abu Dhabi) and Dubayy (Dubai) rulers have effective veto power; meets four times a year
elections: president and vice president elected by the FSC (a group of seven electors) for five-year terms; election last held NA October 1996 (next to be held NA 2001); prime minister and deputy prime minister appointed by the president
election results: ZAYID bin Sultan Al Nuhayyan reelected president; percent of FSC vote - NA, but believed to be unanimous; MAKTUM bin Rashid al-Maktum elected vice president; percent of FSC vote—NA, but believed to be unanimous

Legislative branch: unicameral Federal National Council or Majlis al-Ittihad al-Watani (40 seats; members appointed by the rulers of the constituent states to serve two-year terms)
elections: none
note: reviews legislation, but cannot change or veto

Judicial branch: Union Supreme Court, judges appointed by the president

Political parties and leaders: none

Political pressure groups and leaders: NA

International organization participation: ABEDA, AfDB, AFESD, AL, AMF, CAEU, CCC, ESCWA, FAO, G-77, GCC, IAEA, IBRD, ICAO, ICRM, IDA, IDB, IFAD, IFC, IFRCS, IHO, ILO, IMF, IMO, Inmarsat, Intelsat, Interpol, IOC, ISO (correspondent), ITU, NAM, OAPEC, OIC, OPEC, UN, UNCTAD, UNESCO, UNIDO, UPU, WHO, WIPO, WMO, WToO, WTrO

Diplomatic representation in the US:
chief of mission: Ambassador Muhammad bin Husayn al-SHAALI
chancery: Suite 700, 1255 22nd Street NW, Washington, DC 20037
telephone: [1] (202) 955-7999

Diplomatic representation from the US:
chief of mission: Ambassador David C. LITT
embassy: Al-Sudan Street, Abu Dhabi
mailing address: P. O. Box 4009, Abu Dhabi; American Embassy Abu Dhabi, Department of State, Washington, DC 20521-6010 (pouch); note—work week is Saturday through Wednesday
telephone: [971] (2) 436691, 436692
FAX: [971] (2) 434771
consulate(s) general: Dubai

Flag description: three equal horizontal bands of green (top), white, and black with a thicker vertical red band on the hoist side

 
Economy

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Economy—overview: The UAE has an open economy with one of the world's highest per capita incomes and with a sizable annual trade surplus. Its wealth is based on oil and gas output (about 33% of GDP), and the fortunes of the economy fluctuate with the prices of those commodities. Since 1973, the UAE has undergone a profound transformation from an impoverished region of small desert principalities to a modern state with a high standard of living. At present levels of production, oil and gas reserves should last for over 100 years. The UAE Government is encouraging increased privatization within the economy, and industrial development is expected to pick up in 1997-98.

GDP: purchasing power parity—$54.2 billion (1997 est.)

GDP—real growth rate: 5% (1997 est.)

GDP—per capita: purchasing power parity—$24,000 (1997 est.)

GDP—composition by sector:
agriculture: 3%
industry: 55%
services: 42% (1996 est.)

Inflation rate—consumer price index: 3.6% (1997 est.)

Labor force:
total: 1.05 million (1996 est.)
by occupation: services 65%, industry and commerce 30%, agriculture 5% (1996 est.)
note: 75% of the population in the 15-64 age group is non-national (July 1998 est.)

Unemployment rate: NA%

Budget:
revenues: $5.1 billion
expenditures: $5.4 billion, including capital expenditures of $294 million (1997 est.)

Industries: petroleum, fishing, petrochemicals, construction materials, some boat building, handicrafts, pearling

Industrial production growth rate: 6.1% (1995 est.)

Electricity—capacity: 5.29 million kW (1995)

Electricity—production: 18 billion kWh (1995)

Electricity—consumption per capita: 6,155 kWh (1995)

Agriculture—products: dates, vegetables, watermelons; poultry, eggs, dairy products; fish

Exports:
total value: $33.2 billion (f.o.b., 1996 est.)
commodities: crude oil 66%, natural gas, reexports, dried fish, dates
partners: Japan 38%, South Korea 7%, Singapore 7%, India 6%, Oman 4%, Iran 3% (1996)

Imports:
total value: $23.5 billion (f.o.b., 1996 est.)
commodities: manufactured goods, machinery and transport equipment, chemicals, food
partners: US 10%, Japan 9%, UK 8%, Italy 6%, South Korea 6%, India 6% (1996)

Debt—external: $14 billion (1996 est.)

Economic aid: $NA

Currency: 1 Emirian dirham (Dh) = 100 fils

Exchange rates: Emirian dirhams (Dh) per US$1—3.6710 (fixed rate)

Fiscal year: calendar year

 
Communications

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Telephones: 677,793 (1993 est.)

Telephone system: modern system consisting of microwave radio relay and coaxial cable; key centers are Abu Dhabi and Dubai
domestic: microwave radio relay and coaxial cable
international: satellite earth stations—3 Intelsat (1 Atlantic Ocean and 2 Indian Ocean) and 1 Arabsat; submarine cables to Qatar, Bahrain, India, and Pakistan; tropospheric scatter to Bahrain; microwave radio relay to Saudi Arabia

Radio broadcast stations: AM 8, FM 3, shortwave 0

Radios: 545,000 (1992 est.)

Television broadcast stations: 12

Televisions: 170,000 (1993 est.)

 
Transportation

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Railways: 0 km

Highways:
total: 4,835 km
paved: 4,835 km
unpaved: 0 km (1996 est.)

Pipelines: crude oil 830 km; natural gas, including natural gas liquids, 870 km

Ports and harbors: 'Ajman, Al Fujayrah, Das Island, Khawr Fakkan, Mina' Jabal 'Ali, Mina' Khalid, Mina' Rashid, Mina' Saqr, Mina' Zayid, Umm al Qaywayn

Merchant marine:
total: 67 ships (1,000 GRT or over) totaling 945,320 GRT/1,592,164 DWT
ships by type: bulk 3, cargo 18, chemical tanker 3, container 7, liquefied gas tanker 1, livestock carrier 1, oil tanker 27, refrigerated cargo 1, roll-on/roll-off cargo 6 (1997 est.)

Airports: 40 (1997 est.)

Airports—with paved runways:
total: 22
over 3,047 m: 9
2,438 to 3,047 m: 3
1,524 to 2,437 m: 3
914 to 1,523 m: 3
under 914 m: 4 (1997 est.)

Airports—with unpaved runways:
total: 18
2,438 to 3,047 m: 1
1,524 to 2,437 m: 4
914 to 1,523 m: 8
under 914 m: 5 (1997 est.)

Heliports: 2 (1997 est.)

 

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