About UAE



The United Arab Emirates is a federation of seven emirates (Abu Dhabi, Dubai, Sharjah, Ajman, Umm al-Quwain, Ra’s al-Khaimah and Fujairah) that was formed in 1971.

  • Country name: United Arab Emirates (UAE) or Dawlat al Imarat al Arabiyya al Muttahidah
  • Capital: Abu Dhabi
  • National Day: 2 December
  • Time: four hours ahead of GMT
  • Currency: Emirati dirham (Dh or AED)
  • Exchange rate: Dh3.67 per US dollar. The UAE dirham has been officially pegged to the US  dollar since February 2002.
  • Flag: three equal horizontal bands of green (top), white, and black with a wider vertical red band on the hoist side


Situated towards the south-east of the Arabian Peninsula, the UAE is a roughly triangular landmass whose coastlines form the south and south-eastern shores of the Arabian Gulf and part of the western shores of the Gulf of Oman. The UAE thus occupies a strategic location along southern approaches to the Straits of Hormuz. The UAE also has land borders with Oman and Saudi Arabia.

  • Latitude/Longitude: From 26.08° to 22.5°N; 55.5° to 58.37°E
  • Area:  approximately 82,880 square kilometers. Abu Dhabi accounts for 87 per Cent of the country’s total landmass.
  • Coastline: prior to construction of the ‘Dubai Palms’ and other schemes, the coastline of the UAE was approximately 1318 kilometers. Land reclamation projects are extending this figure so that the new coastline length is yet to be defined.
  • Climate: the UAE enjoys a desert climate, warm and sunny in winter, hot and humid during the summer months. Average rainfall is 100mm annually although it varies considerably across the country, with higher rainfall in the eastern mountains, where it is also generally cooler.
  • Topography: a low-lying coastal plain merges into the rolling sand dunes of the Rub  al-Khali desert with rugged mountains along the UAE’s eastern border with Oman and in the north.
  • Elevation extremes: the country’s lowest point is at sea level and its highest point is 1527 metres at Jebal Yibir.
  • Natural resources: the UAE’s most important natural resources are oil and natural gas, more than 90 per cent of which are located in Abu Dhabi.


The UAE enjoys a high degree of political stability and is the only state in the Arab world to have a working federal system that has stood the test of time.

  • Political system: a federation with specific areas of authority constitutionally assigned to  the UAE Federal Government and other powers reserved for member  emirates.
  • Constitution: adopted provisionally on 2 December 1971, made permanent in 1996.
  • The Federal Supreme Council (FSC): the FSC, the highest constitutional authority in the UAE, has both legislative and executive powers and is made up of the rulers  of the seven emirates
  • President: HH Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Ruler of Abu Dhabi
  • Vice President & Prime Minister: HH Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Ruler of  Dubai
  • Deputy Prime Minister:  HH Sheikh Saif bin Zayed Al Nahyan
  • Deputy Prime Minister:  HH Sheikh Mansour bin Zayed Al Nahyan

The President and Vice President are elected by the Federal Supreme Council for five-year terms, while the Prime Minister and Deputy Prime Minister are appointed by the President.

Cabinet: Council of Ministers nominated by Prime Minister, appointed by the President

Federal National Council (FNC): the FNC has both a legislative and supervisory role. Its 40 members are drawn from each emirate, half of whom are indirectly elected. 18% of FNC members are women (2011 election).

Federal judiciary: independent judiciary with the Federal Supreme Court at its apex (judges  are appointed by the Federal Supreme Council) and also includes Courts of  First Instance.

Legal system: in addition to the federal court system introduced in 1971, all emirates have  secular courts to adjudicate criminal, civil, and commercial matters, and Islamic courts to review family and religious disputes.

Administrative divisions:  each of the seven emirates has its own government with respective  municipalities and departments.

Foreign policy: the UAE’s foreign policy is derived from a set of guiding principles, amongst which are a deep belief in the need for justice in international dealings  between states, including the necessity of adhering to the principle of non- interference in the internal affairs of others and the pursuit, whenever possible,  of peaceful resolution of disputes, together with a support for international  institutions, such as the United Nations.

Emiratis are a tolerant, forward-looking people with a strong sense of tradition.

They enjoy a high standard of living, including well-developed education and health services. Efforts are being made to develop human resources, elect the empowerment of women and provide social welfare to the more vulnerable in society.

  • Population: 4.488 (2007); 4.76 million (est. 2008); 5.06 million (est. 2009)
  • Nationals: 864,000 (est. 2007)
  • Non-nationals: 3.62 million (est. 2007)
  • Males : 3.08 million (est. 2007)
  • Females: 1.4 million (est. 2007)
  • Population under 15 years: 862,991 (est. 2007)
    Annual population growth rate: 6.31% (est. 2008–2009)
  • National population growth rate: 3.4% (est. 2008–2009)
  • Most populated emirate: Abu Dhabi with 1.493 million people (est. 2007)
  • Least populated emirate: Umm al-Qaiwain with 52,000 inhabitants
  • Language: Arabic
  • Religion: Islam; practice of all religious beliefs is allowed.
  • Life expectancy at birth: 78.5 years
  • Under-five mortality rate: approx. 8 per 1000 live births
  • New-born (neonate) mortality: 5.54 per 1000
  • Infant mortality rate: 7.7 per 1000
  • Maternal mortality rate: 0.01 for every 100,000
    GDP per capita: Dh162,000 (2007)
  • Percentage of women students at the UAE University: 75%
  • Percentage of UAE women in labour force: approx. 30%
  • School enrollment: 648,000 students in 1259 public and private schools (2007/08), of which over half are female
  • Illiteracy rate: 7%


The UAE has a vibrant free economy with a significant annual trade surplus. Successful efforts have been made to diversify away from dependence on oil and gas exports and a solid industrial base has been created together with a very strong services sector. The establishment of free zones has been an important feature of this diversi  cation policy and reform of property laws has given a major boost to real estate and tourism sectors.

  • Fiscal year: 1 January to 31 December
  • GDP: Dh729.73 billion (2007, current prices)
  • Real GDP growth rate: 5.2% (2007)
    Non-oil sector contribution to nominal GDP: 64.1% (2007)
  • Industries: oil & gas, petrochemicals, aluminum, cement, ceramics, ship repair, pharmaceuticals, tourism, transport, real estate, financial services
  • Oil exports: 2.2 million barrels of crude oil per day, world’s third largest exporter of crude oil
  • Oil reserves: 97.8 billion barrels, sixth largest in the world, of which Abu Dhabi holds 92.2 billion barrels or 94%
  • Natural gas reserves: 6 trillion cubic meters, fifth largest in the world
  • Total exports FOB: Dh664.34 billion (est. 2007)
  • Free-zone exports: Dh83.7 billion (est. 2007)
  • Re-exports: Dh228.7 billion (est. 2007)
  • Total Imports (FOB): Dh428.19 billion (2007)
  • Value of oil exports: Dh261.42 billion
  • Value of gas exports: Dh28.5 billion
  • Weekend: Friday and Saturday for government institutions, many private companies operate a six-day week