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United Arab Emirates

Sharjah city skyline, United Arab Emirates
Sharjah city skyline; it is the third-most populous city in the United Arab Emirates, part of the Dubai-Sharjah-Ajman metropolitan area.
Image: Mueed Ahmed

Where in the world are the United Arab Emirates? Location map of the United Arab Emirates.
Location map of the United Arab Emirates
Flag of the United Arab Emirates
Flag of United Arab Emirates

United Arab Emirates in brief

Destination United Arab Emirates, a Nations Online country profile of the independent state on the Arabian Peninsula bordering the Persian Gulf (Arab Gulf) and the Gulf of Oman.

The United Arab Emirates, sometimes simply called the Emirates or UAE, is a federation of seven emirates (states): Abu Dhabi, Dubai, Sharjah, Ras Al Khaimah, Ajman, Umm Al Quwain, and Fujairah.

The country's landscape consists mostly of gravel plains and sand dunes desert; its main cities and urban centers are located mainly along its coasts.

Border countries are Oman and Saudi Arabia; the UAE shares maritime borders with Iran and Qatar. There is a disputed region in the west of the Emirate of Abu Dhabi; therefore, it is unclear if the UAE actually has a land border with Qatar. [1]

The country covers an area of 83,600 km², compared it is about the size of Austria, or slightly smaller than the US State of Maine.

The UAE has a population of about 9.9 million people, including foreigners (in 2020). The male population of the country is twice as large as the female population.

The capital city is Abu Dhabi, the country's largest city is Dubai, a metropolis of a strange shisha dream, a playground for international architects. The city is a mirage in the desert with huge shopping malls and extravagant entertainment attractions, including the world's highest skyscraper (Burj Khalifa), and palm-shaped artificial islands. Spoken languages are Arabic (official), Persian, English, Hindi, and Urdu.

What are the United Arab Emirates famous for?
The United Arab Emirates is known for the tallest human-made structure, the Burj Khalifa, and the Burj Al Arab, one of the tallest hotel building in the world. The UAE is famous for several artificial islands like the Palm Jumeirah island, the World, and The Universe archipelagos. The contemporary art museums of the Louvre of Abu Dhabi and the planned Guggenheim Abu Dhabi. The UAE is known for its Grand Mosques, The Dubai Mall, oil, a lot of sand, oil, oases, date palms, sand, dune bashing, falconry, pearl hunting, robot jockey camel racing, and the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix. The country's staple food is Shawarma (UAE Doner kebab), meat, fish, and rice, and the rare stuffed camel dish. The emirates are also famous for all the fantastic things you can buy or build with petro-dollars.

United Arab Emirates | الإمارات العربية المتحدة

In 1971 the former Trucial States of the Persian Gulf coast, Abu Zaby (Abu Dhabi), 'Ajman (Ajman), Al Fujayrah (Fujairah), Ash Shariqah (Sharjah), Dubayy (Dubai), and Umm al Qaywayn (Umm al-Qaiwain) merged to form the United Arab Emirates, joined by the Ra's al Khaymah (Ras al-Khaimah) emirate in 1972.
The UAE is the third-largest oil producer in the Gulf after Saudi Arabia and Iran.
The United Arab Emirates is a member state of the League of Arab States.


Country Profile

Official Name:
Dawlat Al Amarat al Arabiyah al Muttahidah
int'l long form: United Arab Emirates
abbreviation: UAE
former: Trucial Oman, Trucial States.

ISO Country Code: ae, ARE
Actual Time: Mon-Apr-15  11:46
Local Time = UTC +4h

Country Calling Code: +971

Capital City: Abu Dhabi (pop. 928,000) more

Official Sites of United Arab Emirates

Qasr al Watan building, the presidential palace in Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates
Qasr al Watan building, the presidential palace in Abu Dhabi.
Image: Dario Ciraulo

Political System of the United Arab Emirates
The United Arab Emirates is a Federation of seven autonomous Emirates. The country is governed as an absolute Islamic (Sunni) monarchy. Head of state is the President, officially elected every five years by the Federal Supreme Council, but because the ruler of Abu Dhabi customarily also holds the presidency of the UAE, the office is de facto hereditary. The head of government is the Vice President and Prime Minister. The Federal Supreme Council is the highest legislative and executive body, consisting of seven members (one for each emirate).

Note: External links will open in a new browser window.

Rulers of the United Arab Emirates

royal H.H. Sheikh Zayed bin Sultan Al Nahyan
(Born: 6 May 1918 - Died: 2 November 2004) Founder of the UAE, he was the Ruler of Abu Dhabi and President of the United Arab Emirates until 2004.

royal H.H. Sheikh Khalifa Bin Zayed Al Nahyan
Acting President of the United Arab Emirates, the Emir of Abu Dhabi, and the Supreme Commander of the Union Defence Force.

royal H.H. Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum
Acting Vice president and prime minister of the United Arab Emirates and ruler of Dubai.

The Crown Prince Court
The Crown Prince Court (CPC), or the Diwan, is an independent entity that enjoys full legal status as a government body.

United Arab Emirates
United Arab Emirates Government portal. The official guide to living, working, visiting, and investing in the UAE.

United Arab Emirates Cabinet
The Federal Supreme Council is the chief executive of the United Arab Emirates.

UAE Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation
Official website of the UAE Ministry of Foreign Affairs, headquartered in Al Bateen, Abu Dhabi.

Abu Dhabi Government
TAMM - Abu Dhabi Government Service Centers.
Dubai Emirate
The Smart Dubai initiative was founded following the vision of His Highness Sheikh Mohammad bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Ruler of Dubai, to make Dubai the happiest city on earth.
Emirate of Ajman
The official website of the Emirate of Ajman.
Emirate of Fujairah
The official portal of the Fujairah Government.
Ras Al Khaimah
Government of the Emirate of Ras Al Khaimah
Index of Sharjah's government sites.

Diplomatic Missions
United Arab Emirates Mission to the United Nations
UAE's Permanent Mission to the United Nations.
Embassy of the United Arab Emirates
Washington D.C.
UAE Embassies and Consulates
Address list of UAE Embassies and Consulates abroad.
Visas and Immigration
Visas and Immigration Information for the UAE.
Foreign Embassies in Abu Dhabi
Address list of foreign embassies in Abu Dhabi.
Foreign Consulates in UAE
Address list of foreign consulates in Dubai.

National Bureau of Statistics United Arab Emirates
United Arab Emirates in numbers.




Maps of the United Arab Emirates

United Arab Emirates Map
Map of the United Arab Emirates (click map to enlarge)
Image: ©


Map of the United Arab Emirates
Political Map of the UAE.

Google Earth Google Earth United Arab Emirates
Searchable map and satellite view of the United Arab Emirates.
Google Earth Google Earth Abu Dhabi
Searchable map and satellite view of UAE's capital city Abu Dhabi.
Google Earth Google Earth Dubai
Searchable map and satellite view of Dubai City.
Google Earth Google Earth Dubai Jumeirah Beach Hotel
Satellite view of Jumeirah Beach Hotel and Burj Al Arab.

profile Map of the Arabian Peninsula
Political map of the Arabian Peninsula.
Map of the Persian Gulf
Political Map of the Persian Gulf.
Map of Northern Africa and the Middle East
Political Map of North Africa, the Arabian Peninsula, and the Middle East.
profile Map of Countries of Western Asia
Political map of countries of Western Asia and the Middle East.
profile Map of the Middle East
Map of Western Asia and the Middle East region.
profile Map of Asia
Reference Map of Asia.


News from the United Arab Emirates

UAE Newspaper cover, Emirate news

Online News from the United Arab Emirates

Al Bayan
The Dubai government-owned Arabic daily.
UAE news by Dubai Media.
Gulf News
UAE English newspaper online.
Khaleej Times
Khaleej Times is an English language daily newspaper published from Dubai.
The National
The National is an Abu Dhabi-based English-language daily.
UAE Today
News, Entertainment, Lifestyle.
What's On
UAE news and life-style magazine covering Abu Dhabi and Dubai.

Emirates news agency.

International News sources
Al Jazeera
UAE related news.

The Guardian (UK)
United Arab Emirates related news.


Arts & Culture of the United Arab Emirates

Inside the Louvre of Abu Dhabi
Inside Abu Dhabi's Louvre.
Image: Agnieszka Kowalczyk

Arts & Culture

Abu Dhabi Music & Arts Foundation
ADMAF advocates the power of music and arts in cross-cultural understanding.

Abu Dhabi Tourism & Culture Authority
Tourism, Culture, and the National Library.

Louvre Abu Dhabi
The Louvre Abu Dhabi is a new art museum in Abu Dhabi; it is part of the Saadiyat Island Cultural District. The name is derived from the Parisian Musée du Louvre, with which close cooperation exists.

Guggenheim Abu Dhabi
Planned art museum to become part of the cultural district of Saadiyat Island.

NYU Abu Dhabi
The New York University Abu Dhabi art gallery on Saadiyat Island.

Falcon training in the desert near Dubai, United Arab Emirates
Falcon training in the desert near Dubai.
Image: Robert Haandrikman
Dubai Culture
The Dubai Culture and Arts Authority provides information about cultural events in Dubai.
Dubai Museum and Al Fahidi Fort
Insight into the rich history and cultural heritage of Dubai.
Sharjah Museum
A guide to cultural events and museums in Sharjah.
Sharjah Art Foundation
The contemporary art and cultural foundation in Sharjah is also the location for the Sharjah Biennial art exhibition.
Emirates National Auto Museum
A glimpse at how you can spend your petrodollars too.

The Dubai Mall
The largest mall in the Emirates.
Mall of the Emirates
The world's first shopping resort; it includes Ski Dubai, an indoor skiing facility.

Abu Dhabi Grand Prix
Yas Marina Circuit Formula One day–night motor race.
Camel racing in Dubai
Article about "The heritage sport of UAE", in which remotely whipped camels take to the track, or sometimes fall by the wayside.

Dubai Racing Club
Dubai horse racing.

The future Guggenheim Abu Dhabi on Saadiyat Island
A digital rendering of the future Guggenheim Abu Dhabi on Saadiyat Island.
Image: Courtesy TDIC and Gehry Partners, LLP.



Business & Economy of the United Arab Emirates

Dubai Petroleum Falah Field facilities.
Dubai Petroleum Falah Field facilities.
Image: Dubai Petroleum

Economy of the United Arab Emirates
The UAE has the second-largest economy in the Arab world (after Saudi Arabia) with a GDP of USD 414 billion. One-third of the GDP comes from oil revenues.
The UAE has an open mixed free-market economy based mainly on oil and natural gas production. Economic diversification has reduced the oil and gas sector's share of the country's GDP to 30 %. Additionally, the country's free trade zones attract foreign investors by offering 100% foreign ownership and zero taxes, almost. Since January 2018, there is a five-percent value-added tax.

Emirates Banks
Central Bank of the United Arab Emirates
The Central Bank is a government institution responsible for managing the currency, monetary policy, and banking regulation in the United Arab Emirates.

UAE Banks Federation
UAE Banks Federation is the representative body of 48 member banks operating in the UAE.

Abu Dhabi Securities Exchange
Abu Dhabi stock exchange.

Borse Dubai
The Dubai stock exchange.

Emirates Chambers of Commerce and Industry

Abu Dhabi
Abu Dhabi Chamber of Commerce and Industry
Provides Information on the Capital of the UAE.
Ajman Chamber of Commerce and Industry
Dubai Chamber of Commerce and Industry
Sharjah Chamber of Commerce and Industry

Major UAE Companies
Abu Dhabi National Oil Company
ADNOC is the state-owned oil company of the UAE.

Abu Dhabi Commercial Bank

ADCB is the third-largest bank in the UAE.

Emirates NBD
One of the largest banking groups in the Middle East is Dubai government-owned.

Dubai Islamic Bank
Dubai Islamic Bank is the largest Islamic bank in the UAE.

First Abu Dhabi Bank
FAB is the largest bank in the United Arab Emirates.

The oldest privately owned bank in the UAE was founded as the Bank of Oman in 1967; it was the first bank in the Emirates to install ATMs.

Emaar Properties
Emaar is a multinational real estate company, which operates project development and its project marketing in Dubai. Emaar Properties developed the Dubai Marina, Burj Khalifa, and the Dubai Mall, among others.

Etisalat is a multinational, Emirati based telecommunications services provider.

The Emirates Group
The state-owned international aviation holding company based in Dubai offers ground handling services and operates Emirates Airlines, the largest airline in the Middle East.

DP World
Based in Dubai, DP World is one of the world's largest port operators and operates 78 terminals in various countries.

Yellow Pages of the United Arab Emirates
Etisalat's Yellowpages business directory.


Air Arabia
Emirati low-cost airline.
Abu Dhabi Aviation
ADA is the largest commercial helicopter operator in the Middle East.
Etihad Airways
The country's second-largest airline is the national carrier of the United Arab Emirates.
Emirates Airlines
Emirates, also a national flag carrier, is an international airline of the UAE; it serves more than 150 destinations worldwide.
Royal Jet
Premium private charter aircraft service, headquartered in Abu Dhabi.

Abu Dhabi International Airport
Dubai International Airport
Dubai International Airport (IATA: DXB) is the largest airport in the UAE.
Ras Al Khaimah International Airport
Sharjah International Airport

Abu Dhabi Ports
Abu Dhabi Ports is a company that owns, manages, and operates 11 ports and terminals in the UAE and Guinea.

Dubai Metro between Mall of the Emirates and the Mall of Dubai
View from the Metro's front car as you return from the Mall of the Emirates to the Mall of Dubai.
Image: Jason Mrachina



Tourism in the United Arab Emirates

29 34 B St Deira Dubai UAE
29 34 B St Deira Dubai International Financial Center (DIFC)
Image: Karthik Jayabal

Destination United Arab Emirates - Travel and Tour Guides


Discover the United Arab Emirates: Abu Dhabi, Dubai, Sharjah, Ras Al Khaimah, Arabian Gulf, Gulf of Oman.
Find hotels, accommodation, attractions, festivals, events, tourist boards, cruising, festivals and events, nightlife, wildlife, and tours by following the links below.

Points of interest
Abu Dhabi
Sheikh Zayed Mosque, Saadiyat Island and Louvre Abu Dhabi, Ferrari World Abu Dhabi, Warner Bros. World Abu Dhabi, Etihad Towers Observation Deck at 300, Qasr Al Hosn (White Fort), Sir Bani Yas island,

Dubai Mall, Dubai Museum, Al Fahidi Historical District, Bastakia Quarter, Deira, Saeed Al Maktoum House, Dubai Creek, Jumeirah Mosque, Zabeel Park with Dubai Frame, Burj Khalifa, Burj Al Arab,

Al Ain
Al Jahili Fort, Jebel Hafeet mountain, Al Ain Oasis, Al Ain National Museum, Bronze Age Hili Archaeological park, Al Ain camel market.

Al Noor Mosque, Sharjah Art Foundation and the Rain Room, Al Mahatta Fort.

Visit Abu Dhabi
Abu Dhabi's official visitor website for travel and tourism.

Visit Dubai
Visit Dubai is the official tourism board in Dubai.

Department of Culture and Tourism - Abu Dhabi
The department promotes the emirate of Abu Dhabi as an extraordinary global destination.

Wikivoyage United Arab Emirates
Wikipedia's travel page about the United Arab Emirates.

Dubai City Guide
A portal on Dubai City for visitors and residents.

Dubai Online
Guide to hotels, jobs, and restaurants.

Ras Al Khaimah
Ras Al Khaimah Tourism
The official tourism site of the Emirate of Ras Al Khaimah.
Ras Al Khaimah
Ras Al Khaimah Municipality (in Arabic)

Sharjah Commerce and Tourism Development Authority
Online guide to Sharjah Emirate.
Sharjah Municipality
Official site of the Sharjah Municipality.

Abu Dhabi
Capital city Abu Dhabi Municipality.
Explore Abu Dhabi
Official tourism website for Abu Dhabi.

Al Ain
Al Ain Municipality.

Emirates Palace
Ultimate luxury hotel in Abu Dhabi, a facility of the Hong Kong-based Mandarin Oriental Hotel Group.
Jumeirah Beach Hotel
5-star luxury Dubai hotel with a private beach.

Burj Al Arab
Burj Al Arab, the Tower of the Arabs, is one of the tallest hotels in the world, and no, it isn't a seven-star hotel; a seven-star rating doesn't exist officially. [1]

Atlantis the Palm
Atlantis, The Palm, is a UAE luxury hotel resort located at the apex of the Palm Jumeirah in the United Arab Emirates.

Rockformation at Serra dos Órgãos National Park
View of the Palm Jumeirah island seen from the air. The sail-like building in the center, is the 321 m tall, 56 floor, five-star hotel Burj Al Arab.
Image: Jason Mrachina



UNESCO World Heritage Sites

Fort Al Jahili in Al Ain, United Arab Emirates
Fort Al Jahili in Al Ain.
Image: Dr. Norbert Heidenbluth

UNESCO World Heritage Sites in the United Arab Emirates
There is one UNESCO World Heritage Site in the United Arab Emirates, and six sites are on the Tentative List (see the List)

World Heritage Site Cultural Sites of Al Ain (Hafit, Hili, Bidaa Bint Saud and Oases Areas)
Al Ain is an example of a desert region sedentary human settlement since the Neolithic Age, with traces of many prehistoric cultures. The property's remarkable remains include circular stone tombs (ca. 2500 B.C.), wells, and various mud-brick buildings: residential buildings, towers, palaces, and administrative buildings.

Qasr al Muwaiji in Al Ain
Qasr al Muwaiji in Al Ain.
Image: Ghania Fatima


Education in the United Arab Emirates

University of Sharjah Emirate in Sharjah (city)
The University of Sharjah is located in the capital of the emirate (Sharjah).
Image: University of Sharjah

Ajman University of Science & Technology Network (AUST Network)
Ajman University was established to be a distinguished institution of higher education in the UAE and the Arab world.

Higher Colleges of Technology
HCT is one of the largest institutions of higher learning in the UAE.

Khalifa University
Khalifa is a science-focused university located in Abu Dhabi.

United Arab Emirates University
The UAEU is the oldest and the flagship university in the country; it is located in Al Ain.

University of Sharjah
The University aims to become a leading academic institution in the Middle East.

Zayed University
Zayed University is one of three state-funded higher education institutions in the country; it was founded in 1998.


Environment & Nature

Star dunes in the desert between Abu Dhabi and Al Ain
Star dunes, surrealistic view of a wind sculpture in the fine desert sand between Abu Dhabi and Al Ain. Star dunes are a very distinct and complex type of dunes that form in areas where winds blow from different directions in different seasons.
Image: Walid Mahfoudh

Environmental Research & Wildlife Development Agency (ERWDA)
Committed to protect and manage the rich biodiversity, provide a clean environment, and promote sustainable development patterns in the Emirate of Abu Dhabi.

Environment and Protected Areas Authority (EPAA)

Abu Dhabi
ADWEA - Abu Dhabi Water & Electricity Authority
ADWEA is providing water and electricity to homes, schools, and businesses of the Emirate.

Environment Agency - Abu Dhabi (EAD)
A governmental agency for protecting and conserving the environment and promoting sustainable development in the Emirate of Abu Dhabi, the site also provides information about the Emirates flora and fauna.

Emirates Nature
Emirates Nature in association with World Wide Fund for Nature.

Al Ain Oasis with its ancient Falaj irrigation system
Al Ain Oasis. The ancient Falaj irrigation system is still used to provide water to the date palms in the oasis.
Image: Okhtyartist


United Arab Emirates History

The sacking of the coastal town and port of Ras Al Khaimah
The sacking of the coastal town and port of Ras Al Khaimah in 1809 by the British Expeditionary Force.
Painting: R Temple - The Myth of Arab Piracy in the Gulf

About the UAE - History
The UAE government portal about the history of the region.

History of the United Arab Emirates - Wikipedia
Wikipedia entry for the history of the United Arab Emirates.

United Arab Emirates
Encyclopædia Britannica article about the United Arab Emirates, including history.

Sharing History - Arab World – Europe | 1815 – 1918
Ten Virtual Exhibitions exploring Arab-Ottoman-European relations in the 19th century by the Museum With No Frontiers.


Additional Information

Selected country profiles of United Arab Emirates published by international organizations.


Human Rights
Amnesty International: United Arab Emirates
Amnesty International Reports.

Freedom House United Arab Emirates
The U.S. government-funded non-profit organization promotes liberal democracies worldwide.

Human Rights Watch: United Arab Emirates
HRW conducts research and advocacy on human rights.

Press Freedom
Reporters sans frontières - United Arab Emirates
Report about Press freedom in the country.

Country Profiles
BBC News Country Profile: United Arab Emirates
Country profiles by the British public service broadcaster.

BTI Transformation Index
United Arab Emirates Country Report by Bertelsmann Stiftung.

GlobalEDGE: United Arab Emirates
Country ranking by the Global business knowledge portal.

The Heritage Foundation: United Arab Emirates
The American conservative think tank's index of economic freedom.

OEC: United Arab Emirates
The Observatory of Economic Complexity provides the country's latest international trade data.

Wikipedia: United Arab Emirates
Wikipedia country page in many languages.

The World Factbook -- United Arab Emirates
The CIA World Factbook intelligence on the United Arab Emirates.


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