The UAE: a constitutional federation of seven emirates
The United Arab Emirates consists of seven emirates: Abu Dhabi, Dubai, Sharjah, Ras Al Khaimah, Ajman, Umm Al Quwain and Fujairah. Four-fifths of the UAE is desert but has contrasting landscapes—from the towering red dunes of the Liwa to the rich palm-filled Oasis of Al Ain, from the precipitous Hajjar Mountains to the more fertile stretches of its coastal plains.
Though small in size (similar to the size of Scotland), the UAE has become an important player in regional and international affairs. In 1971, the late President Sheikh Zayed bin Sultan Al Nahyan unified the small, underdeveloped states into a federation—the only one in the Arab world. With his visionary leadership, oil wealth was used to develop the UAE into one of the world’s most open and successful economies.
In 2004, His Highness Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan became the President and has since continued to strive towards an ambitious vision for the UAE.
Political system: Constitutional federation
National Day: 2 December (The UAE was establised on 2 December, 1971)
Founder: The late Sheikh Zayed bin Sultan Al Nahyan
President: H. H. Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan (Ruler of Abu Dhabi)
Vice President and Prime Minister: H. H. Sheikh Mohamed bin Rashid Al Maktoum (Ruler of Dubai)
Sharjah: H. H. Dr. Sheikh Sultan bin Mohammed Al Qasimi
Ajman: H. H. Sheikh Humaid bin Rashid Al Nuaimi
Umm Al Quwain: H. H Sheikh Saud bin Rashid Al Mu’alla
Ras Al Khaimah: H. H. Sheikh Saud bin Saqr Al Qasimi
Fujairah: H. H Sheikh Hamad bin Mohammed Al Sharqi
Area: 83,600 Sq. km. (Slightly bigger than Scotland); Abu Dhabi accounts for 87% of the country’s total landmass.
Location: Bordered to the North by the Arabian Gulf, to the East by the Gulf of Oman and Sultanate of Oman, to the South by Saudi Arabia and Sultanate of Oman and to the West by Qatar and Saudi Arabia.
Geographic coordinates: 22. – 25.5 North and 51 – 56.5 East.
Climate: Arid desert, cooler in the eastern mountains. (Winter: warm & sunny / Summer: hot and humid). The average annual rainfall in the coastal area is fewer than 120 mm (4.7 in), but in some mountainous areas annual rainfall often reaches 350 mm (13.8 in) where it is also generally cooler.
Elevation extremes: Arabian Gulf 0m, Jabal Yibir 1,627 m
Natural resources: Oil and gas; more than 90% of which are located in Abu Dhabi.
Population: 8.19 million, 16.5 % Nationals (est.2010. The National Bureau of Statistics, UAE)
Capital: Abu Dhabi
Largest city by population density: Dubai
Monetary unit: UAE Dirham 1AED = 100 Fills
Exchange rate: 1 USD = AED 3.67 (Pegged to the US Dollar)
Fiscal year: 1 January to 31 December
Weekend: Friday and Saturday
Official language: Arabic
Other languages: English, Farsi, Hindi, Urdu
Religion: Islam (Practice of other religious beliefs is allowed)
Literacy rate: 93%
Time: GMT +4 (Daylight Saving Time +3)
International dialing code: +971
Internet domain: .ae
Three equal horizontal bands of green (top), white (middle), and black (bottom) with a wider vertical red band on the hoist side.
The demonym for UAE nationals is Emirati.
The national anthem is ‘Aishi Biladee‘.