The United Arab Emirates are located in the northeast of the Arabian Peninsula. They consist of seven sheikdoms that have joined together to form a confederation of states. Although each sheikhdom is ruled by a sheikh or an emir, they are a common state to the outside world. The three rich Emirates Dubai, Sharja and Abu Dhabi also support the other four financially. The four poorer are Ras al-Khaima, Ajman, Um al-Kaiwan and Fujaira.
The Emirates have played an increasingly important role in tourism since the 1980s. The countries are wealthy, but their tourist offers are not overpriced. They offer an Arabic ambience combined with ultra-modern architecture and mostly perfect luxury and exemplary hospitality.
The unimaginably rich Emirates Abu Dhabi and Dubai are indispensable on the tourist map. They offer everything that makes a fairytale holiday. Recommended bathing and sightseeing tours, bright sunshine, lots of active holidays, good hotels, cheap shopping opportunities with low crime and political security.
The United Arab Emirates are among the countries with large oil reserves. This is also the reason why this country has an enormous wealth. But that’s not all: Tourism in the UAE is also constantly expanding in order to secure another source of income for the future. Special emphasis is placed on luxury tourists.
Nevertheless, there are big differences between the seven Emirates. Because only three actually produce oil. The fluctuations in oil revenues were also of great concern to the Emirates. Nevertheless, there is no direct imbalance among the Emirates, because the profit made from the sale of oil and natural gas is split equally in the country. This is how the United Arab Emirates maintain an economic balance.
There has been an irrigation system for the desert areas in the Emirates since the 1970s. So the agriculturally usable areas are enlarged. For irrigation, fossil groundwater is used, which is very rich in salt and cannot be drunk. However, these water reserves are not unlimited. In regions where there is more groundwater, cattle breeding and vegetables and fruit can also be grown. In addition, numerous poultry farms have emerged in recent years.
Area: 83,600 km²
Population: 5.1 million inhabitants (July 2011, COUNTRYAAH.COM). Emirati 19%, other Arabs and Iranians 23%, South Asians 50%, other expatriates (Americans, Europeans and East Asians) 8%. Less than 20% of the population are citizens of the United Arab Emirates (1982).
Population density: 62 people per km²
Population growth: 3.282% per year (2011, CIA)
Capital: Abu Dhabi (620,000 inhabitants, 2006)
Highest point: Jabal Yibir, 1,527 m
Lowest point: Persian Gulf, 0 m
Form of government: The United Arab Emirates has been a federation of seven autonomous emirates since 1971. The provisional constitution dates from 1971, and in May 1996 it was adopted as permanent by the Supreme Council of Rulers. The highest state power lies with the Supreme Council of Rulers, which is made up of seven emirates, the council determines the head of state. Decisions must be endorsed by at least five emirs, including those from Dubai and Abu Dhabi. The National Assembly ( Majlis al-Ittihad al-Watani) consists of 40 members (20 are appointed by the Emirates, 20 are elected every two years) and advises the Council of Rulers. Political parties are not allowed in the United Arab Emirates. The country has been independent of Great Britain since December 2, 1971.
Administrative division: 7 Emirates (imarat, single imarah): Abu Zaby (Abu Dhabi), Ajman, Al Fujayrah, Ash Shariqah (Sharjah), Dubayy (Dubai), Ra’s al Khaymah and Umm al Qaywayn (Quwayn).
Head of government: Prime Minister Sheikh Muhammad ibn Raschid Al Maktum (Emir of Dubai), since January 5, 2006
Head of state: President Sheikh Chalifa bin Zayid Al Nahyan (Emir of Abu Dhabi), since November 3, 2004
Language: the official language in the country is Arabic. English is widely used as a business and communication language. Farsi, Hindi and Urdu are also spoken. French and German are sometimes understood in hotels.
Religion: 96% Muslim (mostly Sunni), 4% other (including Christians and Hindus)
Local time: CET + 3 h.
There is no changeover between summer and winter time in the United Arab Emirates.
The time difference to Central Europe is + 3 h in winter and +2 h in summer.
International dialing code: +971
Mains voltage: in Abu Dhabi: 240 V, 50 Hz. In the northern states: 220 V, 50 Hz. Three-pin plugs are most common in the country.
The United Arab Emirates on the Arabian Peninsula are bounded in the south and west by Saudi Arabia in the north by the Musandam Peninsula belonging to Oman, in the east by Oman and in the northwest by the sovereign waters of Qatar. In the north there is sea access to the Persian Gulf and the Gulf of Oman. The land borders have not yet been precisely defined, nor can the coastline to the Persian Gulf be precisely defined, as sand and silt are constantly being shifted here.
The UAE is an alliance of seven sheikhdoms (Emirates), of which the Emirate of Abu Dhabi is the largest, the other sheikhdoms (Dubai, Ajman, Sharjah, Umm al-Qaiwain, Fujairah and Ras al-Khaimah) are commonly referred to as “northern states”.
Here you will find an accurate topographic map of the UAE.
In the west of the UAE, the approximately 60 km wide and 150 km long Sabkha Matti extends to Saudi Arabia. The Sabkha Matti is the rest of a former river, from the interior of the Arabian Peninsula. Further to the east is the Dschabal az-Zanna peninsula and Ruwais’ industrial location.
There are numerous peninsulas and islands off the central north coast, and lagoons and artificial canals at Abu Dhabi.
Large cities such as Dubai, Jabal Ali, Ajman, Sharjah, Umm al-Qaiwain and only 20 km from Oman Ra’s al-Khaimah can be found in the east of the UAE.
The Rub al Khali desert extends inland with only a few oases: the Liwa oasis in the south and the oasis city Al Ain in the east. Much of the interior consists of a flat desert, the highest elevations here are dunes more than 100 m high in the south of the Liwa oasis and in the southeast of the UAE.
Lake Al-Wathba is 30 km to the south-east of Abu Dhabi and fell dry in summer until 1998/99. Since then, treated urban wastewater has been fed into the lake, so that it now carries water all year round and now even flamingos breed here.
Lake Al-Warsan (also supplied with urban water), 20 km in the southeast of Dubai, is also an important breeding area.
The highest peaks of the United Arab Emirates rise in the Hajar Mountains: Jabal Yibir (1,527 m) and Jabal Adhan (1,127 m). There are several wadis, dry valleys, which periodically carry water. The Wadi Bih, an old connecting route through the Hajar Mountains, runs through Musandam (Oman), over the Wadi Khabb Shamsi to the city of Dibba on the Gulf of Oman.
The coastal region of the Gulf of Oman is fertile, usable for agriculture and densely populated. The biggest cities here are Fujairah and Dibba. A sea port with a container terminal was built in Khor Fakkan.
United Arab Emirates climate
The climate of the United Arab Emirates is subtropical to tropical, dry and hot. The temperature fluctuations between day and night are considerable.
The UAE’s interior (especially the Rub al-Khalil) is characterized by a desert climate. The annual precipitation, which mostly falls in winter, is very low, practically no rain falls between May and October. The low rainfall (between 50 and 100 mm) falls mainly between November and April. The highest rainfall in the United Arab Emirates is in the Hajar Mountains to the east. But even here it is only about 300 mm a year.
The shamal, a dusty northwest wind, blows especially in winter and at the beginning of summer.
From May to September, the humidity in the coastal areas of the United Arab Emirates is very high, during this time the temperatures in Abu Dhabi and Dubai often rise above 40 °C during the day. At night the values only drop to around 25 ° C. In the eastern coastal cities of Fujairah and Khor Fakkan, the climate is somewhat less extreme due to occasional breezes.
For the rest of the year, the average maximum temperatures drop to a more comfortable 22 – 30 ° C. December and January are the most pleasant months, but it can be windy in Abu Dhabi, Dubai and Sharjah and it can get very cold at night in the desert in the Al Ain region.