The UAE's topography is diverse.


The UAE is largely an arid land with vast sand deserts but is also characterised by sand dunes, oases, mountains, valleys, marshes and mangroves and salt pans. 


The oases are mostly of date palms; most oases are located in the emirate of Abu Dhabi.


Along the eastern borders are the Hajar Mountains that run north-south. These mountains are complemented by valleys (called wadis in Arabic). The wadis are usually dry but in cooler months when it rains, they flourish with brooks and pools.   


Mangroves (called qurms in Arabic) form an integral part of the marine ecosystem.


Salt pans (called sabkhas in Arabic) are also a common feature.


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