About the UAE

The UAE in brief

This page provides basic information about the UAE. 


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.


Quick facts

Political system:

Constitutional federation 


National Day:

2 December (The UAE was establised on 2 December, 1971)



The late Sheikh Zayed bin Sultan Al Nahyan



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)


Other Rulers:

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



83,600 Sq. km. (Slightly bigger than Scotland); Abu Dhabi accounts for 87% of the country's total landmass.



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.



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.



8.19 million, 16.5 % Nationals (est.2010. The National Bureau of Statistics, UAE)



Abu Dhabi


Largest city by population density



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



Friday and Saturday


Official language:



Other languages:

English, Farsi, Hindi, Urdu



Islam (Practice of other religious beliefs is allowed)


Literacy rate:




GMT +4 (Daylight Saving Time +3)


International dialing code:



Internet domain:




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. 


National anthem:

The national anthem is ‘Aishi Biladee'.


*Content sourced from the official website of the UAE's Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation and the official website of The Cultural Division of the Embassy of the UAE in Washington, DC.


Useful links:

·         UAE fact file – UAE Interact


Read more about the UAE under:

  1. Culture
  2. Economy
  3. Electoral system
  4. Environment and energy
  5. Foreign policy
  6. Governance
  7. Government of future
  8. History
  9. Human rights
  10. Innovation
  11. Media
  12. Science and technology
  13. Sports
  14. The seven emirates
  15. Topography


View videos about the UAE on the YouTube channel of UAE Interact and WAM news agency.


Read more about the UAE on UAEPedia or download these E-Books.

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