General information about the UAE
The official name is the United Arab Emirates (UAE) (Al Emarat al Arabiya al Muttahid – United Arab Emirates). The country is located in the northeastern part of the Arabian Peninsula on the Persian Gulf, in the southwestern part of Asia. The area is 83.6 thousand km2, the population is 2445.9 thousand people. (2002). The official language is Arabic. The capital is Abu Dhabi (1 million people). Public holiday – Federation Day on December 2 (1971). The monetary unit is the dirham (equal to 100 fils).
Member of the UN (since 1971), Arab League, OPEC (since 1967), GCC (since 1981), WTO, etc.
Geography of the UAE
Located between 22° and 27° north latitude and 51° and 56° east longitude. In the north, they are washed by the waters of the Persian Gulf (the length within the coastline of the UAE is over 700 km), and the northeast coast of the country, with a length of approx. 90 km, washed by the waters of the Gulf of Oman of the Indian Ocean. The Persian Gulf has an average depth of 42 m. The meteorological regime of the Arabian Sea with the Gulf of Oman determines the seasonal change of monsoons with surface water circulation, which have a circular flow. The Arabian Sea is wide open to the south, where tidal waves come from. Winter monsoons in the Gulf of Oman sometimes turn into short-term strong storms. In the Strait of Hormuz, which connects the Gulf of Oman with the Persian, the direction of the current changes seasonally: in summer from the ocean to the Persian Gulf, in winter – vice versa.
The coast of the United Arab Emirates is strongly indented, has many capes and sandbars, between which there are shallow bays and bays with natural beaches. Within the UAE ca. 200 islands, most small.
The United Arab Emirates is bordered in the south by Saudi Arabia, in the east by Oman, a small part of the sea coast is occupied by the enclave of Oman.
The territory of the UAE is mostly flat rocky desert with occasional oases fringed with salt marshes, swamps and beaches on the shores of the bay. The narrow coastal strip passes into vast rocky plateaus, salt marshes and sand dunes of the desert region, which occupies 2/3 of the territory. The UAE desert is part of the vast Rub al-Khali desert. In the east of the UAE are the Hojar Mountains; the average height is 1000-1500 m, the maximum is 2500. The coastal region of the Gulf of Oman is distinguished – Esh-Shamaliya (the center of the northern part of the El-Vatin valley) 75-80 km long and 2-4 to 25 km wide.
The subsoil of the UAE contains oil, natural gas, coal, iron ore, and rare earth metals. The possibility of developing deposits (other than oil and gas) is being studied. Oil and gas are the main natural resources of the UAE, which are of global importance. Proved reserves are estimated at 12,600 million tons of oil and 5,800 billion m3 of gas, respectively 9.4 and 4.0% of world reserves (1997). Soils: sandstones, limestones, mountain red and red-brown soils are found in the valleys.
According to Bridgat, the climate is desert, on the coast – subtropical. Average monthly temperatures in winter are +10-18°С, in summer +35-48°С. Sandstorms are not uncommon in summer. To the east, in Fujairah, summers are somewhat less hot and more humid. Precipitation falls approx. 100 mm per year, in the mountains 300-400 mm per year. There are no natural reservoirs and rivers, temporary streams appear in the valleys. Vegetation is mostly sparse, including dry herbs and shrubs. Acacia, tamarisk, date and coconut palms grow in oases. The fauna is typical for the desert zone: gazelles, foxes, hares, small rodents, snakes. Many species of birds live on the coast (gulls, flamingos, herons, etc.). Sea waters are rich in fish.
The average annual growth rate of the indigenous population in the 1960-80s. was approx. 3%, in 2001 – 3.4%, and the total population was much higher due to immigration – 20% in 1976-96.
Birth rate 18.3‰, mortality 3.9‰, infant mortality 16.12 people. per 1000 newborns. Average life expectancy is 74.52 years, incl. men – 72.06 and women – 77.1 (2002). Sex and age structure of the population (2002): 0-14 years old – 27.7% (men 345.1 thousand people, women 331.5 thousand); 15-64 years – 69.7% (men 1069.4 thousand, women 635.3 thousand); 65 years and older – 2.6% (men 46.0 thousand, women 18.7 thousand). The urban population is approx. 85.9% (2000). 79.2% of the population aged 15 and over is literate (78.9% of men and 79.8% of women) (1995).
Population – Arabs (citizens of the UAE), approx. 26% of all residents, of which immigrants – 8.8%. The rest of the population comes from South and East Asia (Hindus, Iranians, Pakistanis, Filipinos, Chinese, etc.) and various European countries. Languages: Arabic, English, Farsi, Hindi, Urdu.
The state religion is Islam (professed by 96% of the population). 80-85% of Muslims are Sunnis, the rest are Shiites. Christians, Hindus and others make up 4%.