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  United Arab Emirates   
Introduction
Geography
People
Government
Economy
Communications
Transportation
Military
Transnational
Issues
  Introduction Back To Top

Background:
The Trucial States of the Persian Gulf coast granted the UK control of their defense and foreign affairs in 19th century treaties. In 1971, six of these states - Abu Zaby, 'Ajman, Al Fujayrah, Ash Shariqah, Dubayy, and Umm al Qaywayn - merged to form the United Arab Emirates (UAE). They were joined in 1972 by Ra's al Khaymah. The UAE's per capita GDP is on par with those of leading West European nations. Its generosity with oil revenues and its moderate foreign policy stance have allowed the UAE to play a vital role in the affairs of the region.

  Geography Back To Top

Freshwater withdrawal (domestic/industrial/agricultural):
total: 2.3 cu km/yr (23%/9%/68%)
per capita: 511 cu m/yr (2000)

Total renewable water resources:
0.2 cu km (1997)

Land boundaries:
total: 867 km
border countries: Oman 410 km, Saudi Arabia 457 km

Environment - international agreements:
party to: Biodiversity, Climate Change, Climate Change-Kyoto Protocol, Desertification, Endangered Species, Hazardous Wastes, Marine Dumping, Ozone Layer Protection
signed, but not ratified: Law of the Sea

Climate:
desert; cooler in eastern mountains

Map references:
Middle East

Geographic coordinates:
24 00 N, 54 00 E

Natural resources:
petroleum, natural gas

Elevation extremes:
lowest point: Persian Gulf 0 m
highest point: Jabal Yibir 1,527 m

Terrain:
flat, barren coastal plain merging into rolling sand dunes of vast desert wasteland; mountains in east

Geography - note:
strategic location along southern approaches to Strait of Hormuz, a vital transit point for world crude oil

Area:
total: 83,600 sq km
land: 83,600 sq km
water: 0 sq km

Location:
Middle East, bordering the Gulf of Oman and the Persian Gulf, between Oman and Saudi Arabia

Coastline:
1,318 km

Area - comparative:
slightly smaller than Maine

Irrigated land:
760 sq km (2003)

Environment - current issues:
lack of natural freshwater resources compensated by desalination plants; desertification; beach pollution from oil spills

Maritime claims:
territorial sea: 12 nm
contiguous zone: 24 nm
exclusive economic zone: 200 nm
continental shelf: 200 nm or to the edge of the continental margin

Natural hazards:
frequent sand and dust storms

Land use:
arable land: 0.77%
permanent crops: 2.27%
other: 96.96% (2005)

  People Back To Top

Total fertility rate:
2.43 children born/woman (2008 est.)

Sex ratio:
at birth: 1.05 male(s)/female
under 15 years: 1.05 male(s)/female
15-64 years: 2.74 male(s)/female
65 years and over: 1.84 male(s)/female
total population: 2.19 male(s)/female (2008 est.)

HIV/AIDS - adult prevalence rate:
0.18% (2001 est.)

HIV/AIDS - people living with HIV/AIDS:
NA

Life expectancy at birth:
total population: 75.89 years
male: 73.35 years
female: 78.56 years (2008 est.)

Literacy:
definition: age 15 and over can read and write
total population: 77.9%
male: 76.1%
female: 81.7% (2003 est.)

Net migration rate:
24.41 migrant(s)/1,000 population (2008 est.)

Ethnic groups:
Emirati 19%, other Arab and Iranian 23%, South Asian 50%, other expatriates (includes Westerners and East Asians) 8% (1982)
note: less than 20% are UAE citizens (1982)

Median age:
total: 30.1 years
male: 32 years
female: 24.6 years (2008 est.)

Population:
4,621,399
note: estimate is based on the results of the 2005 census that included a significantly higher estimate of net inmigration of non-citizens than previous estimates (July 2008 est.)

Education expenditures:
1.3% of GDP (2005)

Population growth rate:
3.833% (2008 est.)

Languages:
Arabic (official), Persian, English, Hindi, Urdu

Death rate:
2.13 deaths/1,000 population (2008 est.)

Infant mortality rate:
total: 13.11 deaths/1,000 live births
male: 15.32 deaths/1,000 live births
female: 10.8 deaths/1,000 live births (2008 est.)

HIV/AIDS - deaths:
NA

School life expectancy (primary to tertiary education):
total: 11 years
male: 11 years
female: 12 years (2003)

Age structure:
0-14 years: 20.5% (male 484,102/female 462,405)
15-64 years: 78.6% (male 2,663,702/female 970,672)
65 years and over: 0.9% (male 26,244/female 14,274)
note: 73.9% of the population in the 15-64 age group is non-national (2008 est.)

Birth rate:
16.06 births/1,000 population (2008 est.)

Religions:
Muslim 96% (Shia 16%), other (includes Christian, Hindu) 4%

Nationality:
noun: Emirati(s)
adjective: Emirati

  Government Back To Top

Diplomatic representation from the US:
chief of mission: Ambassador Richard G. OLSON, Jr.
embassy: Embassies District, Plot 38 Sector W59-02, Street No. 4, Abu Dhabi
mailing address: P. O. Box 4009, Abu Dhabi
telephone: [971] (2) 414-2200
FAX: [971] (2) 414-2603
consulate(s) general: Dubai

National holiday:
Independence Day, 2 December (1971)

Suffrage:
none

Government type:
federation with specified powers delegated to the UAE federal government and other powers reserved to member emirates

Political pressure groups and leaders:
NA

Diplomatic representation in the US:
chief of mission: Ambassador Yousef bin Mani Saeed al-OTAIBA
chancery: 3522 International Court NW, Suite 400, Washington, DC 20008
telephone: [1] (202) 243-2400
FAX: [1] (202) 243-2432
consulate(s): New York, Houston

International organization participation:
ABEDA, AFESD, AMF, FAO, G-77, GCC, IAEA, IBRD, ICAO, ICC, ICCt (signatory), ICRM, IDA, IDB, IFAD, IFC, IFRCS, IHO, ILO, IMF, IMO, IMSO, Interpol, IOC, IPU, ISO, ITSO, ITU, LAS, MIGA, NAM, OAPEC, OIC, OPCW, OPEC, UN, UNCTAD, UNESCO, UNIDO, UPU, WCO, WFTU, WHO, WIPO, WMO, WTO

Legislative branch:
unicameral Federal National Council (FNC) or Majlis al-Ittihad al-Watani (40 seats; 20 members appointed by the rulers of the constituent states, 20 members elected to serve two-year terms)
elections: elections for one half of the FNC (the other half remains appointed) held in the UAE on 18-20 December 2006; the new electoral college - a body of 6,689 Emiratis (including 1,189 women) appointed by the rulers of the seven emirates - were the only eligible voters and candidates; 456 candidates including 65 women ran for 20 contested FNC seats; one female from the Emirate of Abu Dhabi won a seat and 8 women were among the 20 appointed members
note: reviews legislation but cannot change or veto

Legal system:
based on a dual system of Sharia and civil courts; has not accepted compulsory ICJ jurisdiction

Flag description:
three equal horizontal bands of green (top), white, and black with a wider vertical red band on the hoist side

Independence:
2 December 1971 (from UK)

Country name (Goverment):
conventional long form: United Arab Emirates
conventional short form: none
local long form: Al Imarat al Arabiyah al Muttahidah
local short form: none
former: Trucial Oman, Trucial States
abbreviation: UAE

Political parties and leaders:
none; political parties are not allowed

Capital:
name: Abu Dhabi
geographic coordinates: 24 28 N, 54 22 E
time difference: UTC+4 (9 hours ahead of Washington, DC during Standard Time)

Constitution:
2 December 1971; made permanent in 1996

Executive branch:
chief of state: President KHALIFA bin Zayid Al-Nuhayyan (since 3 November 2004), ruler of Abu Zaby (Abu Dhabi) (since 4 November 2004); Vice President and Prime Minister MUHAMMAD BIN RASHID Al-Maktum (since 5 January 2006)
head of government: Prime Minister and Vice President MUHAMMAD bin Rashid Al-Maktum (since 5 January 2006); Deputy Prime Ministers SULTAN bin Zayid Al-Nuhayyan (since 20 November 1990) and HAMDAN bin Zayid Al-Nuhayyan (since 20 October 2003)
cabinet: Council of Ministers appointed by the president
note: there is also a Federal Supreme Council (FSC) composed of the seven emirate rulers; the FSC is the highest constitutional authority in the UAE; establishes general policies and sanctions federal legislation; meets four times a year; Abu Zaby (Abu Dhabi) and Dubayy (Dubai) rulers have effective veto power
elections: president and vice president elected by the FSC for five-year terms (no term limits) from among the seven FSC members; election last held 3 November 2004 upon the death of the UAE's Founding Father and first President ZAYID bin Sultan Al Nuhayyan (next to be held in 2009); prime minister and deputy prime minister appointed by the president
election results: KHALIFA bin Zayid Al-Nuhayyan elected president by a unanimous vote of the FSC; MUHAMMAD bin Rashid Al-Maktum unanimously affirmed vice president after the 2006 death of his brother Sheikh Maktum bin Rashid Al-Maktum

Administrative divisions:
7 emirates (imarat, singular - imarah); Abu Zaby (Abu Dhabi), 'Ajman, Al Fujayrah, Ash Shariqah (Sharjah), Dubayy (Dubai), Ra's al Khaymah, Umm al Qaywayn (Quwayn)

Judicial branch:
Union Supreme Court (judges are appointed by the president)

  Economy Back To Top

Exports - partners:
Japan 23.6%, South Korea 9.2%, Thailand 5%, India 4.8% (2007)

Electricity - consumption:
57.88 billion kWh (2006 est.)

Central bank discount rate:
NA

Electricity - imports:
0 kWh (2007 est.)

Current account balance:
$36.41 billion (2008 est.)

Debt - external:
$73.71 billion (31 December 2008 est.)

Unemployment rate:
2.4% (2001)

Oil - exports:
2.703 million bbl/day (2005 est.)

GDP - per capita (PPP):
$40,400 (2008 est.)

Investment (gross fixed):
20.8% of GDP (2008 est.)

Stock of domestic credit:
$155.4 billion (31 December 2007)

GDP (purchasing power parity):
$186.4 billion (2008 est.)

GDP (official exchange rate):
$270 billion (2008 est.)

Exchange rates:
Emirati dirhams (AED) per US dollar - 3.673 (2008 est.), 3.673 (2007), 3.673 (2006), 3.6725 (2005), 3.6725 (2004)
note: officially pegged to the US dollar since February 2002

GDP - real growth rate:
8.5% (2008 est.)

Stock of money:
$49.5 billion (31 December 2007)

Labor force:
3.266 million (2008 est.)

Imports - partners:
China 12.8%, India 10%, US 8.7%, Japan 6.1%, Germany 5.9%, UK 5.3%, Italy 4.6% (2007)

Inflation rate (consumer prices):
14.4% (2008 est.)

GDP - composition by sector:
agriculture: 1.6%
industry: 61.8%
services: 36.6% (2008 est.)

Oil - imports:
232,300 bbl/day (2005)

Exports:
$207.7 billion f.o.b. (2008 est.)

Natural gas - consumption:
43.11 billion cu m (2006 est.)

Currency (code):
Emirati dirham (AED)

Economy - overview:
The UAE has an open economy with a high per capita income and a sizable annual trade surplus. Successful efforts at economic diversification have reduced the portion of GDP based on oil and gas output to 25%. Since the discovery of oil in the UAE more than 30 years ago, the UAE has undergone a profound transformation from an impoverished region of small desert principalities to a modern state with a high standard of living. The government has increased spending on job creation and infrastructure expansion and is opening up utilities to greater private sector involvement. In April 2004, the UAE signed a Trade and Investment Framework Agreement with Washington and in November 2004 agreed to undertake negotiations toward a Free Trade Agreement with the US. The country's Free Trade Zones - offering 100% foreign ownership and zero taxes - are helping to attract foreign investors. Higher oil revenue, strong liquidity, housing shortages, and cheap credit in 2005-07 led to a surge in asset prices (shares and real estate) and consumer inflation. The global financial crisis and the resulting tight international credit market and falling oil prices have already begun to deflate asset prices and will result in slower economic growth for 2009. Dependence on oil and a large expatriate workforce are significant long-term challenges. The UAE's strategic plan for the next few years focuses on diversification and creating more opportunities for nationals through improved education and increased private sector employment.

Economic aid - donor:
since its founding in 1971, the Abu Dhabi Fund for Development has given about $5.2 billion in aid to 56 countries (2004)

Natural gas - exports:
6.848 billion cu m (2005 est.)

Imports - commodities:
machinery and transport equipment, chemicals, food

Industries:
petroleum and petrochemicals; fishing, aluminum, cement, fertilizers, commercial ship repair, construction materials, some boat building, handicrafts, textiles

Electricity - exports:
0 kWh (2007 est.)

Population below poverty line:
19.5% (2003)

Stock of quasi money:
$104.6 billion (31 December 2007)

Electricity - production:
62.76 billion kWh (2006 est.)

Imports:
$141.1 billion f.o.b. (2008 est.)

Oil - proved reserves:
97.8 billion bbl (1 January 2008 est.)

Labor force - by occupation:
agriculture: 7%
industry: 15%
services: 78% (2000 est.)

Natural gas - proved reserves:
6.071 trillion cu m (1 January 2008 est.)

Reserves of foreign exchange and gold:
$67.24 billion (31 December 2008 est.)

Oil - consumption:
381,000 bbl/day (2006 est.)

Stock of direct foreign investment - abroad:
$28.95 billion (2008 est.)

Public debt:
22.4% of GDP (2008 est.)

Stock of direct foreign investment - at home:
$62.69 billion (2008 est.)

Market value of publicly traded shares:
$224.7 billion (31 December 2007)

Currency code:
AED

Household income or consumption by percentage share:
lowest 10%: NA%
highest 10%: NA%

Exports - commodities:
crude oil 45%, natural gas, reexports, dried fish, dates

Economic aid - recipient:
$5.36 million (2004)

Electricity - production by source:
fossil fuel: 100%
hydro: 0%
nuclear: 0%
other: 0% (2001)

Natural gas - imports:
1.343 billion cu m (2005)

Natural gas - production:
48.79 billion cu m (2006 est.)

Budget:
revenues: $83.15 billion
expenditures: $48.3 billion (2008 est.)

Fiscal year:
calendar year

Oil - production:
2.948 million bbl/day (2007 est.)

  Communications Back To Top

Internet users:
2.3 million (2007)

Telephones - main lines in use:
1.385 million (2007)

Televisions:
310,000 (1997)

Internet country code:
.ae

Radio broadcast stations:
AM 13, FM 8, shortwave 2 (2004)

Radios:
820,000 (1997)

Telephones - mobile cellular:
7.595 million (2007)

Television broadcast stations:
15 (2004)

Telephone system:
general assessment: modern fiber-optic integrated services; digital network with rapidly growing use of mobile-cellular telephones; key centers are Abu Dhabi and Dubai
domestic: microwave radio relay, fiber optic and coaxial cable
international: country code - 971; linked to the international submarine cable FLAG (Fiber-Optic Link Around the Globe); landing point for both the SEA-ME-WE-3 and SEA-ME-WE-4 submarine cable networks; satellite earth stations - 3 Intelsat (1 Atlantic Ocean and 2 Indian Ocean) and 1 Arabsat; tropospheric scatter to Bahrain; microwave radio relay to Saudi Arabia

Internet Service Providers (ISPs):
1 (2000)

Internet hosts:
381,915 (2008)

  Transportation Back To Top

Pipelines:
condensate 520 km; gas 2,908 km; liquid petroleum gas 300 km; oil 2,950 km; oil/gas/water 5 km; refined products 156 km (2007)

Ports and terminals:
Mina' Zayid (Abu Dhabi), Al Fujayrah, Mina' Jabal 'Ali (Dubai), Mina' Rashid (Dubai), Mina' Saqr (Ra's al Khaymah), Khawr Fakkan (Sharjah)

Heliports:
5 (2007)

Merchant marine:
total: 58
by type: bulk carrier 6, cargo 9, chemical tanker 4, container 8, liquefied gas 1, passenger/cargo 1, petroleum tanker 24, roll on/roll off 4, specialized tanker 1
foreign-owned: 14 (Denmark 1, Greece 3, Kuwait 10)
registered in other countries: 313 (Bahamas 23, Bahrain 1, Belize 5, Cambodia 2, Comoros 7, Cyprus 9, Dominica 1, Georgia 1, Gibraltar 3, Hong Kong 1, India 6, Indonesia 2, Iran 1, Jordan 13, North Korea 8, Liberia 23, Malta 5, Marshall Islands 15, Mexico 1, Netherlands 5, Panama 109, Papua New Guinea 6, Philippines 1, Saint Kitts and Nevis 18, Saint Vincent and the Grenadines 9, Saudi Arabia 1, Sierra Leone 8, Singapore 12, Somalia 1, Turkey 1, UK 9, unknown 6) (2008)

Airports - with paved runways:
total: 22
over 3,047 m: 10
2,438 to 3,047 m: 3
1,524 to 2,437 m: 2
914 to 1,523 m: 4
under 914 m: 3 (2007)

Roadways:
total: 4,080 km
paved: 4,080 km (includes 253 km of expressways) (2008)

Airports - with unpaved runways:
total: 17
over 3,047 m: 2
2,438 to 3,047 m: 1
1,524 to 2,437 m: 4
914 to 1,523 m: 5
under 914 m: 5 (2007)

Airports:
39 (2007)

  Military Back To Top

Military service age and obligation:
18 years of age (est.) for voluntary military service; 18 years of age for officers and women; no conscription (2008)

Manpower available for military service:
males age 16-49: 2,405,884 (includes non-nationals)
females age 16-49: 884,853 (2008 est.)

Manpower fit for military service:
males age 16-49: 2,004,558
females age 16-49: 760,637 (2008 est.)

Military branches:
United Arab Emirates Armed Forces: Army, Navy (includes Marines), Air Force and Air Defense, National Coast Guard (2008)

Manpower reaching militarily significant age annually:
male: 25,856
female: 23,085 (2008 est.)

Military expenditures:
3.1% of GDP (2005 est.)

  Transnational Issues Back To Top

Disputes - international:
boundary agreement was signed and ratified with Oman in 2003 for entire border, including Oman's Musandam Peninsula and Al Madhah enclaves, but contents of the agreement and detailed maps showing the alignment have not been published; Iran and UAE dispute Tunb Islands and Abu Musa Island, which Iran occupies

Illicit drugs:
the UAE is a drug transshipment point for traffickers given its proximity to Southwest Asian drug-producing countries; the UAE's position as a major financial center makes it vulnerable to money laundering; anti-money-laundering controls improving, but informal banking remains unregulated

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