The United Arab Emirates

Driving Directions The United Arab Emirates (UAE)

THE UNITED ARAB EMIRATES (UAE) is a federation of seven oil-rich sheikdoms located in The Gulf. The Emirates have loosely defined bound­aries and occupy a formerly known region known as the Pirate Coast and, later, the Trucial States. The largest is Abu Dhabi, while the others are Dubai (Dubayy), Sharjah, Ras al Khaymah, Al Fujayrah, Ajman, and Umm al Quwain.

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As well as its main coast on The Gulf, the country has a short shoreline on the Gulf of Oman. The land is mainly flat, sandy desert except to the north on the peninsula where the Hajar Mountains rise to 2,081 meters or 6,828 feet.

The summers are hot and humid, with temperatures reaching 49°C or 120°F, but from October to May, the weather is warm and sunny with pleasant, cool evenings. Rainfall is, at best, very light. The only fertile areas are the Emirate of Ras al Khaymah, the coastal plain of Al Fujayrah, and the oases.

Vegetation and wildlife are limited and adapted to desert conditions with virtually no cultivation possible. Abu Dhabi and Dubai are the main industrial centers, and, using their wealth from the oil industry, they are now diversifying industry by building aluminum smelters, cement factories, and steel­rolling mills.

Education is compulsory for 12 years from the age of six. Before developing the oil industry, traditional occupations were pearl diving, growing dates, fishing, and camel breeding.

Dubai is the wealthiest state in the world.

Google maps™ The United Arab Emirates (UAE)

Abu Dhabi, extending along the Persian Gulf coast and into the Arabian Peninsula interior, occupies about four-fifths of the UAE’s territory. The remaining six emirates are clustered together on the Musandam Peninsula to the northeast. The UAE is mostly a flat, sandy desert except for the easternmost region, where the northern tip of the Al Hajar Mountains stretches into the country from Oman to the east.

The northern and longest part of the UAE’s coastline borders the Persian Gulf, with a short section to the east bordering the Gulf of Oman. There are coral reefs in the shallow waters off the UAE’s eastern coast on the Gulf of Oman. Shoals lie off the UAE’s Persian Gulf coast, which has no natural deepwater harbors, unlike the Gulf of Oman coast, which has several.

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