The UAE is a constitutional federation of seven emirates. Abu Dhabi city is the capital of the UAE. The UAE is a politically and economically stable country and holds the 25th position globally in Global Competitiveness Report 2019 by World Economic Forum. The country’s soft policy earned the UAE, first rank in Passport Index. In addition, it stands out as one of the 10 largest donor states in official development aid (ODA). Recognised as a tolerant country, the UAE hosts more than 200 nationalities doing business, living, learning and touring the UAE. Residents enjoy freedom of civil rights and practice of religion. Learn more facts about the UAE.
Abu Dhabi city is the capital of the UAE Federation.
The UAE is a constitutional federation of seven emirates. The Constitution of the UAE provides for five federal authorities. They are:
The UAE follows a moderate foreign policy that reinforces balanced relationships with the international community. It adheres to the principle of non-interference in the internal affairs of other countries and the pursuit of dialogue, and whenever possible peaceful resolution of disputes, together with support for international institutions, such as the United Nations. The UAE is a leading player in the global campaign against human trafficking, terrorism and in maintaining human rights.
The UAE supports developmental, humanitarian and charitable programmes in a number of developing countries. In 2018, the assistance reached AED 28.62 billion (USD 7.79 billion). In terms of official development assistance (ODA), since 2012, the UAE has contributed in excess of 0.7 per cent of its Gross National Income, a target set by the United Nations for all countries. In 2018, the UAE contributed 0.93 per cent of its GNI. Read the UAE’s annual foreign aid reports.
The official language of the UAE is Arabic. Positioned as a global commercial hub and top tourist destination, English is widely spoken. All road and traffic signs and signs on commercial outlets are in Arabic and English.
Islam is the official religion in the UAE; practice of other religions is allowed. Besides mosques, the UAE is also home to several churches and temples where worshipers practise their religions in an atmosphere of safety, security and mutual respect.
The UAE is located in Asia. It is located in the southeastern region of the Asian continent, and in the eastern part of the Arabian Peninsula. It overlooks the Arabian Gulf on the north and northwest, borders the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia to the west and south and the Sultanate of Oman to the southeast.
The UAE territory is approximately 71,023.6sq km of land, including some islands in the Arab Gulf, in addition to 27,624.9sq km of territorial water. Abu Dhabi accounts for 84 per cent of the country's total landmass.
The UAE is situated at:
The UAE is 4 hours ahead of GMT.
The UAE maintains a desert climate. It is warm, sunny in the winter, hot, and humid during the summer.
Since February 2002, the Arab Emirati Dirham (AED) is pegged to the US dollar (USD) at the rate of 1 USD = AED 3.6725.
The flag comprises three equal horizontal lines with green at the top, white in the middle and black at the base. There is also a wider vertical red ribbon in the direction of the flagpole.
Coat of arms
The UAE's new coat of arms displays the UAE flag surrounded by seven stars, representing the seven emirates. The falcon is also shown holding a parchment in its talons which reads 'United Arab Emirates' in Arabic.
UAE Nation Brand
In 2020, the UAE adopted the ‘7 Lines’ design as its logo for the next 50 years. The logo represents the seven emirates and the seven founding fathers, and complements the slogan ‘Make it Happen’. This logo is to represent the UAE in all its initiatives and events and convey its story to the world.
The UAE's national anthem, Ishy Bilady was originally conceived as an instrumental in 1971. In 1986, Dr. Aref Al Sheikh was given the task to write the words to the UAE's national anthem, and the Cabinet approved the lyrics.
Diplomatic missions in the world
Foreign representation in the UAE
Nearly 100 foreign embassies are located in Abu Dhabi, the capital of the UAE, and Dubai is home to almost 80 consulates. Consulates are found in major cities outside of a country’s capital and handle minor diplomatic matters like issuing visas. Embassies and consulates are usually open Sunday to Thursday (the UAE work-week) and are closed on Fridays, on all UAE public holidays, and the public holiday of the embassy's home country. Opening times vary depending on embassy and purpose of visit. So arrive early or book an appointment as most operate some sort of queuing system, especially for visa applications.
According to Federal Competitiveness and Statistics Authority, the UAE's total population (nationals and expatriate residents) was 9,304,277 in 2017, as compared to 9,121,167 in 2016. Males outnumber females.
There are more than 200 nationalities living and working in the UAE. The expatriate community outnumbers the population of UAE nationals.
Indians form the largest foreign community in the UAE, followed by Pakistanis, Bangladeshis, other Asians, Europeans and Africans.
UAE nationals as of 2010 (estimate)
Non-nationals in the UAE as of 2010 (estimate)
The literacy rate in the UAE is close to 95 per cent.
According to Federal Competitiveness and Statistics Authority, here are the figures for births in 2017:
According to Federal Competitiveness and Statistics Authority, here are the figures for deaths in 2017:
According to Human Development Report (PDF, 300 KB), issued by the UNDP in 2019, life expectancy in the UAE is 77.8 years.
Prior to the construction of 'Dubai Palms' and other schemes, the coastline of the UAE was approximately 1,318 kilometres. Land reclamation projects are extending this figure.
The country's lowest point is at sea level and its highest point is Jebel Jais at 1,934 metres.
According to Annual Economic Report 2019 (PDF, 18.5 MB), GDP at constant prices was AED 1,442.5 billion, while GDP at current prices was AED 1,521.1 billion in 2018.
Imports and exports
The non-oil foreign trade (direct trade and free zones) amounted to 1.536 trillion dirhams during 2018. The breakup is as follows:
1 January to 31 December
The UAE Cabinet approved a zero-deficit federal budget of AED 61.354 billion for the year 2020. This is the largest budget allocated since the establishment of the UAE. The budget is distributed amongst various sectors related to Emirati citizens and their services. 31% is allocated to social development, 14% to infrastructure and economic resources, 6.5% to social benefits, and 32.6% to government affairs.
The UAE's inflation rate was 3.1 per cent in 2018.
Consumer price index
As of November 2019, the UAE's consumer price index reached 108.48.
The UAE does not levy income tax on individuals. However, oil companies and branches of foreign banks are liable to pay taxes. In addition, the UAE levies 5 per cent Value Added Tax on the consumption or use of goods and services.
Natural resources and energy
Oil and gas
The UAE holds 6.7% of the world's proven oil reserves estimated at 97.8 billion barrels and 3.5% of proven gas reserves, equal to 6091 billion cubic metres.
The UAE is ranked as the 6th largest proved reserves of both oil and natural gas globally.
Source: Ministry of Energy and Industry
Source: Ministry of Energy and Industry
In 2017 installed capacity of renewable energy plants in the UAE amounted to 325 MW.
UAE National Day
It falls on 2 December and marks the UAE's formal nationalisation and the start of the federal unification of the emirates in 1971.
Commemoration Day falls on 1 December. It recognises the sacrifices and dedication of the sons of the nation, who have given their lives in the UAE and abroad in the field of civil, military and humanitarian service.
Other public holidays are:
International dialling code: +971
The dialling codes for the emirates/cities are:
Telephones - fixed lines
According to Telecommunications Regulatory Authority, there were 2,328,781 fixed lines with an average of 26.2 lines per 100 inhabitants as of August 2019.
According to Telecommunications Regulatory Authority, there were 18,999,237 active mobile subscriptions with an average of 213.8 mobile subscriptions per 100 inhabitants as of August 2019.
The top-level domain is .ae.
According to Telecommunications Regulatory Authority, there were 3,016,318 broadband internet subscribers with an average of 33.94 broadband internet subscriptions per 100 inhabitants as of August 2019.
TV and radio
The number of TV and radio stations:
Emirates News Agency (WAM) is the official UAE news agency of the UAE Government. It publishes news in multiple languages.
Major airports in the UAE
Motorists drive on the right hand side of the road.
According to the World Shipping Council, one of the world's top 50 container ports is in the UAE.
The UAE has several seaports. Some of the major ports are: