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United Arab Emirates:
Geography

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United Arab Emirates Page


Other pages in this profile of the United Arab Emirates:
People, Government, Economy, Communications & Transportation, Military & Transnational Issues.
Background
Definition
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.
Location
Definition
Middle East, bordering the Gulf of Oman and the Persian Gulf, between Oman and Saudi Arabia
Geographic coordinates
Definition
24 00 N, 54 00 E
Map references
Definition
Middle East
Area
Definition - World rank and map
total: 83,600 sq km
land: 83,600 sq km
water: 0 sq km
Area - comparative
Definition
slightly smaller than Maine
Land boundaries
Definition
total: 867 km
border countries: Oman 410 km, Saudi Arabia 457 km
Coastline
Definition
1,318 km
Maritime claims
Definition
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
Climate
Definition
desert; cooler in eastern mountains
Terrain
Definition
flat, barren coastal plain merging into rolling sand dunes of vast desert wasteland; mountains in east
Elevation extremes
Definition
lowest point: Persian Gulf 0 m
highest point: Jabal Yibir 1,527 m
Natural resources
Definition
petroleum, natural gas
Land use
Definition - World rank and map
arable land: 0.77%
permanent crops: 2.27%
other: 96.96% (2005)
Irrigated land
Definition
760 sq km (2003)
Total renewable water resources
Definition
0.2 cu km (1997)
Freshwater withdrawal (domestic/industrial/agricultural)
Definition
total: 2.3 cu km/yr (23%/9%/68%)
per capita: 511 cu m/yr (2000)
Natural hazards
Definition
frequent sand and dust storms
Environment - current issues
Definition
lack of natural freshwater resources compensated by desalination plants; desertification; beach pollution from oil spills
Environment - international agreements
Definition
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
Geography - note
Definition
strategic location along southern approaches to Strait of Hormuz, a vital transit point for world crude oil


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