The World Factbook (1982)/United Arab Emirates


(See reference map VI)


82,880 km2; almost all desert, waste or urban Land boundaries: 1,094 km (does not include boundaries between adjacent UAE states)


Limits of territorial waters (claimed): 3 nm for all states except Sharjah (12 nm); fishing 200 nm; exclusive economic zone 200 nm

Coastline: 1,448 km


Population: 1,240,000 (July 1982), average annual growth rate 11.3%

Nationality: Noun—Emirian(s), adjective—Emirian

Ethnic divisions: Emirians 19%, other Arabs 23%, South Asians 50% (fluctuating), other expatriates (includes Westerners and East Asians) 8%

Religion: Muslim 96%, Christian, Hindu, and other 4%

Language: Arabic; English widely spoken in major cities

Literacy: 25% est. (1975)

Labor force: 541,000 (1980 est.); 56% services; 80% of labor force is foreign


Official name: United Arab Emirates (composed of former Trucial States)

Member states: Abu Dhabi; Ajman; Dubai; al Fujayrah; Ras al-Khaymah; Sharjah; Umm al-Qaywayn

Type: federation; constitution signed December 1971, which delegated specified powers to the United Arab Emirates central government and reserved other powers to member shaykhdoms

Capital: Abu Dhabi

Legal system: secular codes are being introduced by the UAE Government and in several member shaykhdoms; Islamic law remains very influential

National holiday: 2 December

Branches: Supreme Council of Rulers (seven members), from which a President and Vice President are elected; Prime Minister and Council of Ministers; Federal National Assembly; federal Supreme Court

Government leaders: Shaykh Zayid bin Sultan Al NUHAYYAN of Abu Dhabi, President; Shaykh Rashid ibn Sa'id Al MAKTUM of Dubai, Vice President and Prime Minister

Suffrage: none

Elections: none

Political or pressure groups: none; a few small clandestine groups are active

Member of: Arab League, G-77, GATT (de facto), GCC, ICAO, IFAD, ILO, IMCO, IMF, NAM, OAPEC, OPEC, UN, UNESCO, UPU, WHO, WIPO, WTO


GNP: $30 billion est. (1980), $32,000 per capita

Agriculture: food imported, but some dates, alfalfa, vegetables, fruit, tobacco raised

Electric power: 3,814,000 kW capacity (1980); 8.353 billion kWh produced (1980), 8,943 kWh per capita

Exports: $22.2 billion (f.o.b., 1980; $19.6 billion in oil, $2.6 billion nonoil); crude petroleum, pearls, fish

Imports: $7.5 billion (f.o.b., 1980); food, consumer, and capital goods

Major trade partners: UK, US, Japan, India, EC

Budget: (1980) current expenditures $8.0 billion, capital $2.0 billion, public revenue $12.7 billion

Monetary conversion rate: 1 UAE Dirham=US$3.671 (1980)

Fiscal year: calendar year


Railroads: none

Highways: 780 km bituminous, undetermined mileage of earth tracks

Pipelines: 540 km crude oil; 190 km natural gas

Ports: 3 major, 1 minor

Civil air: 10 major transport aircraft, including 1 leased in

Airfields: 58 total, 37 usable; 18 with permanent-surface runways; 5 with runways over 3,659 m, 2 with runways 2,440-3,659 m, 10 with runways 1,220-2,439 m

Telecommunications: adequate system of radio relay and coaxial cable; key centers are Abu Dhabi and Dubai; 96,000 telephones (16.0 per 100 popl.); 4 AM, 2 FM, and 9 TV stations; 3 INTELSAT stations with 1 Atlantic and 2 Indian Ocean antennas


Military manpower: males 15-49, 445,000; 309,000 fit for military service

Military budget: for fiscal year ending 31 December 1979, $670 million; 36% of central government budget