United Arab Emirates Geography

What is the terrain and geography like in United Arab Emirates?

Overview:

On December 2, 1971, six of the seven small Arabian emirates formerly known because of their commercial and security alliances with Great Britain as the "Trucial States"- Abu Dhabi, Dubai, Sharjah, Fujairah, Um Al Qaiwain, and Ajman - joined to form the sovereign independent country of the United Arab Emirates (U.A.E.). The seventh emirate, Ras al Khaimah, joined the federation in February 1972. The U.A.E. has an area of about 34,000 square miles, with a 386-mile coastline on the Arabian Gulf and the Gulf of Oman. All the main towns, with the exception of the oasis of Al Ain, are on the coast. Apart from a mountain range in the north and scattered oases, much of the U.A.E.'s territory is sandy desert and salt marshes. A few offshore islands belong to or are claimed by the U.A.E.

Geography - note:

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

Climate:

Rainfall is low; but humidity is uncomfortably high. May to October is extremely hot, with shade temperatures of 29°C (85°F) to 50°C (122°F) and frequent 100% humidity. During the cool season (December-February) the weather is damp and seems colder than the 10°C (50°F) the thermometer sometimes indicates. During the rest of the year, the climate is pleasant, except for occasional sandstorms and hot, dry winds, which blow off the Empty Quarter of Arabia.

United Arab Emirates Use of Natural Resources

United Arab Emirates Environment

Climate:

Rainfall is low; but humidity is uncomfortably high. May to October is extremely hot, with shade temperatures of 29°C (85°F) to 50°C (122°F) and frequent 100% humidity. During the cool season (December-February) the weather is damp and seems colder than the 10°C (50°F) the thermometer sometimes indicates. During the rest of the year, the climate is pleasant, except for occasional sandstorms and hot, dry winds, which blow off the Empty Quarter of Arabia.

Terrain:

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

Natural Resources:

petroleum, natural gas

Natural Hazards:

frequent sand and dust storms

Irrigated Land:

355 Square Miles
920 Square Kilometers

Environmental Issues:

lack of natural freshwater resources compensated by desalination plants; desertification; beach pollution from oil spills

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

United Arab Emirates Geography

Geographic Location Middle East
Total Area 32,278 Square Miles
83,600 Square Kilometers
Land Area 32,278 Square Miles
83,600 Square Kilometers
Land Boundaries 539 Miles
867 Kilometers
Irrigated Land 355 Square Miles
920 Square Kilometers
Border Countries Oman 410 km, Saudi Arabia 457 km
Coastline 819 Miles
1,318 Kilometers
Geographic Coordinates 24 00 N, 54 00 E
Terrain flat, barren coastal plain merging into rolling sand dunes of vast desert wasteland; mountains in east
Highest Point 1,527 Meters
Highest Point Location Jabal Yibir 1,527 m
Lowest Point Location Persian Gulf 0 m
Natural Resources petroleum, natural gas
Time Zone UTC+4 (9 hours ahead of Washington, DC during Standard Time)
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