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Middle East :: United Arab Emirates
page last updated on October 28, 2009
Flag of United Arab Emirates
(CONTAINS DESCRIPTION)
Location of United Arab Emirates
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Introduction ::United Arab Emirates
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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.
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Geography ::United Arab Emirates
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Middle East, bordering the Gulf of Oman and the Persian Gulf, between Oman and Saudi Arabia
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24 00 N, 54 00 E
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total: 83,600 sq km
country comparison to the world: 114
land: 83,600 sq km
water: 0 sq km
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slightly smaller than Maine
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total: 867 km
border countries: Oman 410 km, Saudi Arabia 457 km
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1,318 km
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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
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desert; cooler in eastern mountains
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flat, barren coastal plain merging into rolling sand dunes of vast desert wasteland; mountains in east
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lowest point: Persian Gulf 0 m
highest point: Jabal Yibir 1,527 m
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petroleum, natural gas
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arable land: 0.77%
permanent crops: 2.27%
other: 96.96% (2005)
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760 sq km (2003)
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0.2 cu km (1997)
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total: 2.3 cu km/yr (23%/9%/68%)
per capita: 511 cu m/yr (2000)
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frequent sand and dust storms
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lack of natural freshwater resources compensated by desalination plants; desertification; beach pollution from oil spills
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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
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strategic location along southern approaches to Strait of Hormuz, a vital transit point for world crude oil
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People ::United Arab Emirates
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4,798,491
country comparison to the world: 115
note: estimate is based on the results of the 2005 census that included a significantly higher estimate of net inmigration of non-citizens than previous estimates (July 2009 est.)
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0-14 years: 20.4% (male 500,928/female 478,388)
15-64 years: 78.7% (male 2,768,030/female 1,008,404)
65 years and over: 0.9% (male 27,601/female 15,140)
note: 73.9% of the population in the 15-64 age group is non-national (2009 est.)
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total: 30.1 years
male: 32 years
female: 24.7 years (2009 est.)
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3.689% (2009 est.)
country comparison to the world: 1
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16.02 births/1,000 population (2009 est.)
country comparison to the world: 132
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2.11 deaths/1,000 population (July 2009 est.)
country comparison to the world: 222
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22.98 migrant(s)/1,000 population (2009 est.)
country comparison to the world: 1
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urban population: 78% of total population (2008)
rate of urbanization: 2.9% annual rate of change (2005-10 est.)
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at birth: 1.05 male(s)/female
under 15 years: 1.05 male(s)/female
15-64 years: 2.74 male(s)/female
65 years and over: 1.82 male(s)/female
total population: 2.19 male(s)/female (2009 est.)
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total: 12.7 deaths/1,000 live births
country comparison to the world: 138
male: 14.86 deaths/1,000 live births
female: 10.44 deaths/1,000 live births (2009 est.)
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total population: 76.11 years
country comparison to the world: 70
male: 73.56 years
female: 78.78 years (2009 est.)
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2.42 children born/woman (2009 est.)
country comparison to the world: 102
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0.18% (2001 est.)
country comparison to the world: 111
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NA
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NA
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noun: Emirati(s)
adjective: Emirati
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Emirati 19%, other Arab and Iranian 23%, South Asian 50%, other expatriates (includes Westerners and East Asians) 8% (1982)
note: less than 20% are UAE citizens (1982)
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Muslim 96% (Shia 16%), other (includes Christian, Hindu) 4%
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Arabic (official), Persian, English, Hindi, Urdu
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definition: age 15 and over can read and write
total population: 77.9%
male: 76.1%
female: 81.7% (2003 est.)
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total: 11 years
male: 11 years
female: 12 years (2003)
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1.3% of GDP (2005)
country comparison to the world: 176
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Government ::United Arab Emirates
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conventional long form: United Arab Emirates
conventional short form: none
local long form: Al Imarat al Arabiyah al Muttahidah
local short form: none
former: Trucial Oman, Trucial States
abbreviation: UAE
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federation with specified powers delegated to the UAE federal government and other powers reserved to member emirates
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name: Abu Dhabi
geographic coordinates: 24 28 N, 54 22 E
time difference: UTC+4 (9 hours ahead of Washington, DC during Standard Time)
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7 emirates (imarat, singular - imarah); Abu Zaby (Abu Dhabi), 'Ajman, Al Fujayrah, Ash Shariqah (Sharjah), Dubayy (Dubai), Ra's al Khaymah, Umm al Qaywayn (Quwayn)
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2 December 1971 (from the UK)
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Independence Day, 2 December (1971)
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2 December 1971; made permanent in 1996
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based on a dual system of Sharia and civil courts; has not accepted compulsory ICJ jurisdiction
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none
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chief of state: President KHALIFA bin Zayid al-Nuhayyan (since 3 November 2004), ruler of Abu Zaby (Abu Dhabi) (since 4 November 2004); Vice President and Prime Minister MUHAMMAD BIN RASHID al-Maktum (since 5 January 2006)
head of government: Prime Minister and Vice President MUHAMMAD bin Rashid al-Maktum (since 5 January 2006); Deputy Prime Ministers SULTAN bin Zayid al-Nuhayyan (since 20 November 1990) and HAMDAN bin Zayid al-Nuhayyan (since 20 October 2003)
cabinet: Council of Ministers appointed by the president
note: there is also a Federal Supreme Council (FSC) composed of the seven emirate rulers; the FSC is the highest constitutional authority in the UAE; establishes general policies and sanctions federal legislation; meets four times a year; Abu Zaby (Abu Dhabi) and Dubayy (Dubai) rulers have effective veto power
elections: president and vice president elected by the FSC for five-year terms (no term limits) from among the seven FSC members; election last held 3 November 2004 upon the death of the UAE's Founding Father and first President ZAYID bin Sultan al Nuhayyan (next to be held in 2009); prime minister and deputy prime minister appointed by the president
election results: KHALIFA bin Zayid al-Nuhayyan elected president by a unanimous vote of the FSC; MUHAMMAD bin Rashid al-Maktum unanimously affirmed vice president after the 2006 death of his brother Sheikh Maktum bin Rashid al-Maktum
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unicameral Federal National Council (FNC) or Majlis al-Ittihad al-Watani (40 seats; 20 members appointed by the rulers of the constituent states, 20 members elected to serve two-year terms)
elections: elections for one half of the FNC (the other half remains appointed) held in the UAE on 18-20 December 2006; the new electoral college - a body of 6,689 Emiratis (including 1,189 women) appointed by the rulers of the seven emirates - were the only eligible voters and candidates; 456 candidates including 65 women ran for 20 contested FNC seats; one female from the Emirate of Abu Dhabi won a seat and 8 women were among the 20 appointed members
note: reviews legislation but cannot change or veto
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Union Supreme Court (judges are appointed by the president)
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none; political parties are not allowed
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NA
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ABEDA, AFESD, AMF, FAO, G-77, GCC, IAEA, IBRD, ICAO, ICC, ICCt (signatory), ICRM, IDA, IDB, IFAD, IFC, IFRCS, IHO, ILO, IMF, IMO, IMSO, Interpol, IOC, IPU, ISO, ITSO, ITU, LAS, MIGA, NAM, OAPEC, OIC, OPCW, OPEC, UN, UNCTAD, UNESCO, UNIDO, UPU, WCO, WFTU, WHO, WIPO, WMO, WTO
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chief of mission: Ambassador Yousef bin Mani Saeed al-OTAIBA
chancery: 3522 International Court NW, Suite 400, Washington, DC 20008
telephone: [1] (202) 243-2400
FAX: [1] (202) 243-2432
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chief of mission: Ambassador Richard G. OLSON, Jr.
embassy: Embassies District, Plot 38 Sector W59-02, Street No. 4, Abu Dhabi
mailing address: P. O. Box 4009, Abu Dhabi
telephone: [971] (2) 414-2200
FAX: [971] (2) 414-2603
consulate(s) general: Dubai
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three equal horizontal bands of green (top), white, and black with a wider vertical red band on the hoist side
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Economy ::United Arab Emirates
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The UAE has an open economy with a high per capita income and a sizable annual trade surplus. Successful efforts at economic diversification have reduced the portion of GDP based on oil and gas output to 25%. Since the discovery of oil in the UAE more than 30 years ago, the UAE has undergone a profound transformation from an impoverished region of small desert principalities to a modern state with a high standard of living. The government has increased spending on job creation and infrastructure expansion and is opening up utilities to greater private sector involvement. In April 2004, the UAE signed a Trade and Investment Framework Agreement with Washington and in November 2004 agreed to undertake negotiations toward a Free Trade Agreement with the US. The country's Free Trade Zones - offering 100% foreign ownership and zero taxes - are helping to attract foreign investors. Higher oil revenue, strong liquidity, housing shortages, and cheap credit in 2005-07 led to a surge in asset prices (shares and real estate) and consumer inflation. The global financial crisis and the resulting tight international credit market and falling oil prices have already begun to deflate asset prices and will result in slower economic growth for 2009. Dependence on oil and a large expatriate workforce are significant long-term challenges. The UAE's strategic plan for the next few years focuses on diversification and creating more opportunities for nationals through improved education and increased private sector employment.
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$184.3 billion (2008 est.)
country comparison to the world: 56
$171.6 billion (2007 est.)
$159.3 billion (2006 est.)
note: data are in 2008 US dollars
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$260.1 billion (2008 est.)
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7.4% (2008 est.)
country comparison to the world: 27
7.7% (2007 est.)
9.4% (2006 est.)
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$39,900 (2008 est.)
country comparison to the world: 21
$38,600 (2007 est.)
$37,400 (2006 est.)
note: data are in 2008 US dollars
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agriculture: 1.5%
industry: 62.7%
services: 35.7% (2008 est.)
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3.266 million
country comparison to the world: 97
note: expatriates account for about 85% of the work force (2008 est.)
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agriculture: 7%
industry: 15%
services: 78% (2000 est.)
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2.4% (2001)
country comparison to the world: 25
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19.5% (2003)
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lowest 10%: NA%
highest 10%: NA%
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22.8% of GDP (2008 est.)
country comparison to the world: 71
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revenues: $78.74 billion
expenditures: $48.31 billion (2008 est.)
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42.3% of GDP (2008 est.)
country comparison to the world: 49
17.6% of GDP (2004 est.)
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20% (2008 est.)
country comparison to the world: 204
14% (2007 est.)
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NA% (31 December 2008)
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$NA (31 December 2008)
country comparison to the world: 26
$49.5 billion (31 December 2007)
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$NA (31 December 2008)
country comparison to the world: 24
$104.6 billion (31 December 2007)
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$NA (31 December 2008)
country comparison to the world: 36
$155.4 billion (31 December 2007)
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$97.85 billion (31 December 2008)
country comparison to the world: 35
$224.7 billion (31 December 2007)
$138.5 billion (31 December 2006)
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dates, vegetables, watermelons; poultry, eggs, dairy products; fish
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petroleum and petrochemicals; fishing, aluminum, cement, fertilizers, commercial ship repair, construction materials, some boat building, handicrafts, textiles
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6.7% (2008 est.)
country comparison to the world: 32
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71.54 billion kWh (2007 est.)
country comparison to the world: 38
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65.98 billion kWh (2007 est.)
country comparison to the world: 36
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0 kWh (2008 est.)
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0 kWh (2008 est.)
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3.046 million bbl/day (2008 est.)
country comparison to the world: 8
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463,000 bbl/day (2008 est.)
country comparison to the world: 33
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2.7 million bbl/day (2007 est.)
country comparison to the world: 4
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192,900 bbl/day (2007 est.)
country comparison to the world: 51
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97.8 billion bbl (1 January 2009 est.)
country comparison to the world: 7
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50.24 billion cu m (2008 est.)
country comparison to the world: 18
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59.42 billion cu m (2008 est.)
country comparison to the world: 14
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7.567 billion cu m (2008)
country comparison to the world: 24
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16.75 billion cu m (2008 est.)
country comparison to the world: 15
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6.071 trillion cu m (1 January 2009 est.)
country comparison to the world: 6
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$34.3 billion (2008 est.)
country comparison to the world: 15
$25.84 billion (2007 est.)
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$210.5 billion (2008 est.)
country comparison to the world: 21
$170.4 billion (2007 est.)
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crude oil 45%, natural gas, reexports, dried fish, dates
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Japan 25.5%, South Korea 8.6%, Thailand 5.8%, India 4.8% (2008)
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$145.8 billion (2008 est.)
country comparison to the world: 29
$116.6 billion (2007 est.)
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machinery and transport equipment, chemicals, food
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China 13.5%, India 9.8%, US 9.2%, Germany 6.8%, Japan 6.4%, Turkey 4.7%, Italy 4.5% (2008)
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$31.69 billion (31 December 2008 est.)
country comparison to the world: 40
$77.24 billion (31 December 2007 est.)
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$126.9 billion (31 December 2008 est.)
country comparison to the world: 34
$61.68 billion (31 December 2007 est.)
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$62.69 billion (31 December 2008 est.)
country comparison to the world: 47
$51.54 billion (31 December 2007 est.)
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$28.95 billion (31 December 2008 est.)
country comparison to the world: 35
$24.95 billion (31 December 2007 est.)
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Emirati dirhams (AED) per US dollar - 3.6725 (2008 est.), 3.6725 (2007), 3.6725 (2006), 3.6725 (2005), 3.6725 (2004)
note: officially pegged to the US dollar since February 2002
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Communications ::United Arab Emirates
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1.508 million (2008)
country comparison to the world: 64
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9.358 million (2008)
country comparison to the world: 62
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general assessment: modern fiber-optic integrated services; digital network with rapidly growing use of mobile-cellular telephones; key centers are Abu Dhabi and Dubai
domestic: microwave radio relay, fiber optic and coaxial cable
international: country code - 971; linked to the international submarine cable FLAG (Fiber-Optic Link Around the Globe); landing point for both the SEA-ME-WE-3 and SEA-ME-WE-4 submarine cable networks; satellite earth stations - 3 Intelsat (1 Atlantic Ocean and 2 Indian Ocean) and 1 Arabsat; tropospheric scatter to Bahrain; microwave radio relay to Saudi Arabia
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AM 13, FM 8, shortwave 2 (2004)
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15 (2004)
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.ae
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379,106 (2009)
country comparison to the world: 51
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2.922 million (2008)
country comparison to the world: 60
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Transportation ::United Arab Emirates
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41 (2009)
country comparison to the world: 102
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total: 24
over 3,047 m: 11
2,438 to 3,047 m: 3
1,524 to 2,437 m: 4
914 to 1,523 m: 4
under 914 m: 2 (2009)
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total: 17
over 3,047 m: 2
2,438 to 3,047 m: 1
1,524 to 2,437 m: 4
914 to 1,523 m: 5
under 914 m: 5 (2009)
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5 (2009)
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condensate 458 km; gas 2,129 km; liquid petroleum gas 220 km; oil 1,310 km; refined products 212 km; water 90 km (2008)
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total: 4,080 km
country comparison to the world: 156
paved: 4,080 km (includes 253 km of expressways) (2008)
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total: 58
country comparison to the world: 66
by type: bulk carrier 6, cargo 9, chemical tanker 4, container 8, liquefied gas 1, passenger/cargo 1, petroleum tanker 24, roll on/roll off 4, specialized tanker 1
foreign-owned: 14 (Denmark 1, Greece 3, Kuwait 10)
registered in other countries: 313 (Bahamas 23, Bahrain 1, Belize 5, Cambodia 2, Comoros 7, Cyprus 9, Dominica 1, Georgia 1, Gibraltar 3, Hong Kong 1, India 6, Indonesia 2, Iran 1, Jordan 13, North Korea 8, Liberia 23, Malta 5, Marshall Islands 15, Mexico 1, Netherlands 5, Panama 109, Papua New Guinea 6, Philippines 1, Saint Kitts and Nevis 18, Saint Vincent and the Grenadines 9, Saudi Arabia 1, Sierra Leone 8, Singapore 12, Somalia 1, Turkey 1, UK 9, unknown 6) (2008)
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Mina' Zayid (Abu Dhabi), Al Fujayrah, Mina' Jabal 'Ali (Dubai), Mina' Rashid (Dubai), Mina' Saqr (Ra's al Khaymah), Khawr Fakkan (Sharjah)
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Military ::United Arab Emirates
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United Arab Emirates Armed Forces: Army, Navy (includes Marines), Air Force and Air Defense, National Coast Guard (2008)
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18 years of age (est.) for voluntary military service; 18 years of age for officers and women; no conscription (2008)
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males age 16-49: 2,405,884 (includes non-nationals)
females age 16-49: 884,853 (2008 est.)
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males age 16-49: 2,081,491
females age 16-49: 788,632 (2009 est.)
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male: 26,659
female: 23,793 (2009 est.)
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3.1% of GDP (2005 est.)
country comparison to the world: 43
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Transnational Issues ::United Arab Emirates
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boundary agreement was signed and ratified with Oman in 2003 for entire border, including Oman's Musandam Peninsula and Al Madhah enclaves, but contents of the agreement and detailed maps showing the alignment have not been published; Iran and UAE dispute Tunb Islands and Abu Musa Island, which Iran occupies
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the UAE is a drug transshipment point for traffickers given its proximity to Southwest Asian drug-producing countries; the UAE's position as a major financial center makes it vulnerable to money laundering; anti-money-laundering controls improving, but informal banking remains unregulated
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