Fact sheet

The UAE is a constitutional federation of seven emirates. Abu Dhabi city is the capital of the UAE. Arabic is the official language of the UAE. Islam is the official religion in the UAEThe UAE is 4 hours ahead of GMT. The Arab Emirati Dirham (AED) is pegged to the US dollar (USD). 1 USD = AED 3.6725. The UAE passport holds the 1st position globally.



Capital

Abu Dhabi city is the capital of the UAE.

Presidents

The late H. H. Sheikh Zayed bin Sultan Al Nahyan was the first President of the UAE and is known as the Father of the Nation. He served this position since the formation of the UAE on 2 December 1971 until he passed away in 2004. 

 

The late H. H. Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan was the second President of the UAE. He took this position in 2004 until he passed away on 13 May 2022.

 

H. H. Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan is the current President of the UAE. He took this position on 14 May 2022. He is also the Ruler of Abu Dhabi.

 

Political system

The UAE is a constitutional federation of seven emirates. The Constitution of the UAE provides for five federal authorities. They are:

  1. The Supreme Council
  2. The President and the Vice-President
  3. The Cabinet
  4. The Federal National Council
  5. The Federal Judiciary.

Foreign policy

The UAE follows a moderate foreign policy that reinforces balanced relationships with the international community. It adheres to the principles of peaceful co-existence, mutual respect and non-interference in the internal affairs of other countries. It pursues peaceful resolution of disputes through dialogue together with the support of international institutions, such as the United Nations. The UAE is a leading player in the global campaign against human traffickingterrorism and in maintaining human rights

Foreign aid

According to the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD), the UAE continues to rank among the largest providers of official development assistance (ODA) relative to national income worldwide. From the start of 2021 to mid-2022, the UAE provided over USD 3.5 billion in foreign aid to countries around the globe.

Read the UAE’s annual foreign aid reports.

Official language

Arabic is the official language of the UAE. In the courts, the other five official languages are Chinese, English, French, Hindi and Russian. All road and traffic signs, and signs on commercial outlets are in Arabic and English. Some of the other widely spoken languages include Bengali, Farsi, Malayalam, Turkish and Urdu.

Religion

Islam is the official religion in the UAE. Expatriate residents practice their respective religions by virtue of the UAE’s policy of tolerance and co-existence, and religious inclusion

Location

The UAE is located in Asia. It is situated 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.

Area

The UAE's area 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.

Geographic coordinates

The UAE is situated at:

51°35’ - 57°10’ east

Longitude

22°35’ - 26°25’ north

Latitude

Time

The UAE is 4 hours ahead of GMT.

Climate

The UAE maintains a desert climate. It is warm and sunny in the winter and during the summer, it is hot and humid. It is generally cooler in the eastern mountains.

Monetary unit/currency

The Arab Emirati Dirham is the official currency of the UAE. It is called Dirhams and is abbreviated officially as AED. Unofficial abbreviations include Dh and Dhs. The dirham is divided into 100 fils.

Coins are in the following denomination: AED 1, 50 fils and 25 fils.

Notes or bills are in the denomination of AED 5, 10, 20, 50, 100, 200, 500 and 1,000.

Exchange rate

Since February 2002, the Arab Emirati Dirham (AED) is pegged to the US dollar (USD). 

1 USD = AED 3.6725.

Flag

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.

Green represents hope, joy, optimism and love. It can also symbolise the country's prosperity.

White represents peace and honesty. White is the purest colour, and is interpreted by some to symbolise cleanliness.

Black stands for the defeat of enemies and also strength of mind.

Red represents hardiness, bravery, strength and courage. The vertical red band can also be interpreted as binding all the other meanings together in unity.

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 to convey its story to the world.

National anthem

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.

Read the translation of the UAE's National Anthem

Download the UAE National Anthem's musical Notes (PDF, 500 KB).

Download the UAE National Anthem (MP3, 2.6 MB). 

Diplomatic missions in the world

Find embassies of the UAE across the world.

Foreign representation in the UAE

Embassies and consulates are usually open from Monday to Friday (the UAE work-week) and are closed on Saturdays, Sundays, all UAE public holidays, and on the public holiday of the respective country.

 

Opening times vary depending on each embassy and the purpose of visit. Find embassies and consulates in the UAE.

Nationality

All UAE citizens in the seven emirates carry the unified nationality of the UAE, which is recognised internationally. The demonym is Emirati.

 

According to Arton Capital's Passport Index, the UAE passport holds the 1st position globally. A UAE-passport holder can travel to 179 countries; 134 destinations offer visa-free travel and 45 offered eVisa or visa on arrival at the airport.

Population

According to Federal Competitiveness and Statistics Centre, the UAE's total population (nationals and expatriate residents) was 9,282,410 in 2020, as compared to 9,503,738 in 2019. Males outnumber females.

 

There were 6,468,460 males in 2020, as compared to 6,302,724 in 2019.

There were 2,813,950 females in 2020, as compared to 3,201,014 in 2019.

 

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.

Source: Ministry of Foreign Affairs

Literacy rate

The literacy rate among the population aged 15 and above is 98 per cent as of 2022.    

Births

According to Federal Competitiveness and Statistics Centre, here are the figures for births in 2021:

Total births: 92,777

Males: 47,816

Females: 44,961

 

Source: Excel file (200 KB) 

Deaths

According to Federal Competitiveness and Statistics Centre, here are the figures for deaths in 2021:

Total deaths: 10,357

Males: 7,681

Females: 2,675

Not stated: 1

 

Source: Excel file (200 KB)

Life expectancy

As of 2021, life expectancy at birth is:

  • 80 for females and 
  • 77.2 for males. 

 

Coastline

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.

Elevation extremes

The country's lowest point is at sea level and its highest point is Jebel Jais at 1,934 metres.

GDP

In 2023, the total GDP was:

  • AED 1.88 trillion at current prices, recording a growth rate of 2.3 percent since 2022
  • AED 1.68 trillion at constant prices, marking a 3.6 per cent increase from 2022.

 

In 2023, non-oil GDP was:

  • AED 1.43 trillion at current prices, achieving a growth rate of 9.9 per cent since 2022
  • AED 1.25 trillion at constant prices, reflecting a 6.2 per cent growth compared to 2022.

 

Source: WAM

Imports and exports

The value of the UAE’s non-oil foreign trade in 2022 amounted to nearly AED 2.233 trillion, reflecting a 17 per cent growth compared to the value of trade in 2021. The breakup is as follows:

Imports: AED 1.252 trillion

Non-oil exports: AED 366 billion

Re-exports: AED 614.6 billion.

Fiscal year

1 January to 31 December

Federal budget

The federal budget for the year 2024 is AED 64.060 billion, 1.6 per cent more than the budget for the year 2023 (AED 63.066 billion). It is allocated as follows:

  • AED 26.7 billion (42 per cent of the total general budget) towards social development and social benefits sector.
  • AED 25.2 billion (39 per cent of the total general budget) allocated towards government affairs sector
  • AED 2.6 billion (4 per cent of the total general budget) allocated towards infrastructure and economic resources
  • AED 2.3 billion (4 per cent of the total general budget) allocated towards the financial investments sector, including AED 807.5 million allocated to federal investment projects
  • AED 7.2 billion (11 per cent of the total general budget) allocated for other federal expenses.

Inflation rate

The UAE's inflation rate was 2.5 per cent in 2021.

Consumer price index

The UAE's consumer price index at the end of 2021 reached 108.62.

Taxes

The UAE does not levy income tax on individuals. However, it levies 5 per cent value added Tax on the purchase of goods and services, levied at each stage of the supply chain and ultimately borne by the end consumer. The UAE also levies excise tax on specific goods that are harmful to health, and corporate tax on the net income or profit of corporations and other entities from their business.

Natural resources and energy

Oil and gas

The UAE has proven crude oil reserves of 107,000 million barrels and proven natural gas reserves of 7,726 billion cubic metres.

Source: Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (Annual Statistical Bulletin 2021)

Electricity

In 2020, the total installed capacity of electricity generation plants was 34,901 megawatts (MW), using diesel engine, gas turbine, steam turbine, combined cycle turbine, solar energy turbine, nuclear energy and clean coal.

Source: Federal Competitiveness and Statistics Centre (Electricity report for 2020)

Water

In 2020, the installed capacity of water production plants was 7.23 million cubic metres per day.

1,952.7 million cubic metres desalinated water was produced from sea water and 27.9 million cubic metres water was produced from ground water.

Source: Federal Competitiveness and Statistics Centre (Desalinated Produced Water report for 2020) 

Renewable energy

In 2020, the installed capacity of renewable energy plants in the UAE was 2,300.8. MW. Sources included solar photovoltaic, concentrated solar power and landfill gas.

Source: Federal Competitiveness and Statistics Centre (Renewable energy report for 2020)

Nuclear energy

The Barakah Nuclear Energy Plant consists of four nuclear units each with the capacity to produce up to 1,400 megawatts (MW) of electricity.

Source: Commercial Operations (PDF, 250 KB)

Working days

Government and semi-government offices operate from Monday to Friday. However, Sharjah government entities operate from Monday to Thursday.

Most private companies are closed only on Sundays, while others are closed on both, Saturdays and Sundays.

Public holidays

The UAE’s National Day is on 2 December. As a result, 2 and 3 December are observed as public holidays. It marks the formation of the UAE in 1971.

Other public holidays are:

  • Gregorian New Year 
  • Eid Al Fitr
  • Arafah day and Eid Al Adha
  • Hijri New Year
  • Prophet Mohammed's birthday.

Telecommunications

 

International dialing code: +971

The dialing codes for the emirates/cities are:

  • 02 for the emirate of Abu Dhabi
  • 03 for Al Ain city in the emirate of Abu Dhabi
  • 04 for the emirate of Dubai
  • 06 for the emirates of Sharjah, Ajman and Umm Al Quwain
  • 07 for the emirate of Ras Al Khaimah
  • 09 for the emirate of Fujairah and city of Khor Fakkan.

Telephones - fixed lines

According to Telecommunications and Digital Government Regulatory Authority (TDRA), there were 1,929,791 fixed lines with an average of 20.8 lines per 100 inhabitants as of September 2023.

Mobile cellular

According to TDRA, there were 20,445,447 active mobile subscriptions with an average of 220.1 mobile subscriptions per 100 inhabitants as of September 2023.

Internet domain

The top-level domain is .ae.

Internet subscribers

According to TDRA, there were 3,742,119 broadband internet subscribers with an average of 40 broadband internet subscriptions per 100 inhabitants as of September 2023.

News agency

Emirates News Agency (WAM) is the official UAE news agency of the UAE Government. It publishes news in multiple languages.

Transportation

Major airports in the UAE

Roadways

Motorists drive on the right hand side of the road.

Toll roads

The emirate of Dubai levies a toll (salik) of AED 4 when vehicles pass through the toll gates.

In Abu Dhabi, a toll of AED 4 is levied on every vehicle passing the toll gate during peak hours from 7 to 9 am and from 5 to 7 pm from Monday to Saturday.

Major highways

  • E11 - It is the longest road in the UAE. It stretches from Al Silah in the emirate of Abu Dhabi to the boundary of Ras Al Khaimah. It has various alternate names: Sheikh Maktoum Road in Abu Dhabi, Sheikh Zayed Road in Dubai and Sheikh Muhammad bin Salem Road in Ras Al Khaimah.
  • E311 - It is was renamed Sheikh Mohammed bin Zayed Road from Emirates road. It links Dubai to the rest of the emirates.
  • E611 - It is called the Emirates Bypass road and runs across the emirates of Dubai to the emirate of Ras Al Khaimah. 
  • Sheikh Khalifa highway - it links the emirates of Dubai and Fujairah.

 

Seaports

The UAE has several seaports. Some of the major ports are:


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