United Arab Emirates

The United Arab Emirates (UAE) occupies a triangle of land and sea on the Arabian Peninsula's eastern flank. It is strategically positioned and has extensive coastlines on its west and north-facing shores, together with easterly coastline bordering the Arabian Sea. It comprises the emirates of Abu Dhabi (capital), Dubai, Sharjah, Ajman, Umm Al Qaiwain, Ras al-Khaimah and Fujairah.

Facts about the UAE

The United Arab Emirates (UAE) is situated along the south-eastern tip of the Arabian Peninsula between 22º 50 and 26º N latitude and between 51º and 56º 25 E longitude. Qatar lies to the North-West, Saudi Arabia to the West, South and South-East and Oman to the South-East and North-East.

Area: 83,600 sq km

Population: 2,407,460 (2001)

The UAE has a sub-tropical, arid climate. Rainfall is infrequent and irregular, falling mainly in winter, it amounts to some 13 cm a year. Temperatures range from a low of about 10° C to a high of 48°C. The mean daily maximum is 24°C in January rising to 41°C in July.

The Emirati Dirham (AED) is the currency of the UAE. One Dirham is divided into 100 Fils. US Dollars is the currency of intervention at a rate of US $ 1 = Dh 3.673. There are no restrictions on the import or export of any currency. There is no foreign exchange control and the Dirham is freely convertible.

Islamic culture is predominant, but everyday life is marked by a high degree of tolerance towards the various expatriate communities. Freedom of worship is allowed to all religions and alcohol is permitted. Expatriates enjoy a superb lifestyle with excellent accommodation and leisure facilities, education and health services.

The national language is Arabic, but English is widely spoken in business and trade circles.

National Holidays

National Day (December 2)
New Year's Day

Lailat Al Mi'raj
Eid Al-Fitr
Eid Al-Adha
Hijra New Year's Day
Prophet Muhammad's birthday
Working Hours
08:30-13:00 and 16:30-20:00 Saturday to Wednesday. Some companies work from 08:00 to 17:00 with a one hour lunch break. Many companies close at 14:00 hours on Thursdays.

Government Offices
07:30-14:30 Saturday to Wednesday.

08:00 to 13:00 Saturday to Wednesday; 08:00 to 12:00 on Thursday. (Some banks also work in the afternoon from 16:00 to 18:30)

Retail Shops
08:00-13:00 and 16:00-22:00. Some department stores are open throughout the day.

(Please note that the weekend in Dubai is Thursday and Friday).

Photo Gallery of the UAE

(click on the images to enlarge)

Links to UAE Websites


(Sources: The official website for the Ministry of Information and Culture in the UAE: http://uaeinteract.com; ''Dubai City' by Dubai Municipality, 1999)