United Arab Emirates

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


Dessert; cooler in eastern mountains


Nationality: Emirati(s)
Population: 5,473,927  (July 2013 est.)
Languages: Arabic (official), Persian, English, Hindi, Urdu


Muslim (Islam - official) 96%, (Shia 16%), other (include Christian, Hindu) 4%


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 country has undergone a profound transformation from an impoverished region of small desert principalities to a modern state with a high standard of living.

Living Conditions

Before the discovery and production of oil, conditions in the UAE were very primitive. Emirians had no electricity, running water, or sewage disposal system. There were no paved roads or telephones. Housing consisted of the bare minimum needs for shelter. Since oil production began in 1962, conditions have rapidly improved. Today almost all Emirians live in thoroughly modern homes in modern cities. Medical care is still not up to Western standards, but it is improving.


Federation with specified powers delegated to the UAE federal government and other powers reserved to member emirates

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