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Middle East :: United Arab Emirates Print
Page last updated on November 24, 2020
  • Introduction :: United Arab Emirates
  • Background field listing
    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 Dhabi, '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. For more than three decades, oil and global finance drove the UAE's economy. In 2008-09, the confluence of falling oil prices, collapsing real estate prices, and the international banking crisis hit the UAE especially hard. The UAE did not experience the "Arab Spring" unrest seen elsewhere in the Middle East in 2010-11, partly because of the government's multi-year, $1.6-billion infrastructure investment plan for the poorer northern emirates, and its aggressive pursuit of advocates of political reform. The UAE in recent years has played a growing role in regional affairs. In addition to donating billions of dollars in economic aid to help stabilize Egypt, the UAE was one of the first countries to join the Defeat-ISIS coalition, and to participate as a key partner in a Saudi-led military campaign in Yemen. On 15 September 2020, the United Arab Emirates and Bahrain signed a peace accord with Israel – brokered by the US – in Washington DC. Referred to as the Abraham Accords, the United Arab Emirates and Bahrain are the two latest Middle Eastern countries, along with Egypt and Jordan, to recognize Israel.
  • Geography :: United Arab Emirates
  • Location field listing
    Middle East, bordering the Gulf of Oman and the Persian Gulf, between Oman and Saudi Arabia
    Geographic coordinates field listing
    24 00 N, 54 00 E
    Map references field listing
    Middle East
    Area field listing
    total: 83,600 sq km
    land: 83,600 sq km
    water: 0 sq km
    country comparison to the world: 116
    Area - comparative field listing
    slightly larger than South Carolina; slightly smaller than Maine
    Area comparison map: Area comparison map
    Land boundaries field listing
    total: 1,066 km
    border countries (2): Oman 609 km, Saudi Arabia 457 km
    Coastline field listing
    1,318 km
    Maritime claims field listing
    territorial sea: 12 nm
    exclusive economic zone: 200 nm
    contiguous zone: 24 nm
    continental shelf: 200 nm or to the edge of the continental margin
    Climate field listing
    desert; cooler in eastern mountains
    Terrain field listing
    flat, barren coastal plain merging into rolling sand dunes of vast desert; mountains in east
    Elevation field listing
    mean elevation: 149 m
    lowest point: Persian Gulf 0 m
    highest point: Jabal Yibir 1,527 m
    Natural resources field listing
    petroleum, natural gas
    Land use field listing
    agricultural land: 4.6% (2011 est.)
    arable land: 0.5% (2011 est.) / permanent crops: 0.5% (2011 est.) / permanent pasture: 3.6% (2011 est.)
    forest: 3.8% (2011 est.)
    other: 91.6% (2011 est.)
    Irrigated land field listing
    923 sq km (2012)
    Population distribution field listing
    population is heavily concentrated to the northeast on the Musandam Peninsula; the three largest emirates - Abu Dhabi, Dubai, and Sharjah - are home to nearly 85% of the population
    Natural hazards field listing
    frequent sand and dust storms
    Environment - current issues field listing
    air pollution; rapid population growth and high energy demand contribute to water scarcity; lack of natural freshwater resources compensated by desalination plants; land degradation and desertification; waste generation, beach pollution from oil spills
    Environment - international agreements field listing
    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
    Geography - note field listing
    strategic location along southern approaches to Strait of Hormuz, a vital transit point for world crude oil
  • People and Society :: United Arab Emirates
  • Population field listing
    9,992,083 (July 2020 est.)

    note: the UN estimated the country's total population was 9,771,000 as of mid-year 2019; immigrants make up 87.9% of the total population, according to UN data (2019)

    country comparison to the world: 92
    Nationality field listing
    noun: Emirati(s)
    adjective: Emirati
    Ethnic groups field listing
    Emirati 11.6%, South Asian 59.4% (includes Indian 38.2%, Bangladeshi 9.5%, Pakistani 9.4%, other 2.3%), Egyptian 10.2%, Filipino 6.1%, other 12.8% (2015 est.)
    Languages field listing
    Arabic (official), English, Hindi, Malayam, Urdu, Pashto, Tagalog, Persian
    Religions field listing
    Muslim (official) 76%, Christian 9%, other (primarily Hindu and Buddhist, less than 5% of the population consists of Parsi, Baha'i, Druze, Sikh, Ahmadi, Ismaili, Dawoodi Bohra Muslim, and Jewish) 15% (2005 est.)

    note: data represent the total population; as of 2019, immigrants make up about 87.9% of the total population, according to UN data

    MENA religious affiliation: PDF
    Age structure field listing
    0-14 years: 14.45% (male 745,492/female 698,330)
    15-24 years: 7.94% (male 431,751/female 361,804)
    25-54 years: 68.03% (male 5,204,618/female 1,592,987)
    55-64 years: 7.68% (male 658,892/female 108,850)
    65 years and over: 1.9% (male 146,221/female 43,138) (2020 est.)
    population pyramid: population pyramid
    Dependency ratios field listing
    total dependency ratio: 19.2
    youth dependency ratio: 17.7
    elderly dependency ratio: 1.5
    potential support ratio: 66.4 (2020 est.)
    Median age field listing
    total: 38.4 years
    male: 40.4 years
    female: 31.5 years (2020 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 63
    Population growth rate field listing
    1.49% (2020 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 71
    Birth rate field listing
    9.5 births/1,000 population (2020 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 198
    Death rate field listing
    2 deaths/1,000 population (2020 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 228
    Net migration rate field listing
    7.6 migrant(s)/1,000 population (2020 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 14
    Population distribution field listing
    population is heavily concentrated to the northeast on the Musandam Peninsula; the three largest emirates - Abu Dhabi, Dubai, and Sharjah - are home to nearly 85% of the population
    Urbanization field listing
    urban population: 87% of total population (2020)
    rate of urbanization: 1.71% annual rate of change (2015-20 est.)
    total population growth rate v. urban population growth rate, 2000-2030: PDF
    Major urban areas - population field listing
    2.878 million Dubai, 1.685 million Sharjah, 1.483 million ABU DHABI (capital) (2020)
    Sex ratio field listing
    at birth: 1.06 male(s)/female
    0-14 years: 1.07 male(s)/female
    15-24 years: 1.19 male(s)/female
    25-54 years: 3.27 male(s)/female
    55-64 years: 6.05 male(s)/female
    65 years and over: 3.39 male(s)/female
    total population: 2.56 male(s)/female (2020 est.)
    Maternal mortality rate field listing
    3 deaths/100,000 live births (2017 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 180
    Infant mortality rate field listing
    total: 5.3 deaths/1,000 live births
    male: 5.8 deaths/1,000 live births
    female: 4.7 deaths/1,000 live births (2020 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 173
    Life expectancy at birth field listing
    total population: 79 years
    male: 77.6 years
    female: 80.5 years (2020 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 63
    Total fertility rate field listing
    1.73 children born/woman (2020 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 168
    Drinking water source field listing
    improved: total: 100% of population
    unimproved: total: 0% of population (2017 est.)
    Current Health Expenditure field listing
    3.3% (2017)
    Physicians density field listing
    2.44 physicians/1,000 population (2017)
    Hospital bed density field listing
    1.4 beds/1,000 population (2017)
    Sanitation facility access field listing
    improved: total: 98.6% of population
    unimproved: total: 1.4% of population (2017 est.)
    HIV/AIDS - adult prevalence rate field listing
    NA
    HIV/AIDS - people living with HIV/AIDS field listing
    NA
    HIV/AIDS - deaths field listing
    NA
    Obesity - adult prevalence rate field listing
    31.7% (2016)
    country comparison to the world: 20
    Education expenditures field listing
    NA
    Literacy field listing
    definition: age 15 and over can read and write
    total population: 93.8%
    male: 93.1%
    female: 95.8% (2015)
    School life expectancy (primary to tertiary education) field listing
    total: 14 years
    male: 14 years
    female: 15 years (2017)
    Unemployment, youth ages 15-24 field listing
    total: 6.9%
    male: 5%
    female: 12.8% (2018 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 153
  • Government :: United Arab Emirates
  • Country name field listing
    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
    etymology: self-descriptive country name; the name "Arabia" can be traced back many centuries B.C., the ancient Egyptians referred to the region as "Ar Rabi"; "emirates" derives from "amir" the Arabic word for "commander," "lord," or "prince"
    Government type field listing
    federation of monarchies
    Capital field listing
    name: Abu Dhabi
    geographic coordinates: 24 28 N, 54 22 E
    time difference: UTC+4 (9 hours ahead of Washington, DC, during Standard Time)
    etymology: in Arabic, "abu" means "father" and "dhabi" refers to "gazelle"; the name may derive from an abundance of gazelles that used to live in the area, as well as a folk tale involving the "Father of the Gazelle," Shakhbut bin Dhiyab al Nahyan, whose hunting party tracked a gazelle to a spring on the island where Abu Dhabi was founded
    Administrative divisions field listing
    7 emirates (imarat, singular - imarah); Abu Zaby (Abu Dhabi), 'Ajman, Al Fujayrah, Ash Shariqah (Sharjah), Dubayy (Dubai), Ra's al Khaymah, Umm al Qaywayn
    Independence field listing
    2 December 1971 (from the UK)
    National holiday field listing
    Independence Day (National Day), 2 December (1971)
    Constitution field listing
    history: previous 1971 (provisional); latest drafted in 1979, became permanent May 1996
    amendments: proposed by the Supreme Council and submitted to the Federal National Council; passage requires at least a two-thirds majority vote of Federal National Council members present and approval of the Supreme Council president; amended 2009
    International law organization participation field listing
    has not submitted an ICJ jurisdiction declaration; non-party state to the ICCt
    Citizenship field listing
    citizenship by birth: no
    citizenship by descent only: the father must be a citizen of the United Arab Emirates; if the father is unknown, the mother must be a citizen
    dual citizenship recognized: no
    residency requirement for naturalization: 30 years
    Suffrage field listing
    limited; note - rulers of the seven emirates each select a proportion of voters for the Federal National Council (FNC) that together account for about 12 percent of Emirati citizens
    Executive branch field listing
    chief of state: President KHALIFA bin Zayid Al-Nuhayyan (since 2 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 Vice President MUHAMMAD BIN RASHID Al-Maktum (since 5 January 2006); Deputy Prime Ministers SAIF bin Zayid Al-Nuhayyan, MANSUR bin Zayid Al-Nuhayyan (both since 11 May 2009)
    cabinet: Council of Ministers announced by the prime minister and approved by the president
    elections/appointments: president and vice president indirectly elected by the Federal Supreme Council - composed of the rulers of the 7 emirates - for a 5-year term (no term limits); election last held 3 November 2009 (next election NA); prime minister and deputy prime minister appointed by the president
    election results: KHALIFA bin Zayid Al-Nuhayyan reelected president; FSC vote NA

    note: there is also a Federal Supreme Council (FSC) composed of the 7 emirate rulers; the FSC is the highest constitutional authority in the UAE; establishes general policies and sanctions federal legislation; meets 4 times a year; Abu Zaby (Abu Dhabi) and Dubayy (Dubai) rulers have effective veto power

    Legislative branch field listing
    description: unicameral Federal National Council (FNC) or Majlis al-Ittihad al-Watani (40 seats; 20 members indirectly elected using single non-transferable vote by an electoral college whose members are selected by each emirate ruler proportional to its FNC membership, and 20 members appointed by the rulers of the 7 constituent states; members serve 4-year terms)
    elections: last held for indirectly elected members on 5 October 2019 (next to be held in October 2023)
    election results: all candidates ran as independents; seats by emirate - Abu Dhabi 4, Dubai 4, Sharjah 3, Ras al-Khaimah 3, Ajman 2, Fujairah 2, Umm al-Quwain 2; composition (preliminary) - 13 men, 7 women, percent of elected women 35%; note - to attain overall FNC gender parity, 13 women and 7 men will be appointed; overall FNC percent of women 50%
    Judicial branch field listing
    highest courts: Federal Supreme Court (consists of the court president and 4 judges; jurisdiction limited to federal cases)
    judge selection and term of office: judges appointed by the federal president following approval by the Federal Supreme Council, the highest executive and legislative authority consisting of the 7 emirate rulers; judges serve until retirement age or the expiry of their appointment terms
    subordinate courts: Federal Court of Cassation (determines the constitutionality of laws promulgated at the federal and emirate level; federal level courts of first instance and appeals courts); the emirates of Abu Dhabi, Dubai, and Ra's al Khaymah have parallel court systems; the other 4 emirates have incorporated their courts into the federal system; note - the Abu Dhabi Global Market Courts and the Dubai International Financial Center Courts, the country’s two largest financial free zones, both adjudicate civil and commercial disputes.
    Political parties and leaders field listing
    none; political parties are banned
    International organization participation field listing
    ABEDA, AfDB (nonregional member), AFESD, AMF, BIS, CAEU, CICA, FAO, G-77, GCC, IAEA, IBRD, ICAO, ICC (national committees), ICRM, IDA, IDB, IFAD, IFC, IFRCS, IHO, ILO, IMF, IMO, IMSO, Interpol, IOC, IPU, ISO, ITSO, ITU, LAS, MIGA, NAM, OAPEC, OIC, OIF (observer), OPCW, OPEC, PCA, UN, UNCTAD, UNESCO, UNIDO, UNRWA, UNWTO, UPU, WCO, WHO, WIPO, WMO, WTO
    Diplomatic representation in the US field listing
    chief of mission: Ambassador Yusif bin Mani bin Said al-UTAYBA (since 28 July 2008)
    chancery: 3522 International Court NW, Suite 400, Washington, DC 20008
    telephone: [1] (202) 243-2400
    FAX: [1] (202) 243-2432
    consulate(s) general: Boston, Los Angeles, New York
    Diplomatic representation from the US field listing
    chief of mission: Ambassador John RAKOLTA Jr. (since 27 October 2019)
    telephone: [971] (2) 414-2200
    embassy: Embassies District, Plot 38, Sector W59-02, Street No. 4, Abu Dhabi
    mailing address: P. O. Box 4009, Abu Dhabi
    FAX: [971] (2) 414-2603
    consulate(s) general: Dubai
    Flag description field listing
    three equal horizontal bands of green (top), white, and black with a wider vertical red band on the hoist side; the flag incorporates all four Pan-Arab colors, which in this case represent fertility (green), neutrality (white), petroleum resources (black), and unity (red); red was the traditional color incorporated into all flags of the emirates before their unification
    National symbol(s) field listing
    golden falcon; national colors: green, white, black, red
    National anthem field listing
    name: "Nashid al-watani al-imarati" (National Anthem of the UAE)
    lyrics/music: AREF Al Sheikh Abdullah Al Hassan/Mohamad Abdel WAHAB

    note: music adopted 1971, lyrics adopted 1996; Mohamad Abdel WAHAB also composed the music for the anthem of Tunisia

  • Economy :: United Arab Emirates
  • Economy - overview field listing

    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 from the oil and gas sector to 30%.

    Since the discovery of oil in the UAE nearly 60 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. The government has increased spending on job creation and infrastructure expansion and is opening up utilities to greater private sector involvement. The country's free trade zones - offering 100% foreign ownership and zero taxes - are helping to attract foreign investors.

    The global financial crisis of 2008-09, tight international credit, and deflated asset prices constricted the economy in 2009. UAE authorities tried to blunt the crisis by increasing spending and boosting liquidity in the banking sector. The crisis hit Dubai hardest, as it was heavily exposed to depressed real estate prices. Dubai lacked sufficient cash to meet its debt obligations, prompting global concern about its solvency and ultimately a $20 billion bailout from the UAE Central Bank and Abu Dhabi Government that was refinanced in March 2014.

    The UAE’s dependence on oil is a significant long-term challenge, although the UAE is one of the most diversified countries in the Gulf Cooperation Council. Low oil prices have prompted the UAE to cut expenditures, including on some social programs, but the UAE has sufficient assets in its sovereign investment funds to cover its deficits. The government reduced fuel subsidies in August 2015, and introduced excise taxes (50% on sweetened carbonated beverages and 100% on energy drinks and tobacco) in October 2017. A five-percent value-added tax was introduced in January 2018. The UAE's strategic plan for the next few years focuses on economic diversification, promoting the UAE as a global trade and tourism hub, developing industry, and creating more job opportunities for nationals through improved education and increased private sector employment.

    GDP (purchasing power parity) field listing
    $696 billion (2017 est.)
    $690.5 billion (2016 est.)
    $670.5 billion (2015 est.)

    note: data are in 2017 dollars

    country comparison to the world: 32
    GDP (official exchange rate) field listing
    $382.6 billion (2017 est.)
    GDP - real growth rate field listing
    0.8% (2017 est.)
    3% (2016 est.)
    5.1% (2015 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 179
    GDP - per capita (PPP) field listing
    $68,600 (2017 est.)
    $70,100 (2016 est.)
    $70,000 (2015 est.)

    note: data are in 2017 dollars

    country comparison to the world: 13
    Gross national saving field listing
    28.5% of GDP (2017 est.)
    30.9% of GDP (2016 est.)
    30.7% of GDP (2015 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 39
    GDP - composition, by end use field listing
    household consumption: 34.9% (2017 est.)
    government consumption: 12.3% (2017 est.)
    investment in fixed capital: 23% (2017 est.)
    investment in inventories: 1.8% (2017 est.)
    exports of goods and services: 100.4% (2017 est.)
    imports of goods and services: -72.4% (2017 est.)
    GDP - composition, by sector of origin field listing
    agriculture: 0.9% (2017 est.)
    industry: 49.8% (2017 est.)
    services: 49.2% (2017 est.)
    Agriculture - products field listing
    dates, vegetables, watermelons; poultry, eggs, dairy products; fish
    Industries field listing
    petroleum and petrochemicals; fishing, aluminum, cement, fertilizer, commercial ship repair, construction materials, handicrafts, textiles
    Industrial production growth rate field listing
    1.8% (2017 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 138
    Labor force field listing
    5.344 million (2017 est.)

    note: expatriates account for about 85% of the workforce

    country comparison to the world: 74
    Labor force - by occupation field listing
    agriculture: 7%
    industry: 15%
    services: 78% (2000 est.)
    Unemployment rate field listing
    1.6% (2016 est.)
    3.6% (2014 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 15
    Population below poverty line field listing
    19.5% (2003 est.)
    Household income or consumption by percentage share field listing
    lowest 10%: NA
    highest 10%: NA
    Budget field listing
    revenues: 110.2 billion (2017 est.)
    expenditures: 111.1 billion (2017 est.)

    note: the UAE federal budget does not account for emirate-level spending in Abu Dhabi and Dubai

    Taxes and other revenues field listing
    28.8% (of GDP) (2017 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 90
    Budget surplus (+) or deficit (-) field listing
    -0.2% (of GDP) (2017 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 51
    Public debt field listing
    19.7% of GDP (2017 est.)
    20.2% of GDP (2016 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 190
    Fiscal year field listing
    calendar year
    Inflation rate (consumer prices) field listing
    2% (2017 est.)
    1.6% (2016 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 108
    Current account balance field listing
    $26.47 billion (2017 est.)
    $13.23 billion (2016 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 14
    Exports field listing
    $308.5 billion (2017 est.)
    $298.6 billion (2016 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 18
    Exports - partners field listing
    India 10.1%, Iran 9.9%, Japan 9.3%, China 5.4%, Oman 5%, Switzerland 4.4%, South Korea 4.1% (2017)
    Exports - commodities field listing
    crude oil 45%, natural gas, reexports, dried fish, dates (2012 est.)
    Imports field listing
    $229.2 billion (2017 est.)
    $226.5 billion (2016 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 21
    Imports - commodities field listing
    machinery and transport equipment, chemicals, food
    Imports - partners field listing
    China 8.5%, US 6.8%, India 6.6% (2017)
    Reserves of foreign exchange and gold field listing
    $95.37 billion (31 December 2017 est.)
    $85.39 billion (31 December 2016 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 27
    Debt - external field listing
    $237.6 billion (31 December 2017 est.)
    $218.7 billion (31 December 2016 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 32
    Exchange rates field listing
    Emirati dirhams (AED) per US dollar -
    3.673 (2017 est.)
    3.673 (2016 est.)
    3.673 (2015 est.)
    3.673 (2014 est.)
    3.673 (2013 est.)
  • Energy :: United Arab Emirates
  • Electricity access field listing
    electrification - total population: 100% (2020)
    Electricity - production field listing
    121.8 billion kWh (2016 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 31
    Electricity - consumption field listing
    113.2 billion kWh (2016 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 31
    Electricity - exports field listing
    0 kWh (2016 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 213
    Electricity - imports field listing
    1.141 billion kWh (2016 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 66
    Electricity - installed generating capacity field listing
    28.91 million kW (2016 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 33
    Electricity - from fossil fuels field listing
    99% of total installed capacity (2016 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 26
    Electricity - from nuclear fuels field listing
    0% of total installed capacity (2017 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 204
    Electricity - from hydroelectric plants field listing
    0% of total installed capacity (2017 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 210
    Electricity - from other renewable sources field listing
    1% of total installed capacity (2017 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 170
    Crude oil - production field listing
    3.216 million bbl/day (2018 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 8
    Crude oil - exports field listing
    2.552 million bbl/day (2015 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 5
    Crude oil - imports field listing
    0 bbl/day (2015 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 210
    Crude oil - proved reserves field listing
    97.8 billion bbl (1 January 2018 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 7
    Refined petroleum products - production field listing
    943,500 bbl/day (2017 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 19
    Refined petroleum products - consumption field listing
    896,000 bbl/day (2016 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 24
    Refined petroleum products - exports field listing
    817,700 bbl/day (2015 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 10
    Refined petroleum products - imports field listing
    392,000 bbl/day (2015 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 23
    Natural gas - production field listing
    62.01 billion cu m (2017 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 14
    Natural gas - consumption field listing
    74.48 billion cu m (2017 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 12
    Natural gas - exports field listing
    7.504 billion cu m (2017 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 25
    Natural gas - imports field listing
    20.22 billion cu m (2017 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 16
    Natural gas - proved reserves field listing
    6.091 trillion cu m (1 January 2018 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 6
    Carbon dioxide emissions from consumption of energy field listing
    289.4 million Mt (2017 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 24
  • Communications :: United Arab Emirates
  • Telephones - fixed lines field listing
    total subscriptions: 2,380,238
    subscriptions per 100 inhabitants: 24.18 (2019 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 51
    Telephones - mobile cellular field listing
    total subscriptions: 19,749,674
    subscriptions per 100 inhabitants: 200.63 (2019 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 62
    Telecommunication systems field listing
    general assessment: modern fiber-optic integrated services; digital network with rapidly growing use of mobile-cellular telephones; key centers are Abu Dhabi and Dubai; 5G capabilities launched in 2019; two operators are competitive, but majority owned by the government; HSPA (high speed packet access) + LTE networks cover most of the population; low cost smart phones readily available; mobile penetration levels among the world's highest; well-established fiber-broadband network provides future growth (2020)
    domestic: microwave radio relay, fiber-optic and coaxial cable; fixed-line 24 per 100 and mobile-cellular 201 per 100 (2019)
    international: country code - 971; landing points for the FLAG, SEA-ME-WE-3 ,-4 & -5, Qater UAE Submarine Cable System, FALCON, FOG, Tat TGN-Gulf, OMRAN/EPEG Cable System, AAE-1, BBG, EIG, FEA, GBICS/MENA, IMEWE, Orient Express, TEAMS, TW1 and the UAE-Iran submarine cables, linking to Europe, Africa, the Middle East, Asia, Southeast Asia and Australia; satellite earth stations - 3 Intelsat (1 Atlantic Ocean and 2 Indian) (2020)
    note: the COVID-19 outbreak is negatively impacting telecommunications production and supply chains globally; consumer spending on telecom devices and services has also slowed due to the pandemic's effect on economies worldwide; overall progress towards improvements in all facets of the telecom industry - mobile, fixed-line, broadband, submarine cable and satellite - has moderated
    Broadcast media field listing
    except for the many organizations now operating in media free zones in Abu Dhabi and Dubai, most TV and radio stations remain government-owned; widespread use of satellite dishes provides access to pan-Arab and other international broadcasts; restrictions since June 2017 on some satellite channels and websites originating from or otherwise linked to Qatar (2018)
    Internet country code field listing
    .ae
    Internet users field listing
    total: 9,550,945
    percent of population: 98.45% (July 2018 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 54
    Broadband - fixed subscriptions field listing
    total: 3,024,565
    subscriptions per 100 inhabitants: 31 (2018 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 44
  • Transportation :: United Arab Emirates
  • National air transport system field listing
    number of registered air carriers: 10 (2020)
    inventory of registered aircraft operated by air carriers: 497
    annual passenger traffic on registered air carriers: 95,533,069 (2018)
    annual freight traffic on registered air carriers: 15,962,900,000 mt-km (2018)
    Civil aircraft registration country code prefix field listing
    A6 (2016)
    Airports field listing
    43 (2013)
    country comparison to the world: 99
    Airports - with paved runways field listing
    total: 25 (2013)
    over 3,047 m: 12 (2013)
    2,438 to 3,047 m: 3 (2013)
    1,524 to 2,437 m: 5 (2013)
    914 to 1,523 m: 3 (2013)
    under 914 m: 2 (2013)
    Airports - with unpaved runways field listing
    total: 18 (2013)
    over 3,047 m: 1 (2013)
    2,438 to 3,047 m: 1 (2013)
    1,524 to 2,437 m: 4 (2013)
    914 to 1,523 m: 6 (2013)
    under 914 m: 6 (2013)
    Heliports field listing
    5 (2013)
    Pipelines field listing
    533 km condensate, 3277 km gas, 300 km liquid petroleum gas, 3287 km oil, 24 km oil/gas/water, 218 km refined products, 99 km water (2013)
    Roadways field listing
    total: 4,080 km (2008)
    paved: 4,080 km (includes 253 km of expressways) (2008)
    country comparison to the world: 154
    Merchant marine field listing
    total: 637
    by type: bulk carrier 2, general cargo 113, oil tanker 17, other 505 (2019)
    country comparison to the world: 36
    Ports and terminals field listing
    major seaport(s): Al Fujayrah, Mina' Jabal 'Ali (Dubai), Khor Fakkan (Khawr Fakkan) (Sharjah), Mubarraz Island (Abu Dhabi), Mina' Rashid (Dubai), Mina' Saqr (Ra's al Khaymah)
    container port(s) (TEUs): Dubai Port (15,368,000), Khor Fakkan (Khawr Fakkan) (Sharjah) (2,321,000) (2017)
    LNG terminal(s) (export): Das Island
  • Military and Security :: United Arab Emirates
  • Military and security forces field listing
    United Arab Emirates Armed Forces: Land Forces, Navy, Air Force, Presidential Guard, Joint Aviation Command; Ministry of Interior: Critical Infrastructure Coastal Patrol Agency (CICPA) (2020)
    Military expenditures field listing
    5.7% of GDP (2016)
    5.6% of GDP (2014)
    6% of GDP (2013)
    5.1% of GDP (2012)
    5.5% of GDP (2011)
    no public data available for 2015 or after 2016
    country comparison to the world: 4
    Military and security service personnel strengths field listing
    the United Arab Emirates Armed Forces have approximately 63,000 total active personnel (44,000 Land Forces; 2,500 Navy; 4,500; 12,000 Presidential Guard) (2019)
    Military equipment inventories and acquisitions field listing
    the UAE Armed Forces inventory is comprised of mostly modern imported equipment; since 2010, the UAE has acquired military equipment from more than 20 countries with the US as the leading supplier, followed by France and Russia (2019 est.)
    Military deployments field listing
    est. 1,000 Eritrea; est. 3-4,000 Yemen; maintains a military base in the Eritrean port of Assab (2019)
    Military service age and obligation field listing
    18-30 years of age for compulsory military service for men; 17 years of age for male volunteers with parental approval; 24-month general service obligation, 16 months for secondary school graduates; women can volunteer to serve for 9 months regardless of education (2018)
  • Transnational Issues :: United Arab Emirates
  • Disputes - international field listing

    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

    Illicit drugs field listing
    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