United Arab Emirates

Country Summary



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.



total: 83,600 sq km
land: 83,600 sq km
water: 0 sq km


desert; cooler in eastern mountains

Natural resources

petroleum, natural gas

People and Society


9,973,449 (2023 est.)

Ethnic groups

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.)


Arabic (official), English, Hindi, Malayam, Urdu, Pashto, Tagalog, Persian


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.)

Population growth rate

0.58% (2023 est.)


Government type

federation of monarchies


name: Abu Dhabi

Executive branch

chief of state: President MUHAMMAD BIN ZAYID Al Nuhayyan (since 14 May 2022); Co-Vice President MUHAMMAD BIN RASHID Al Maktum (since 5 January 2006); Co-Vice President MANSUR bin Zayid Al Nuhayyan (since 29 March 2023); Crown Prince KHALID bin Muhammad Al Nuhayyan, the eldest son of the monarch, born 14 November 1982; note - MUHAMMAD BIN ZAYID Al Nuhayyan elected president by the Federal Supreme Council following the death of President KHALIFA bin Zayid Al nNuhayyan on 13 May 2022
head of government: Prime Minister and Co-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), and MAKTUM bin Muhammad bin Rashid Al Maktum (since 25 September 2021)

Legislative branch

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)


Economic overview

historically oil-driven Middle Eastern economy; diversifying into a trade-oriented logistics and supply chain leader; weak domestic business growth; declining real estate sector; new Israeli technology trade improving resilience; key aid donor

Real GDP (purchasing power parity)

$653.067 billion (2021 est.)
$628.455 billion (2020 est.)
$661.233 billion (2019 est.)

Real GDP per capita

$69,700 (2021 est.)
$67,700 (2020 est.)
$71,800 (2019 est.)

Agricultural products

dates, cucumbers, tomatoes, goat meat, eggs, milk, poultry, carrots/turnips, goat milk, sheep milk


petroleum and petrochemicals; fishing, aluminum, cement, fertilizer, commercial ship repair, construction materials, handicrafts, textiles


$335.238 billion (2020 est.)
$308.5 billion (2017 est.)
$298.6 billion (2016 est.)

Exports - partners

India 14%, Japan 8%, China 8%, Saudi Arabia 8%, Iraq 5% (2021)

Exports - commodities

crude petroleum, refined petroleum, gold, broadcasting equipment, diamonds, natural gas, jewelry, aluminum (2021)


$246.886 billion (2020 est.)
$229.2 billion (2017 est.)
$226.5 billion (2016 est.)

Imports - partners

China 17%, India 9%, United States 6%, Saudi Arabia 5%, Germany 3% (2021)

Imports - commodities

gold, broadcasting equipment, refined petroleum, diamonds, cars, jewelry, computers (2021)

Exchange rates

Emirati dirhams (AED) per US dollar -
Exchange rates:
3.673 (2021 est.)
3.673 (2020 est.)
3.673 (2019 est.)
3.673 (2018 est.)
3.673 (2017 est.)

Page last updated: Wednesday, December 06, 2023