United Arab Emirates Travel Guide: All you need to know to visit United Arab Emirates in 2024
Welcome to United Arab Emirates

United Arab Emirates (UAE)

UAE’s location is in the Middle East, bordering Saudi Arabia to the south and Oman to the east. It comprises seven emirates, including Abu Dhabi (the capital), Dubai, and Sharjah. The UAE is a federation with a constitutional monarchy, and its economy mainly depends on oil exports. However, the country has made significant efforts to diversify its economy and has become a hub for tourism, finance, and trade in the region.

Geography

UAE borders the Persian Gulf to the north and the Gulf of Oman to the east, with a coastline stretching over 1,300 km. The country is mostly flat, with desert terrain dominating the landscape, including the famous Rub’ al Khali (Empty Quarter) desert, which covers much of the southern part of the country. The highest point in the UAE is Jebel Jais, which rises to 1,910 meters in the northern part of the country. The UAE has a hot and arid climate, with temperatures regularly exceeding 40°C during summer. The government is also prone to sandstorms and occasional heavy rainfall. Despite its harsh environment, the UAE has developed impressive infrastructure, including artificial islands, world-renowned skyscrapers, and advanced transportation networks.

Climate

The United Arab Emirates (UAE) has a hot desert climate characterized by long, hot summers and mild winters. Temperatures, with high humidity along the coast, can regularly exceed 40°C during the summer months. Winter temperatures are generally more comfortable, ranging from 15°C to 25°C. The UAE receives very little rainfall, most occurring during the winter months from December to March. The country is also prone to sandstorms, which can be particularly severe during summer. Despite its harsh climate, the UAE has developed sophisticated infrastructure, including air-conditioned buildings, indoor ski slopes, and extensive networks of roads and highways.

Economy

The United Arab Emirates (UAE) has a diversified and open economy mainly dependent on oil and gas exports, accounting for about 30% of GDP. The UAE has made significant efforts to diversify its economy and reduce its dependence on oil exports through tourism, trade, finance, and technology investments. Dubai, one of the seven emirates, has emerged as a hub for tourism and international trade, while Abu Dhabi, the capital, has developed a solid financial and oil industry. The UAE is also home to several free zones that offer tax incentives and other benefits to businesses, attracting foreign investment and fostering entrepreneurship. Despite the COVID-19 pandemic, the UAE has shown resilience, and its economy is expected to recover and continue to grow in the coming years.

Population

The United Arab Emirates (UAE) has a population of approximately 10 million people, with about 11% being Emirati nationals and the rest being expatriates from around the world. The UAE has experienced rapid population growth in recent decades, mainly driven by immigration, with many expatriates coming to work in the country’s various industries, including oil and gas, tourism, and construction. The population is relatively young, with about two-thirds under 35. The UAE is known for its multiculturalism, with people from over 200 nationalities living and working there. The dominant language is Arabic, with English also widely spoken and used for business and education. The UAE has invested heavily in social infrastructure, including healthcare, education, and housing, to support its growing population.

Culture

Islamic heritage, Bedouin traditions, and modern global trends influence UAE’s diverse culture. The UAE’s culture is reflected in its architecture, food, fashion, music, and art, which combine traditional and contemporary elements. The country deeply respects hospitality and generosity, with visitors and guests treated with great warmth and affection. Islam is the predominant religion, and Islamic values are essential to everyday life, including prayer, fasting, and charity. Emirati culture greatly emphasizes family and community; extended families often live together in large households. Traditional Emirati clothing includes the kandura (white robe) for men and the abaya (black robe) for women, although Western-style dress is also standard. The UAE has a thriving art and cultural scene, with numerous museums, galleries, and festivals showcasing local and international artists.

Government

The United Arab Emirates (UAE) is a federal constitutional monarchy, with power divided between the federal government and individual emirates. The country’s political system is based on Islamic principles, and the ruler of each emirate serves as both a monarch and a political leader. The President of the UAE is elected by the Supreme Council, a group of seven hereditary rulers, and serves as the head of state. The UAE’s legal system is based on Islamic and civil law, with the highest court being the Federal Supreme Court. The UAE has made significant strides in promoting gender equality, with women holding prominent government and private positions.

Religion

The United Arab Emirates (UAE) is a Muslim-majority country, with Islam being the official religion. Most of the population is Sunni Muslim, while a significant minority is Shia Muslim. Non-Muslim faiths are also practiced in the UAE but on a smaller scale. Christianity, Hinduism, and Buddhism are among the other major religions in the country. The UAE’s government recognizes the right of individuals to practice their faith privately, but public worship of non-Muslim religions is strictly regulated. The country has a diverse population of expatriates from different parts of the world, and many religious practices and customs are celebrated within these communities.

Languages

Most of the population recognizes Arabic as the UAE’s official language. However, due to the country’s sizeable expatriate population, English is widely spoken and used for business, education, and government. Many other languages are also expressed in the UAE, reflecting multiculturalism, including Hindi, Urdu, Malayalam, and Tagalog. Signage, official documents, and other forms of communication are typically available in both Arabic and English, and many public institutions provide translation services for other languages. The UAE is also home to several universities and language schools that offer courses in Arabic and other languages, promoting linguistic and cultural exchange.

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