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United Arab Emirates Geography 1996

    • Location:
      Middle East, bordering the Gulf of Oman and the Persian Gulf, between Oman and Saudi Arabia

    • Map references:
      Middle East

    • Area:

        total area:
        75,581 sq km

        land area:
        75,581 sq km

        comparative area:
        slightly smaller than Maine

    • Land boundaries:
      total 867 km, Oman 410 km, Saudi Arabia 457 km

    • Coastline:
      1,318 km

    • Maritime claims:

        contiguous zone:
        24 nm

        continental shelf:
        200 nm or to the edge of the continental margin

        exclusive economic zone:
        200 nm

        territorial sea:
        12 nm

    • International disputes:
      location and status of boundary with Saudi Arabia is not final; no defined boundary with most of Oman, but Administrative Line in far north; claims two islands in the Persian Gulf occupied by Iran (Jazireh-ye Tonb-e Bozorg or Greater Tunb, and Jazireh-ye Tonb-e Kuchek or Lesser Tunb); claims island in the Persian Gulf jointly administered with Iran (Jazireh-ye Abu Musa or Abu Musa); in 1992, the dispute over Abu Musa and the Tunb islands became more acute when Iran unilaterally tried to control the entry of third country nationals into the UAE portion of Abu Musa island, Tehran subsequently backed off in the face of significant diplomatic support for the UAE in the region

    • Climate:
      desert; cooler in eastern mountains

    • Terrain:
      flat, barren coastal plain merging into rolling sand dunes of vast desert wasteland; mountains in east

    • Natural resources:
      petroleum, natural gas

    • Land use:

        arable land:

        permanent crops:

        meadows and pastures:

        forest and woodland:


    • Irrigated land:
      50 sq km (1989 est.)

    • Environment:

        current issues:
        lack of natural freshwater resources being overcome by desalination plants; desertification; beach pollution from oil spills

        natural hazards:
        frequent sand and dust storms

        international agreements:
        party to - Endangered Species, Hazardous Wastes, Marine Dumping, Ozone Layer Protection; signed, but not ratified - Biodiversity, Law of the Sea

    • Note:
      strategic location along southern approaches to Strait of Hormuz, a vital transit point for world crude oil

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