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United Arab Emirates Geography

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

    Geographic coordinates: 24 00 N, 54 00 E

    Map references: Middle East

    total: 82,880 sq km
    land: 82,880 sq km
    water: 0 sq km

    Area—comparative: slightly smaller than Maine

    Land boundaries:
    total: 867 km
    border countries: 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

    Climate: desert; cooler in eastern mountains

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

    Elevation extremes:
    lowest point: Persian Gulf 0 m
    highest point: Jabal Yibir 1,527 m

    Natural resources: petroleum, natural gas

    Land use:
    arable land: 0%
    permanent crops: 0%
    permanent pastures: 2%
    forests and woodland: 0%
    other: 98% (1993 est.)

    Irrigated land: 50 sq km (1993 est.)

    Natural hazards: frequent sand and dust storms

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

    Environment—international agreements:
    party to: Climate Change, Desertification, Endangered Species, Hazardous Wastes, Marine Dumping, Ozone Layer Protection
    signed, but not ratified: Biodiversity, Law of the Sea

    Geography—note: strategic location along southern approaches to Strait of Hormuz, a vital transit point for world crude oil

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Revised 1-Mar-99
Copyright © 1999 Photius Coutsoukis (all rights reserved)