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Publié le : 4/5/2013 -Format: Document en format HTML protégé

United Arab Emirates - country.
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United Arab Emirates - country.
I

INTRODUCTION

United Arab Emirates (UAE), federation of seven independent states located in the southeastern corner of the Arabian Peninsula, part of the Middle East region. Once
known as the Trucial States, the UAE became an independent country in 1971.
Each emirate (small state ruled by a hereditary chief called an emir) is centered on a coastal settlement and named for that settlement. The seven member emirates
are Abu Dhabi (also known as Ab? Zaby), 'Ajm?n, Dubai, Al Fujayrah, Ra's al Khaymah, Ash Sh?riqah, and Umm al Qaywayn. The city of Abu Dhabi is the federal
capital, and Dubai is the largest city in the country.
The UAE is a desert country about the size of South Carolina. The nation is bordered by the Persian Gulf to the north, Saudi Arabia to the south and west, and Oman
and the Gulf of Oman to the east.
Before the discovery of petroleum in the 1950s, the UAE was a group of largely undeveloped states under the protection of the British government. The oil industry
brought rapid growth and modernization to the area, which helped the emirates break away from the control of the United Kingdom in the early 1970s. The bulk of the
country's oil is found in Abu Dhabi, making it the wealthiest and most powerful of the seven emirates. With a stable economy buoyed by the oil industry, the UAE boasts
one of the highest standards of living in the world.

II

LAND AND RESOURCES

The UAE is roughly crescent-shaped, extending for about 420 km (about 260 mi) from north to south and, at its widest, for about 480 km (about 300 mi) from east to
west. The total land area, including its islands, is 83,600 sq km (32,300 sq mi). The country has a coastline, broken by inlets and dotted with islands and coral reefs,
that extends 1,318 km (819 mi) along the Persian Gulf and the Gulf of Oman.
Much of the UAE's international border, running through empty desert, is undefined or disputed, and some minor border issues between the emirates are still
unresolved. Most of the country is uninhabited desert, with a flat coastal plain consisting mostly of tidal salt flats. The land slopes down from the Al ?ajar al Gharb?
mountain range in the northeastern extremity of the country to an elevated desert plateau. The plateau slopes gently northward to the coast and westward to the
Sabkhat Ma???, a huge, sterile salt flat spreading into Saudi Arabia. The UAE's highest point, at 1,527 m (5,010 ft), is Jabal Yibir. Some natural vegetation grows on
parts of the plateau, sustained by rainfall runoff from the mountains.

A

Climate

Except in the mountains, the climate of the UAE is very hot and humid during the summer, with interior temperatures reaching 49°C (120°F). In winter, however,
temperatures are relatively cool, ranging between 20° and 35°C (68° and 95° F). Rainfall is infrequent and scant and is largely confined to the mountains, where
sudden storms can cause great damage and interrupt communications. The annual rainfall varies from an average of 43 mm (1.7 in) in Abu Dhabi to 130 mm (5.1 in) in
Ra's al Khaymah, with great variations from year to year. Sandstorms occur frequently and are associated with both the shimal, a powerful wind from the north or west,
and the hot khamsin, coming from the south in summer.

B

Water Sources

There are no rivers or lakes in the UAE, but underground water deposits are found at several desert oases, including Al 'Ayn and L?w? . Wells tap these natural aquifers
(underground layers of earth or stone that hold water) to irrigate crops and provide drinking water. Some processed wastewater is also used for irrigation.
Along the flat Persian Gulf coast there are few wells--past pumping from the water table has greatly lowered it, rendering the water salty--and there are almost no
cultivated areas west of the palm groves of Abu Dhabi. Ocean desalination plants, which convert saltwater to fresh water, are a main source of water for drinking,
agricultural, and industrial needs in these areas.

C

Plant and Animal Life

The soil of the UAE is almost entirely sandy, limiting the varieties of plants that can grow. Palm, acacia, and tamarisk trees grow naturally in the oases and along the
coast, and hardy shrubs and grasses survive in the desert. Irrigation around the major oases and cities supports the growth of eucalyptus trees, decorative plants such
as bougainvillea, and fruits and vegetables.
In addition to livestock, such as camel, sheep, and some cattle, the UAE has numerous birds, including trained falcons for hunting. The desert oryx and gazelle have
been preserved through conservation efforts, along with other wildlife previously hunted almost to extinction. The waters of the Persian Gulf and the Gulf of Oman
contain a variety of fish and crustaceans. The dugong, or sea cow, is also found along the coast.

D

Natural Resources

The UAE's proven oil reserves make up almost one-tenth of the world's total, with about 85 percent of the oil located in the emirate of Abu Dhabi. Dubai and Ash
Sh?riqah also have significant reserves. Estimated natural gas reserves amount to about 3 percent of the world's total, with Abu Dhabi again possessing the largest
share. Other mineral resources include modest deposits of chrome, iron, copper, and uranium.

E

Environmental Issues

The government of the UAE has sponsored a massive forestation scheme designed to reduce soil erosion, protect crops from wind damage, and beautify cities. Although
some endangered species have been protected, the country is a major exporter of reptile skins and a hub for the trade in illegal wildlife.
The UAE is a contributor to the increasing levels of air pollution in the Persian Gulf region. The country derives 100 percent of its electricity from thermal plants that
burn fossil fuels, thereby releasing pollutants into the atmosphere. The UAE also has one of the world's highest per capita rates of carbon dioxide emissions from
industrial processes, as well as of petroleum consumption per capita. Pollution from petroleum processing facilities and oil spills also affect the coast. The government
has ratified international environmental agreements pertaining to global warming, desertification, endangered species, hazardous wastes, water pollution, and ozone
layer protection.

III

PEOPLE

Most people living in the UAE (known as Emiris) are Arabs, a large majority of whom are city and town dwellers. A small number are nomadic (having no permanent
home). The population has grown dramatically since the mid-1960s, largely due to the influx of oil workers to the country. Four-fifths of the UAE's inhabitants are
foreign workers and their families. The UAE also has a very youthful population, due to the large numbers of young foreign workers, a cultural preference for large
families, and improved medical care.
The UAE had an estimated population of 4,621,399 in 2008, with a density of 55 persons per sq km (143 per sq mi). Some 86 percent of the country's population is
urban.
Abu Dhabi is the country's capital and second largest city. The metropolis serves as the financial, transportation, and communications center of this major oil-producing
area. The city is also a significant port and is home to a majority of the federal government ministries. The emirate of Abu Dhabi as a whole contains nearly 40 percent
of the UAE's total population.
Dubai, located in the emirate of the same name, is the largest city in the UAE and the main trading center of the entire Persian Gulf. It is home to the principal port
facilities in the UAE as well as the country's busiest airport, along with the headquarters of several federal ministries. Other major cities in the UAE include Ash Sh?riqah,
an important port and industrial hub in that emirate, and Al `Ayn, an educational and cultural center in the emirate of Abu Dhabi.

A

Ethnic Groups

The native Emiris are Arabs, and generally a different tribe dominates each emirate. About half of the UAE's non-native population are Asians (largely Indians,
Pakistanis, Sri Lankans, Bangladeshis, and Filipinos), and most of the rest are Iranians or Arabs (primarily Jordanians, Palestinians, and Egyptians). A much smaller
percentage comes from Europe and the United States. Although the disproportionate ratio of expatriates to Emiris has caused concern over the ...


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