Location, Location, Location: The United Arab Emirates is located in the Middle East bordering the Persian Gulf between Saudi Arabia and Oman. The terrain includes barren coastal plains and vast desert wastelands.
Government: The United Arab Emirates is governed as a federation with specific rights delegated to the federal government and other powers reserved for individual member emirates.
Size Matters: The total land area of the United Arab Emirates is 83,600 sq km, which is slightly smaller than the U.S. state of Maine.
Cities: The national capital is Abu Dhabi, while the largest city is Dubai. Additional prominent cities include Sharjah, Al Ain and Ajman.
Did You Know? Dubai is estimated as the second most expensive country in the Middle East and the 20th most expensive in the world.
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Population: As of July 2009 the United Arab Emirates population was estimated at 4,798,491, the 155th most populous country in the world with a population comparable to the European countries of Finland and Norway.
Business Environment: Germany was ranked the 46th best country in the world for business in a 2009 Doingbusiness.com ranking.
Top Industries: In terms of paid jobs, the labor force in 2005 was divided between services (78%), industry (15%) and agriculture (7%).
Taxes: The United Arab Emirates does not have an enforced federal income tax for businesses or individuals. Each member emirate has issued tax decrees, but these taxes fall in large part upon foreign banks and oil companies.
Quality of Life: In a recent “Quality of Living Global City Ranking” by Mercer, Dubai ranked as the 77th city in the world and the top city in the Middle East region.
Weather: The climate of the United Arab Emirates is mainly desert, with some cooler regions in the eastern mountains.
Education: Notwithstanding that the government funds public education through the high school level, only 77.9% of the United Arab Emirates population is considered literate.
In General: The United Arab Emirates boasts a prominent economy with a high per capita income and a significant trade surplus. The discovery of oil sparked the country’s economic development, while in recent times notable diversification has enhanced the economy.
Services: The services sector, which historically revolved around the petroleum industry, has expanded in recent times incorporating the burgeoning high-end tourism and international finance industries.
Industry: While the United Arab Emirates is becoming less dependent upon its oil reserves as a result of its economic diversification efforts, the country still relies in large part upon petroleum-related industry. More than 200 corporations operate at the Jebel Ali complex in Dubai, which includes a free trade zone for manufacturing and distribution.
Agriculture: With its desert terrain and abundance of natural resources, the agriculture sector plays a minuscule role in the economy of the United Arab Emirates.
A Closer Look: According to 2008 estimates, the Gross Domestic Product (GDP) of the United Arab Emirates ranked 55th in the world and 3rd in the Middle East.
Did you know? Bigger, Stronger, Faster: Current construction projects in the United Arab Emirates include the Burj Dubai, anticipated to become the world’s tallest building, the Dubai World Central International Airport, billed as the world’s most expensive airport, and the three Palm Islands, promoted as the largest artificial islands in the world.
Sources: In addition to specific citations noted in this “Career Information” section, supplementary source materials include: the CIA World Factbook, Worldwidetax.com and Wikipedia.com.