Under the Spotlight: UAE

What do we know about the beautiful United Arab Emirates? I am pretty sure that some of you may think that Dubai and Abu Dhabi are both countries. It is very important that we are knowledgeable enough about the UAE as we, – the fellow joiners will call it our new home, soon. So in this entry, I am going to discuss some bits of useful information that I can gather from the internet.

✈︎ Introduction: The United Arab Emirates (Arabic: دولة الإمارات العربية المتحدةDawlat al-Imārāt al-‘Arabīyah al-Muttaḥidah) or simply called the Emirates or the UAE, is an Asian country located at the southeast end of the Arabian Peninsula, with Abu Dhabi as its capital and Dubai being the largest city. The UAE is a highly developed country with a high level of human development and is one of the wealthiest countries in the Middle East. It is also one of the world’s fastest growing countries.

✈︎ Geography: It borders Oman to the east and Saudi Arabia to the south. It also shares sea border with Qatar and Iran. The total area of the UAE is approximately 83,600 square kilometres. The country is composed of seven emirates: Abu Dhabi, Ajman, Dubai, Fujairah, Ras al-Khaimah, Sharjah, and Umm al-Quwain.


✈︎ Demographics: Similarly to its neighbours in the Gulf, the UAE depends heavily on foreign labor to keep its economy running. Alongside Qatar, the country has the highest percentage of immigrants in relation to its own citizens, with the Emiratis amounting to about 10% of the total population whilst nationals of India, Pakistan, Bangladesh, the Philippines, and Iran comprises around 55%.

✈︎ Food & Beverage: The traditional food of the Emirates has always been rice, fish, and meat. The people of the United Arab Emirates have adopted most of their foods from other West and South Asian countries including Iran, Saudi Arabia, Pakistan, India and Oman. Seafood has been the mainstay of the Emirati diet for centuries. Meat and rice are other staple foods; lamb and mutton are the more favoured meats, then goat and beef. Popular beverages are coffee and tea, which can be complemented with cardamom, saffron, or mint to give them a distinct flavour. Fast food has become very popular among young people, to the extent that campaigns are underway to highlight the dangers of fast food excesses. Alcohol is only allowed to be served in hotel restaurants and bars. All night clubs are permitted to sell alcohol. Specific supermarkets may sell alcohol, but these products are sold in separate sections. Note that although alcohol may be consumed, it is illegal to be intoxicated in public or drive a motor vehicle with any trace of alcohol in the blood.

✈︎ Language & Religion: Islam is the official religion of the UAE, and Arabic is the official language, although English is widely spoken and is the language of business and education, especially in Abu Dhabi and Dubai.

✈︎ Climate: The UAE is an extremely hot country. It has a tropical desert climate because of its location within the Northern desert belt. Summers are extremely hot and humid, with an average high around 41°C (106°F) and overnight lows around 30°C (86°F). Winters are warm and short with an average high of 23°C (73°F) and overnight lows of 14°C (57°F). The weather between December and March remains warm and is considered to be the most comfortable climatic conditions of the year. Moreover, the country observes UTC +4 Standard Time all-year round.


Capital city: Abu Dhabi
Largest city: Dubai
Other cities: Ajman, Fujairah, Ras al-Khaimah, Sharjah, Umm al-Quwain
Main gateways: Dubai Int’l Airport (DXB/OMDB), Abu Dhabi Int’l Airport (AUH/OMAA)
National carrier: Etihad Airways (EY / ETD)
Flag carrier: Emirates Airline (EK / UAE)
Other carriers: Fly Dubai (FZ / FDB), Air Arabia (G9 / ABY), Rotana Jet (RJ / RJD)
Government type: Federal National Council
Land area: 83,600 km2 / 32,278 sq mi – 116th largest country in the world
Ethnic groups: Indian (27%), Pakistani (12%), Emirati (11%), other (Bangladeshi, Filipino, Thai, South Korean, Afghan, Iranian – 49%)
Official language: Arabic
Lingua franca: English
Official religion: Islam
Demonym: Emirati, Emirian, Emiri
National currency: UAE Dirham (AED)
Time zone: GST (UTC +4)
Internet domain: .ae


The country holds the record for having the tallest man-made structure in the world, which is the Burj Khalifa, standing at 829.8 m (2,722 ft), located in the city of Dubai. The tower was known as Burj Dubai (“Dubai Tower”) until its official opening in January 2010. It was renamed in honour of the ruler of Abu Dhabi and president of the United Arab Emirates, Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan.


Terminal 3 of Dubai International Airport is the largest passenger terminal in the world and the second-largest building on the planet. It is reserved for Emirates Airline and its partner Qantas Airways, the flag carrier of Australia. It was built at a cost of US$4.5 billion and has a capacity of 43 million passengers. Terminal 3 includes a multi level underground structure, first and business class lounges, restaurants, 180 check-in counters and 2,600 car-parking spaces. It is served by Dubai Metro, which operates two lines through or near the terminal. The Red Line has a station at each of Terminal 3. Services run between 06:00 – 23:00 every day except Friday, when they run between 13:00 and midnight. These timings differ during the Islamic holy month of Ramadan. The station is located in front of Terminal 3, and can be accessed directly from the arrivals areas.

Information sources:

ICHIRO | 勝利を目指して高く飛べ!✈︎


About Ryu Namiki | 並木竜一郎

A 29-year old flight attendant all the way from Japan and now living in the United Arab Emirates. Flying for two years for one of the world's best airlines and is still enjoying a "chicken or beef" and "prepare all doors and cross-check" kind of life!
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