UAE Facts

UAE Facts Header: Abu Dhabi is the capital city and falconry is a popular sports in the UAE - images by Shutterstock.comAbu Dhabi | Falconry

Interesting UAE Facts for Kids

Here are our easy to read UAE Facts for Kids which were researched by kids and edited by us.

The UAE or United Arab Emirates are truly awe inspiring! With the Expo 2020 in Dubai was postponed due to the Covid-19 crisis, it will be finally opening on 1 October 2021 and therefore want to share with you what makes the UAE such a great place to visit.

Here some fascinating facts about the country on the Arab peninsula for you. Enjoy!

UAE Facts at a Glance

Here are some interesting UAE Facts which were chosen and researched by kids especially for kids.

The UAE Flag has a red vertical band on the left hand side and three equally wide horizontal bands in green, white and black.UAE Flag
  • Name: United Arab Emirates
  • 7 Emirates of the UAE: Abu Dhabi, Dubai, Sharjah, Fujairah, Ajman, Ras Al Khaimah, Umm Al Quwain
  • Population: about 10 million people live in the UAE (2021)
  • Capital City: Abu Dhabi (The Arabic word abu means 'father' and dhabi means 'gazelle'). The name thus means 'Father of the Gazelle' and according to a folk tale refers to the hunting of gazelles in the region.
  • Language: Arabic
  • Literacy: About 94% can read and write
  • Religions: mainly Muslims 76%, Christians 19%
  • Currency: 1 Emirati dirhams = 100 fils
  • Government: Federation of monarchies, there are no political parties in the emirates
  • National Anthem: Ishy Bilady "Long live my Nation"
  • National Symbols: green, white, red and black (national colours) and golden falcon (national animal)
  • National Day: 2 December 
  • History: The UAE gained independence from the UK on 2 December 1971.

UAE Geography | UAE Map

Where are the United Arab Emirates (UAE)? The UAE are located in the Middle East, on the Western Asian continent. 

UAE Facts location - image by shutter

The UAE shares borders with two countries: Saudi Arabia and Oman.

Map of the United Arab EmiratesMap of the United Arab Emirates

The UAE consist of a federation of seven emirates. Abu Dhabi is the largest emirate as it accounts for 84% of the total land area of the federation. Abu Dhabi is also home to the capital city also called Abu Dhabi.

Dubai is the second biggest emirate and the economic hub of the region. Dubai is also known for its three manmade archipelagos, two were designed to look like a palm tree, and one to resemble a world map.

Aerial view of Dubai's manmade archipelagos - NASA image from CIA WorldfactbookAerial view of Dubai's manmade archipelagos

The UAE's national airline is called 'Etihad' and based in Abu Dhabi, the capital city of the UAE. 'Emirates' which is the largest airline in the Middle East, and also one of the largest in the world, is also based in the UAE but in the emirate of Dubai, which is one of the seven emirates.

A flight to Dubai takes roughly 14 hours from either New York/USA or Sydney/Australia and almost 8 hours from London/UK.

UAE Facts | UAE Geography

The United Arab Emirates are situated on the Arabian peninsula and border the Persian Gulf. In size, the UAE are slightly smaller than the US state of Maine or slightly bigger than South Carolina/USA. 

Fujairah - One of the Emirates of the UAE

The country has mountains in the eastern part and a dry desert with rolling sanddunes in the centre.

The landscape is generally barren and dry, even along the coastal plain bordering the Persian Gulf.

The UAE have a dry desert climate and temperatures can easily reach more than 40°C/ 104°F in summer. Natural hazards include sand storms, dust storms and haze. 

UAE Facts | Geo Superlatives

  • The highest mountain of the UAE is Jabal Yibir, which is also referred to as Jabal Al Mebrah in the Al Hajar mountains. The highest peak stands at 1,727 m/ 5,666 ft above sea level.  The Jabal Jais mountains which are partly located in the UAE are also very high, however, the highest peak of this mountain range which is higher than Jabal Yibir is located in neighbouring Oman.
Jebel Jais mountains between Oman and the UAE
  • The UAE do not have a freshwater lake, but there are several oases in the emirate of Abu Dhabi.
  • Al Ain is known as one of the world's oldest settlements.
  • Dubai is home to the world's tallest building, the Burj Khalifa with 829 m/ 2,722 ft. in height.
Dubai skyline with Burj KhalifaDubai skyline with Burj Khalifa
  • Abu Dhabi, the UAE's capital city is not only known as the UAE's capital city and home to one of the biggest mosques in the world but also for holding Formula 1 races and the Ferrari World Themepark with the world's fastest rollercoaster! One rollercoaster ride there takes you from 0 to 240 kmh in only 4.9 seconds!
  • The Gold Souk is the largest gold market in the world. It is located in the Deira business district of Dubai.
Dubai Gold Souk - image by AndersphotoDubai Gold Souk - image by Andersphoto
  • Dubai Mall is known to have the world's largest collection of fashion brands under one roof!

UAE Landmarks and Attractions

Among the most popular landmarks of the UAE are:

  • Burj Khalifa, the tallest skyscraper in Dubai, is the highest building in the world and then there are also the majestic Emirates Towers.
Burj Khalifa at NightBurj Khalifa at Night
  • Burj al Arab, is known for its architecture as the building does resemble a huge sail.
Burj Al ArabBurj Al Arab
  • Palm Jumeirah, the palm island with luxury resorts that spot an Aquaventure park and many family entertainment venues.
  • Dubai Creek is best explored on a dhow cruise or on a traditional abra, the traditional commuter taxi.
Crossing Dubai Creek - image by Shashank AgarwalCrossing Dubai Creek - image by Shashank Agarwal
  • Traditional souks where you can buy souvenirs, spices and jewellery and don't forget to haggle!
  • Desert Conservation areas will provide fantastic desert safari adventures complete with camels rides and 4x4 sand safari. Or maybe watch a popular camel race?
  • Al Jahili Fort in Al Ain/Abu Dhabi is a great site to learn about the culture and history of the settlement in an desert oasis.
Al Jahili Fort in Al AinAl Jahili Fort in Al Ain

UAE Facts | Economy

The UAE's natural resources are natural gas and oil. The UAE ranked sixth in the world for reserves of natural gas and crude oil in 2019.

The main trading partners of the UAE are India, China, Japan, Iran, the USA and Oman. The main exports are natural gas and crude oil as well as dried fish and dates.

Sharjah in the UAE

The vast majority of the Emirati live in urban areas. The biggest cities in the UAE are:

  • Dubai with about 3 million inhabitants
  • Sharjah with 1.7 million inhabitants 
  • Abu Dhabi with 1.5 million inhabitants.

UAE Facts 
Emirati | People of the UAE

Most people in the UAE (85%) live in the three largest emirates Abu Dhabi, Dubai and Sharjah. In the United Arab Emirates, people of many different cultures and backgrounds have found their new home.

Woman and kids in Dubai - image by Katie KK/shutterstock.comFamily in Dubai - image by Katie KK

Many foreigners live in the United Arab Emirates. Only about 12 % of all people in the UAE are Emirati.

The majority of people living in the UAE are foreigners and expatriates, i.e. people from around the world who come to the UAE for work. Indians are the largest foreign group, followed by foreigners from Pakistan and Bangladesh.

Police car in the UAE - image by Marco Curaba/shutterstock.comPolice car in the UAE - image by Marco Curaba

Arabic is the predominant language in the UAE. The Arabic alphabet has 28 letters and is written from right to left. English is the second most spoken language in the country and used widely as you can see in the image.

Soccer and cricket are among the most popular sports, however, many Emirati have a passion for spectatorsports such as car racing, falconry and camel racing.

Emirati family dressed in traditional abaya and khandura

The traditional dress worn by Emirati men is called khandura, a white long tunic, while women usually wear the abaya, a black garment covering the whole body and head.

When visiting the emirates you should respect the traditional dress code and cover your body when out and about. Beach wear or strappy tops and shorts are only to be worn at the beach or hotel resort. When going to the mall girls and women always should cover their shoulders and their knees.

UAE Facts | Religion in the UAE

The majority of Emiratis are Muslims and follow or practice Islam (76%). Islam is not only the largest religion, but also the state religion in the UAE. However, the government is tolerant towards people practising other faiths although it strongly resists the spreading of other religions.

The Sheikh Zayed Grand Mosque in Abu Dhabi is the largest mosque in the country. This mosque has 82 domes and the main dome is the largest of its kind in the world! In this mosque you can also admire the world's largest carpet and the world's largest chandelier in the main prayer hall.

Abu Dhabi's Sheikh Zayed Grand MosqueAbu Dhabi's Sheikh Zayed Grand Mosque

Designers, artisans and builders as well as material were sourced all over the world. The marble was sourced in Italy and India, carpets used wool from Iran and New Zealand, the chandeliers were designed in Germany with Swarovski crystals from Austria and using a lighting system from the UK - just to name a few countries who contributed to this fabulous building. 

Mosques in the UAE collage - images by shutter

As in all Muslim countries, the work week in the UAE runs from Sundays to Thursdays and most offices are closed on Fridays. In 2021, the Muslims will celebrate the holy month of Ramadan from 12 April until 12 May.

UAE Facts | UAE Food

In the UAE rice, fish and lamb or chicken meat are considered the main staple food. Pork is not permitted for Muslims so it is not commonly found or eaten. 

Spices such as cardamon, coriander, caraway seeds, cloves, saffron and cinnamon give the Middle Eastern dishes a distinctive taste.

During Ramadan people eat the traditional iftar meal after sunset. This second meal, after breakfast before sunset, is eaten when breaking the fast in the evening. The iftar meal usually includes a large variety of dishes including hearty soups, lentil or meat stews, salads and flatbread with dips such as hummus and baba ganoush as well as dates and sweet desserts.

Popular dishes in the UAE include:

  • Machboos: lunch dish made with slow cooked lamb or chicken, rice, dried lemon and spices
  • Kabab: skewers of chicken or goats meat, marinated and grilled and served with rice or flatbread.
  • Baba Ganoushmashed grilled aubergines (also called brinjals or eggplants) with garlic, lemon juice and sesame paste, usually eaten with flat bread
  • Fareed: typically made during Ramadan, this meat and vegetable stew is usually cooked made with potatoes, marrows, carrots, lamb or chicken
  • Lukaimat: deep-fried light dough balls which are served with date syrup

UAE Facts | Animals

Desert animals such as camels and gazelles live in the hot and dry desert areas of the UAE.

Camels in the Liwa Desert in the UAE

In the UAE you will might also catch a glimpse of Arabian oryxes, the Arabian red fox or Arabian hare. Especially if you head to one of the conservation areas such as Al Maha or the Dubai Desert Conservation Reserve. More commonly found are sand geckos and lizards.

Other Popular Pages

Picture Credits for UAE Facts: and own images if not otherwise stated. 

Many thanks go to Mohamed Rayan from GEMS Our Own Indian School in Dubai for sending through some corrections!

UAE Facts
Recommended Reading

  • Central Intelligence Agency. "United Arab Emirates." CIA World Fact Book. Last updated 23 August 2021. Last accessed 27 August 2021
  • United Arab Emirates Government. "About the UAE: Fact Sheet." Last accessed 27 August 2021
  • The National UAE. "Dubai Expo 2020: All you need to know." The National. Last updated 15 April 2019. Last accessed 27 August 2021
  • Visit Dubai. "Call of the Wild. Dubai's Desert Wildlife." Dubai Tourism. 24 August 2020. Last accessed 27 August 2021
  • The National UAE. "The Best Foods to eat and avoid during iftar and suhour." The National. Last updated 5 June 2017. Last accessed 27 August 2021

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