The United Arab Emirates, in the eastern part of the Arabian Peninsula, extends along part of the Gulf of Oman and the southern coast of the Persian Gulf. Its neighbors are Saudi Arabia to the west and south, Qatar to the north, and Oman to the east. Most of the land is barren and sandy.
The United Arab Emirates (UAE) is a highly modern Middle Eastern country located in the southeastern portion of the Arabian Peninsula. The country has borders with Saudi Arabia, Oman and Qatar. The UAE was formed in 1971 as a federation of seven emirates: Abu Dhabi, Ajman, Dubai, Fujairah, Ras al-Khaimah, Sharjah and Umm al-Qaiwain. The UAE is a popular tourist destination that blends a rich cultural tradition dating back more than 2,500 years with modern cities that boast skyscrapers, museums, art galleries, golf courses, spas and theme parks.
Although about four-fifths of the UAE has a hot and arid desert climate, the country also includes mountains, oases and a coastline. Maximum summer temperatures can reach nearly 50 degrees C in some areas, although temperatures in the mountainous regions are more moderate. Minimum winter temperatures are around 10 degrees C. Annual rainfall is from 120mm to 350mm depending on location, with occasional flash flooding. Dust storms that significantly reduce visibility also occur in the desert regions.
The UAE seeks to maintain traditional cultural elements based on tribal living and Islamic principles while moving toward a modern culture. With this in mind, the country has recently emphasized visual arts that augment traditional means of creativity that focused on poetry and the spoken word. As a result, the UAE now has a thriving, multi-cultural art community that includes museums, art galleries, art exhibitions, cultural events, theaters and art-related workshops and summer camps.
Cost of Living
Prices in the UAE are generally moderate, with one-bedroom apartments starting at about $1,000 (US) per month and utilities running about $120 (US) per month. Food and dining costs are also very reasonable. Costs near a city centre are somewhat higher than costs elsewhere. Students should also be sure to budget for a car, as they are a virtual necessity in the country.