The United Arab Emirates (UAE) comprise the seven member states of Abu Dhabi, the capital city, Dubai, Sharjah, Ajman, Umm Al Quwain, Ras Al Khaimah and Fujairah.
The total area of the country is about 83,600 square kilometres, much of it in Abu Dhabi emirate. Dubai, with an area of 3,885 square kilometres, is the second largest emirate.
Situated on the banks of the Dubai Creek, a natural inlet from the Gulf which divides the city into the Deira district to its north and Bur Dubai on its south, the city ranks as the UAE’s most important port and commercial centre.
The UAE has 700 kilometres of coastline, of which 100 kilometres are on the Gulf of Oman. Along the Arabian Gulf coast there are offshore islands, coral reefs and sabkha, or salt-marshes.
Stretches of gravel, plain and barren desert characterise the inland region. To the east, a range of mountains lies close to the Gulf of Oman and forms a backbone through the Mussandam Peninsula. The western interior of the country, most of it in Abu Dhabi, consists mainly of desert interspersed with oases.