Abu Dhabi (United Arab Emirates) Flag Abu Dhabi (United Arab Emirates)

Geography Overview


Middle East, bordering the Gulf of Oman and the Persian Gulf, between Oman and Saudi Arabia

Geographic Coordinates

24 00 N, 54 00 E

Map References

Middle East


Total: 83,600 sq km

Land: 83,600 sq km

Water: 0 sq km

Country Comparison to the World: 116

Area Comparative: Slightly larger than South Carolina; slightly smaller than Maine

Land Boundaries

Total: 1,066 km

Border countries (2): Oman 609 km, Saudi Arabia 457 km

Coastline: 1,318 km

Maritime Claims

Territorial sea: 12 nm

Exclusive economic zone: 200 nm

Contiguous zone: 24 nm

Continental shelf: 200 nm or to the edge of the continental margin


Desert; cooler in eastern mountains


Flat, barren coastal plain merging into rolling sand dunes of vast desert; mountains in east


Mean elevation: 149 m

Lowest point: Persian Gulf 0 m

Highest point: Jabal Yibir 1,527 m

Natural Resources

Petroleum, natural gas

Land Use

Agricultural land: 4.6% (2011 est.)

Arable land: 0.5% (2011 est.)

Permanent crops: 0.5% (2011 est.)

Permanent pasture: 3.6% (2011 est.)

Forest: 3.8% (2011 est.)

Other: 91.6% (2011 est.)

Irrigated land: 923 sq km (2012)

Population Distribution

Population is heavily concentrated to the northeast on the Musandam Peninsula; the three largest emirates—Abu Dhabi, Dubai, and Sharjah—are home to nearly 85% of the population

Natural Hazards

Frequent sand and dust storms

Current Environmental Issues

Air pollution; rapid population growth and high energy demand contribute to water scarcity; lack of natural freshwater resources compensated by desalination plants; land degradation and desertification; waste generation, beach pollution from oil spills


  • Strategic location along southern approaches to Strait of Hormuz, a vital transit point for world crude oil