Dubai is one of the most famous and one of the most visited places in the world. This Middle East metropolis is most known for its incredible skyscrapers, which includes the majestic Burj Khalifa, the world’s tallest at 2,700 feet, for its amazing desert landscape and as a premier global transport hub. However, many also ask the question, where is Dubai? Also, is it its own country? And, what is it near?
The emirate of Dubai is situated in the UAE’s northeast, where six of the seven emirates are gathered.
The emirate of Abu Dhabi, which is located to the southwest of Dubai, is home to 80% of the UAE’s land area. To the northeast is the emirate of Sharjah. To the southeast is the country of Oman. In addition, an exclave of the emirate, Hatta, is bordered by Oman and the emirates of Ajman and Ras Al Khaimah. In addition, Dubai borders the Persian Gulf, which lies to its northwest.
In the bigger picture, Dubai and the UAE are situated in the eastern part of the Middle East, a region that spreads across 2.8 million square miles and is located in portions of Asia, Africa and Europe. Dubai and the UAE are also situated in West Asia, 1,300 air miles from Europe and 950 miles from Africa. To the east, within Asia, are India (900 miles), Thailand (2,700 miles) and Japan (4,400 miles) while Australia is 5,100 miles away.
Its geographic placement allows Dubai to connect Europe with the rest of Asia and Oceania. Dubai International Airport is the world’s busiest as it relates to international travel and the fourth-busiest overall. Many flying from Western Europe – i.e. Paris or London – to locales such as Japan, Thailand or Australia will often make a stop in Dubai en route to those destinations.
Dubai is also located in the UAE Standard Time Zone. Since the area does not observe daylight saving time, that places it three hours later than Central European Time, nine hours later than the Eastern Time Zone in North America and five hours earlier than Japan Standard Time during the winter months and two hours later, eight hours later and five hours earlier than those respective places in the summertime.
It is also situated in the Arabian Desert, which stretches from Oman to Egypt and is the world’s fifth-largest. That plays a role in its climate, which is one of the features that Dubai is most known for. As a result of its location, its average high and low temperatures in August are 106 and 87 while the corresponding figures for January are 75 and 50. In addition, the adjacent Persian Gulf creates high humidity here.
Is Dubai a country?
One of the most common misperceptions is that Dubai is a country. It is not. Bali is also believed by some to be an independent country. However, it is not. It is a province of Indonesia. So, what country is Dubai in? It is situated in the United Arab Emirates, which is oftentimes shortened as UAE.
Dubai is both an emirate and a city within that emirate.
UAE is subdivided into seven emirates: Abu Dhabi, Ajman, Dubai, Fujairah, Ras Al Khaimah, Sharjah and Umm Al Quwain. Of these, Dubai is the most populous with 4.2 million people while Abu Dhabi has 2.8 million, and Sharjah has 2.4 million. The least populous one, Umm Al Quwain, is home to 72,000.
What is an emirate? It is an area of land that is ruled over by an emir. Saudi Arabia is also comprised of a number of emirates, 13 in that case. Meanwhile, some Middle East countries consist of just one emirate. A couple of examples of these are Kuwait and Qatar. The latter country is along the UAE’s west maritime border while Kuwait is to the northwest, on the other side of the Persian Gulf, 480 air miles from Dubai.
The city of Dubai, its capital, has a population of 3.3 million or about 80% of the emirate’s population.
Is UAE a country?
Is UAE a country? Yes. The UAE has been an independent country since it declared its complete independence from the United Kingdom on Dec. 2, 1971. However, note that the emirate of Ras Al Khaimah did not join the rest of the UAE until Feb. 10, 1972.
The UAE’s population is 9.9 million. The city of Dubai accounts for 34% of that while the emirate of Dubai is where 42% of the UAE’s populace lives.
Prior to its move to its current state as an independent country, the emirates that currently comprise the UAE had been Trucial States and, as a group, was a British protectorate. That meant that the UK had ruled over this area but only indirectly as the emirates’ leaders were generally not British.
Today, the UAE is a member of the United Nations, which it joined a week after becoming independent. The country is also a member of the Arab League, World Bank, International Monetary Fund, Organisation of Islamic Cooperation and Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries.
The country also has national teams that participate in a variety of sports. Its most popular ones are its soccer and cricket squads. The former team represented UAE at the 1990 World Cup while it finished as runners-up at the 1996 Asian Cup and was also in that competition’s top four in 1992, 2015 and 2019. Meanwhile, its national cricket team participated in the Cricket World Cup in 1996 and 2015.
UAE also has its own currency, the United Arab Emirates dirham, which is traded throughout its seven emirates. This money, which is abbreviated as AED, is subdivided into 100 fils. A dirham is worth about $0.27 in American money while $1 in US funds is about the same as 3.67 dirhams. The dirham was adopted by the UAE in 1973; it had used the Gulf rupee, Saudi riyal and Bahraini dinar prior to then.