United Arab Emirates (UAE), a federation of seven independent states,
is located in the southeastern corner of the Arabian Peninsula.
It is bordered by the Persian Gulf to the north, Saudi Arabia to
the south and west, and Oman and the Gulf of Oman to the east. Before
the discovery of oil in the 1950s, the UAE was a group of largely
undeveloped emirates under the protection of the British. Oil brought
rapid growth and modernization to the area, and the emirates became
independent as the UAE in 1971.
Its seven member states are Abu Dhabi (Abu Zaby), Ajman, Dubai,
Al Fujairah, Ra's al Khaymah, Ash Shariqah, and Umm al Qaywayn.
The city of Abu Dhabi, located in the emirate of the same name,
is the federal capital and the largest city.
Weather can be extreme during the summer months (May to October),
with interior temperatures reaching 49° C (120° F) and coastal temperatures
slightly lower but combined with high humidity.
Pleasant weather prevails during the rest of the year, with temperatures
between 20° C (68° F) and 35° C (95° F). Annual rainfall varies
from an average of 43 mm (1.7 in) in Abu Dhabi to 130 mm (5.1 in)
in Ra's al Khaymah, but with great variations from year to year.
Sandstorms occur frequently and are associated with both the shamal,
a powerful wind from the north or west, and the hot khamsin,
coming from the south in summer.