United Arab Emirates
|United Arab Emirates|
'دولة الإمارات العربية المتحيدة
Dawlat al-ʾImārāt al-ʿArabīyyah
|Location Map ( geo)|
|Oman, Saudi Arabia|
The United Arab Emirates is a small country on the Arabian peninsula which is a union between seven Emirates: Abu Dhabi, Dubai, Sharjah, Ras al Khaimah, Fujairah, Umm al Quwain and Ajman. It borders Saudi Arabia to the west and south and has several borders with Oman in the north and east.
The Emirate of Abu Dhabi occupies approximately 86% of the UAE's landmass and is where much of the country's oil reserves are located. The city of Abu Dhabi is located mostly on a group of islands on the Persian Gulf coast, with the outer suburbs now extending inland. Close to the airport is Yas Island where Yas Marina circuit is located which is the venue for the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix. Al Ain, the second largest city in the Emirate, is an Oasis city located on the Omani border which divides the settlement into Al Ain which is the larger of the two halves and Al Buraimi (Oman).
The terrain of the Emirate varies from flat plains on the coast to the rolling sand dunes of the northeastern fringes of the Rub al Khali (Empty Quarter Desert). The highest point of the Emirate is located near Al Ain where the lone mountain Jebel Hafeet rises behind the city. An impressive road winds its way from Al Ain up to the summit, some 1300+ metres above sea level.
Dubai is the second largest Emirate and has become the best known of the 7 on the world stage due to the rapid expansion of the city, its record-breaking infrastructure projects and its seemingly luxurious lifestyle. The territory of the Emirate consists of 2 segments, the larger of which is on the Persian Gulf coast where the city is located and Hatta which lies on the Omani border in the East.
Sharjah is the third largest Emirate and has the most fragmented territory of the 7 Emirates. The largest segment is where the city of Sharjah is located directly northeast along the coast from the city of Dubai. Sharjah has several territories in the eastern region of the UAE including Kalba, Khor Fakkan, Nahwa and Dibba al Hisn.
Ras Al Khaimah
Ras Al Khaimah is the most northern of the Emirates and forms boundaries with the Emirates of Fujairah in the east, Umm Al Quwain in the west and Musandam (Oman) in the north. The largest settlements lie on the coast of the Persian Gulf, with the main city located around a creek in a similar way to the older parts of Dubai. The Emirate is known for quarrying and cement industries and the city of Ras Al Khaimah with some more modern developments icluding Jazeera Al Hamra and Mina Al Arab lie on the Persian Gulf coast. The western parts of the Emirate are covered by large sand dunes which give way to the northern reaches of the Al Hajar Mountains which extend for over 600 kilometers from Oman's Musandam peninsula in the north, through the eastern Emirates and northern Oman.
Ras Al Khaimah is the home to both the highest mountain and the highest point in the UAE. Jebel Yibir is technically the highest mountain in the UAE, a road has been constructed to the summit however a military base has restricted access to the summit area. Jebel Jais, is the highest point in the UAE and often disputed as being the highest mountain however the true summit of this mountain lies just over the border in Musandam (Oman).
Fujairah is the only Emirate to be entirely located on the Gulf of Oman and is perhaps the most mountainous of the 7. The city of Fujairah is a relatively small city located in the Hajar Mountains on the east coast of the UAE. The historical Fujairah fort is located on the edge of the city and gives good views out to the sea and of the modern Fujairah skyline consisting of a small group of skyscrapers lining the main road to the other Emirates. Driving north along the coast makes one aware of the presence of the oil industry in the Emirates with a very large tank farm spanning for several kilometres on both sides of the road. With Fujairah being part of the Emirates, this gave the country a strategic advantage for oil exports as the placement of this tank farm allows tankers to avoid the Strait of Hormuz. The Emirate is home to the oldest mosque in the UAE and several historical forts in the mountain villages as well as being known for good diving locations along the coast.
Umm Al Quwain
Umm Al Quwain is the second smallest Emirate and perhaps the least developed of the Emirates. The city does not boast any tall skyscrapers and the terrain is largely rolling sand dunes.
Ajman is the smallest of the 7 Emirates and also very industrious. It occupies two small regions, the larger is the main city which is bound by the Persian Gulf to the northwest and completely surrounded by Sharjah on all other sides. Masfoot is the second area which lies in the mountains directly east of Dubai's territory Hatta.
Unlike the Saudi border, the UAE border with Oman is not a straight line on the map. Neither is it a single border, with it possible to enter 3 separate parts of Oman from the UAE: mainland Oman, Madha and Musandam. A rather simplistic explanation for this dates back to the days of Trucial Oman under the British Empire and the tribal system which existed at the time. Eventually the tribes had to pledge their allegiance to either the Sultan of Oman or one of the seven Sheikhs of the UAE, which also accounts for the fragmented territories within the UAE.
One part of the result is interesting in that it is possible to cross an international border into Oman without any official border crossings. Madha is an enclave of Oman completely surrounded by the UAE. Within Madha is Nahwa which is a small circular exclave of the UAE which is completely surrounded by the Madha territory of Oman. Besides the interesting arrangement of the borders, there is very little in these villages.
The main border with Oman has 3 major crossing points into Kalba (Sharjah), Hatta (Dubai) and Al Ain (Abu Dhabi). A 4th official border crossing exists fully within Oman due to the border crossing the Dubai-Hatta road twice to the west of Hatta before the main crossing to the east. Official border posts exist for entry to the Musandam peninsula, one north of Ras Al Khaimah, one in the east in Dibba Al Hisn (Sharjah) and a third smaller (and probably less used) crossing buried deep within the mountains between the others. It has been known for the Sharjah authorities to make the crossing at Dibba Al Hisn quite difficult.
The E roads form the strategical road network of the UAE. It is largely constructed to motorway standards with the vast majority of junctions being grade separated. In more remote locations with lower traffic levels, it is not uncommon for the mainline to be interrupted with the odd at-grade junction.
E roads are signed with blue signs with white lettering. The road number is usually written in orange text over a blue eagle symbol on a white background.
Most of the E road network has a speed limit of 120 kph. Speed cameras are usually located in the central reservation of the roads and were formally set to flash once someone drove at 20 kph above the posted limit. Due to the high accident rates in the UAE, this has recently been changed to just 1 kph above the posted limit. As a further measure to improve road safety, speed limits were generally being cut in places however a long section of the E11 in Abu Dhabi has had its limit raised to 160 kph.
List of E Roads
|E10||Sheikh Zayed bin Sultan Street, Abu Dhabi - Shahama Road||Abu Dhabi||E11 Shahama (Abu Dhabi)||39 km|
|E11||Dubai - Ghweifat International Highway, Sheikh Zayed Road, Sheikh Rashid Road, Al Rams Road, Al Etihad Road||Al Ghweifat (Abu Dhabi)||Al Qir (Ras al Khaimah)||559 km|
|E12||Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed Al-Nahyan Highway||Abu Dhabi||E11 Al Falah||33 km|
|E20||Arabian Gulf Street, Abu Dhabi - Sweihan - Al Hayar Road||Abu Dhabi||E66 Al Hayer|
|E22||Abu Dhabi - Al Ain Road||Abu Dhabi||Al Ain|
|E30||Abu Dhabi - Al Ain Truck Road||E22 Abu Dhabi||E40 Al Ain|
|E44||Al Khail Road, Ras Al Khor Road, Al Awir Road, Dubai - Hatta Road|
|E66||Dubai - Al Ain Road||D66 Dubai||Al Ain|
|E75||Seih Shuaib - Al Fayah Truck Road||E11 Seih Shuaib||E30|
|E84||Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed Road||E99 Maliha, Sharjah||E89 Fujairah|
|E87||-||E11 Al Hamra, Ras Al Khaimah||E89 Ghub, Fujairah|
|E88||Al Dhaid Road||E11 Sharjah||E89 Masafi|
|E89||-||Fujairah||E99 Dibba Al Fujairah|
|E90||Hamim - Arada Road,||E15 Arada, Abu Dhabi||E95 Umm Az Zumul, Abu Dhabi|
|E95||Al Qou'a - Um Az Zumul Road||Al Ain||E90 Umm Az Zumul, Abu Dhabi|
|E99||-||Oman Route 1, Kalba Border Crossing||E89 Dibba Al Fujairah|
|E102||Sharjah - Kalba Road||S112 Sharjah||E99 Kalba|
|E311||Sheikh Mohammed bin Zayed Road||Al Shamkha (Abu Dhabi)||Ras al Khaimah||201 km|
|E611||Emirates Road||E75 (Abu Dhabi)||Al Sharisha (Ras Al Khaimah)||29 km and 124 km|