The United Arab Emirates is a Middle Eastern country that is located on the Arabian Peninsula’s southeast end and is bordered by Saudi Arabia to the south and Oman to the east. The country also shares its maritime borders with Iran and Qatar. The population of UAE was 9.2 million in 2013 of which only 1.4 million were native Emiratis and the rest all expatriates. The UAE is a federation of 7 emirates that was established on December 2, 1971. The country’s oil reserves are the 7th largest in the world. The biggest city in UAE, Dubai, is a global city and a major international aviation hub. UAE's economy is mainly reliant on the export of oil and natural gas.
The biggest cities in UAE are well developed with modern, urban landscapes. Most of the cities are also cosmopolitan by nature with a large proportion of the residents being foreign expatriates. Here, we present the biggest cities in UAE and the important features associated with these cities.
The Five Biggest Cities In The United Arab Emirates
One of most well-known tourist destinations in the world, Dubai is the biggest city of UAE. The city is based on the Persian Gulf’s southeast coast and serves as the capital city of the Emirate of Dubai. Dubai has emerged as one of the biggest cosmopolitan cities of the world and the business hub of the Middle East. The city is famous for its ambitious constructional projects like the Palm Islands and “ The World” which are artificial islands off the coast of Dubai. Dubai’s economy is mainly dependent on international trade and to a small extent on oil that is a limited resource in the city. Tourism, real estate, aviation, and financial services are also major sources of revenue in Dubai. The city is the world’s 22nd most expensive city and the most expensive one in the region. In 2014, the hotel rooms in Dubai were ranked as the second most in the world after those in Geneva.
Abu Dhabi, the capital of the Emirate of Abu Dhabi, is UAE’s second most populous city. The city is located on a T-shaped island on the Persian Gulf. Abu Dhabi houses the Abu Dhabi Emiri Family and the federal government offices of the region. The city is a modern metropolis and a major political, economic, cultural, and commercial center in the region. Abu Dhabi accounts for nearly 2/3rds of the economy of UAE. Like Dubai, Abu Dhabi also has a multicultural and diverse society. However, time and again, human rights organizations have heavily criticized the government for exploiting foreign workers and treating them in an improper manner.
Sharjah is UAE’s third biggest city and is located on the Arabian Peninsula along the Persian Gulf’s southern coast. It is the capital of Emirate of Sharjah. The city contributes 7.4% of the UAE’s GDP and is a major center of industry and culture in the region. There is a major ban on alcohol in the Emirate of Sharjah, and hence, alcohol is not sold anywhere in the Sharjah city. The city has been designated as a WHO healthy city, and it is the 68th best city in the world to be a university student.
Al Ain is the second biggest city in the Emirate of Abu Dhabi after Abu Dhabi. The city is located about 160 km away from Abu Dhabi. The first President of UAE, Sheikh Zayed bin Sultan Al Nahyan, was born in this city. The city also houses the largest (30.8%) proportion of the Emirati nationals. The city is very green and is thus also known as the Green City. Al Ain is developing rapidly as a tourist destination in the region. It has several tourist attractions like the Al Ain National Museum, Hili Archaeological Park site, several restored forts, and the Al Ain Palace Museum.
The capital of the Emirate of Ajman, Ajman is the fifth biggest city in UAE. The city hosts over 90% of the emirate’s population. The Ruler’s office, commercial markets, companies, and a large number of national and international retail shops are located in Ajman. The city is also rapidly developing as a major tourist destination in the region.