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Emirates TravelUAE guide / UAE geography
 

The Geography of the UAE

The important cities are located close to water, because water is necessary for most forms of civilization
The western and southern regions of the United Arab Emirates are primarily salt flats and sand dunes, with the very rare oasis in a barren region. The main oases are in Al Ain, which is to the east of Abu Dhabi by about 160 km. Liwa, in the southwestern part is also an oasis. In the northern parts of the state of Abu Dhabi, sand dunes gradually shift into gravel plains. These are formed by the Hajar Ton range, formed some 200 million years ago. The mountains themselves reach heights of 3000 meters. The larger ones are located near the border with Oman.The east coast of the UAE is not a desert at all, but a productive area where good water supplies and adequate rainfall have allowed farmers to grow crops for thousands of years. Along the eastern coast are beautiful, pristine beaches that seem to go on forever. On the UAE coast that is on the Arabian Gulf, there are many tiny islands and many inlets that change the landscape yet again. Mangroves are widespread, and there are countless fish and bird species. Compared to the desert parts of the UAE, this end of the country is cooler. Many people don't realize that such places exist in the UAE, but those who know vacation here and enjoy it thoroughly.

Geography involves the study of the formation of landforms, the age of the landforms, and other features. Rivers, too are studied to determine their origins, the direction of flow, and where precisely the headwaters of the river are located, whether it's in mountains or some other natural landform, all the way until the river meets the ocean. In the mountains, rivers have their beginnings, and the water flows very turbulently, which is a great resource for generating electricity. These waters are too turbulent to be navigated. Once the river meets the plain after coming down off a mountain, the speed of the flow slows down, and the river widens out. This results in reservoirs and wide, calm rivers that are beneficial to the people of the region. Water that comes from these sources can be used by farmers to irrigate crops. Once rivers meet a plain, there are often fertile soils in the area, and these areas often turn into agriculturally productive areas. In India, an example of this phenomenon would be the Great Ganges. The UAE is becoming a very popular destination in the gulf region, and people from everywhere are learning that there's much more to the UAE than sand dunes and Dubai.

The important cities are located close to water, because water is necessary for most forms of civilization. Once a river crosses a plain and reaches the ocean, it slows considerably and is considered to be the "old" part of the river.

Forests are an extremely important part of geography due to their resources. The animals that live in these areas depend on the natural vegetation. A number of plant and animal species are found to be thriving just fine in these regions without any unwelcome human attention. Geography is political, too, with study of countries and continents along with the study of their populations. Once a person better understands the political aspect of geography, he understands the people and cultures much better too.

The coastline of the Persian Gulf is home to hundreds of small, offshore islands, which contrast with the dunes, wadis, dry riverbeds, and oases on the mainland. There are even coral reefs and salt marshes. Some of the biggest sand dunes in the world are located in Al-Liwa, where there are oases to the east of Aradah. This, along with Al Ain, is outside the city of Abu Dhabi. In the northern part of the state of Abu Dhabi, the Al Hazar range reaches heights of 2000 meters in some places. The variety of landforms in the UAE are surprising to some people, who only think of deserts when they think of the UAE.

Overall, the UAE has a very dry climate with sub-tropical temperatures and sunny days most of the year. Rainfall is brief and infrequent. Along the coast, the weather is hot and humid, and in the interior parts of the country the weather is burning hot and dry. From June to September are hot and humid, with temperatures reaching 48 degrees C and humidity of up to 90%. Sometimes sandstorms called "shaman" reach the coasts in the middle of winter and in the spring too. November to April are considered the winter months. They are much more enjoyable, with temperatures averaging around 25 degrees C and lower humidity. Rain is rare, but most of it occurs during December and January. Regardless of the region, the weather in the UAE is always warm. The heat may be too much for some to take, but in the winter, the climate is much more enjoyable, and there is air conditioning in pretty much all modern buildings and cars.

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