The country: The UAE is a country
made up of seven 'emirates' Abu Dhabi, Dubai, Sharjah, Ajman,
Umm Al-Quwain, Ras Al-Khaimah, Fujairah. It was founded on
December 2, 1971.
This is now celebrated as the annual National
Day. This is when the major cities of the emirates are all
brightly lit-up and decorated with lights.
The geography: The United
Arab Emirates is situated on a pensinsula in the Arabian Gulf.
It is bordered by Oman to the east and Saudi Arabia to the
west and south. Iran is the closest country to it from the
north. The UAE is 83,600 sq.km (including 200 islands - approximately).
On the map, it is situated at:
Latitudes: 22¼ - 26.5¼ North Longitudes: 51¼
- 56.5¼ East
Timezone: The UAE is four
hours ahead of GMT.
Telephone: The international
dialling code for the UAE is 00 971
The government: The capital
of the UAE is Abu Dhabi. This is where the seat of government
is and where national decisions are made. However, each emirate
has it's own ruler and each emirate has a degree of autonomy
and can make up their own laws.
Language: The official
language of the UAE is Arabic. Other languages spoken are
English, Hindi, Farsi. A large number of the expatriate population
are from the sub-continent, the Philippines, Iran, and just
about any country. So you will find people here speaking Urdu,
Tagalog, Malayalam, Russian, South African and languages.
Currency: The United Arab
Emirates currency is called the Dirham. Arab Emirate Dirham
(=Dhs or AED) 100 Fils = 1 Dirhams
Religion: The official
religion of the United Arab Emirates is Islam. But other faiths
are accepted and freedom of worship privately is given. Churches
are common in some emirates and in Dubai you will even find
a Hindu Temple.
Climate: Moderate climate
is found between October and March when days are sunny and
pleasant (Average Temperature - 26¼ C). Nights are
Cool (average temperature is 15¼ C) Summer is between
April and September, when temperatures peak at 50¼
C with high humidity levels. In the summer, southerly and
northerly winds blow over the UAE with occasional sandstorms.
Population: The Population
of the United Arab Emirates at the end of 2005 was 4.041 million.
Economy: The UAE is a major
player in the global oil industry. The emirate of Abu Dhabi
alone accounts for 10 per cent of the world's confirmed oil
reserves (98 billion barrels). Trade, too, is booming with
each emirate establishing a free zone with no taxes to encourage
companies to set up their manufacturing and export units here.
The UAE's Gross Domestic Product in 2002 stood at Dh262.03
billion ($71.4 billion)The oil sector accounted for (2002)
Dhs 62.8 billion while the non-oil sector accounted for Dh199.2
billion ($54.2 billion) Per capita income: Dh70,000 ($19,080)
VISAS AND IMMIGRATION:
Types of visa (As of 16th August 2005)
Visit visa: It must be
sponsored by an individual, such as a relative, or an establishment.
The application is submitted by the sponsor with all required
documents. It is issued for Dh100 for two months and is renewable
for another month for a fee of Dh500.
The citizens of following countries can
get a 30-day visit visa free of charge upon arrival, entitling
them to stay for 60 days and the visa can be renewed once
for another 30 days for an additional fee of Dh500: Britain,
France, Italy, Germany, the Netherlands, Belgium, Luxembourg,
Switzerland, Austria, Sweden, Norway, Denmark, Portugal, Ireland,
Greece, Cyprus, Finland, Malta, Spain, Monaco, Vatican, Iceland,
Andorra, San Marino, Liechtenstein, United States, Canada,
Australia, New Zealand, Japan, Brunei, Singapore, Malaysia
and Hong Kong.
Tourist Visa: It is available
for tourists sponsored by tour operating companies and hotels.
It is issued for 30 days for a fee of Dh100 and an additional
Dh10 for delivery. This is non-renewable.
Special Mission Entry Visa:
This is issued for a non-renewable 14 days for a fee of Dh220
and a delivery charge of Dh10. Commonly known as a transit
visa, it is collected by the visitor upon arrival. It is issued
to businessmen and tourists sponsored by a company or commercial
establishment or a hotel licensed to operate in the UAE.
Mission Visa: The newly
added type of visa, it is issued for the purpose of temporary
work in the country. It is issued for a maximum of 180 days
with a combined fee of Dh1,800. It is issued for three months
against a fee of Dh600 and can be renewed for another three
months against a fee of Dh1,200. It has been introduced to
facilitate Labour Ministry's Temporary Work Permit. An applicant
must obtain the permit from the Labour Ministry first to get
Transit Visa: It is issued
to travellers transiting through UAE airports. It issued for
96 hours and must be sponsored by an airline operating in
the UAE. The visitor must have a valid ticket for onward flight.
There is no charge for this permit.
Multiple Entry Visa: It
is an option for businessmen who are frequent visitors to
the UAE and who have a relationship with a reputable company
here. This multiple visa is valid for six months from the
date of issue and costs Dh1,000. However, each visit must
not exceed 30 days. The visitor must enter the UAE on a visit
visa and obtain the multiple entry visa while he is here.
Residence Visa: A residence
visa is required for those who intend to enter the UAE to
live indefinitely with a person who is already a resident.
It is issued to the immediate kin of a resident for three
years for a fee of Dh300. The residence permit becomes invalid
if the resident remains more than six months at a time out
of the country.
Parents of residents are issued residence
visas after special approval with a renewable validity of
one year for a fee of Dh100 for each year. A refundable deposit
of Dh5,000 has to be paid for each parent.
Investor Visa: It is issued
to an expatriate investor in partnership with a local. The
foreign investor must hold a minimum stake of Dh70,000 in
the share capital. Like the residence visa, it is issued for
three years for a fee of Dh300.
Employment Visa: Employment
Visa or Permit is issued by the Immigration Department to
a foreign national who wishes to work for a company in the
UAE upon the approval of the Ministry of Labour and Social
Affairs. It allows the holder to enter the UAE once for a
period of 30 days and is valid for two months from the date
of issue. When the employee has entered the country on the
basis of the employment visa, the sponsoring company will
arrange to complete the formalities of stamping his residence.