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United Arab Emirates, Land and Resources

The total land area of the UAE, including its islands, is 83,600 sq km (32,300 sq mi). The federation is roughly crescent-shaped, extending for about 420 km (about 260 mi) from north to south and, at its widest, for about 480 km (about 300 mi) from east to west. It has a coastline of 1,320 km (819 mi) on the Persian Gulf and the Gulf of Oman. Much of the UAE’s international border, running through empty desert, is undefined or disputed, and some minor interemirate border issues are still unresolved. Most of the country is desert, with a flat coastal plain consisting mostly of tidal salt flats. The land slopes down from the Al ?ajar al Gharbi mountain range in the northeastern extremity of the country to an elevated desert plateau. The plateau slopes gently northward to the coast and westward to the Sabkhat Matti, a huge, sterile salt flat spreading into Saudi Arabia. The UAE’s highest point, at 2,500 m (8,200 ft), is in the Al ?ajar al Gharbi. Some natural vegetation is found on parts of the plateau, sustained by rainfall runoff from the mountains.

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