The United Arab Emirates is a federation of seven internally self-governing emirates independent since 1971. Topographic mapping was compiled in the 1960s by the British Directorate of Military Surveys (DMS) (now Military Survey). A 1:50,000 scale map (Series K763) in 155 sheets was completed in 1969, DMS also compiled a 62-sheet 1:100 000 scale map and 1:250 000 scale coverage conforming to JOG specifications. Limited 1:50,000 and 1:100,000 scale coverage was published in new series produced with Syrian assistance in the early 1980s. In 1982 an indigenous national mapping program was approved and a military Survey Department was set up by the Emirates armed forces to establish a new geodetic network, commission new aerial photographic coverage and produce new bilingual topographic series mapping. New 1:50,000 scale coverage was published as orthophoto mapping between 1989 and 1991, showing relief with 10 m contours and covering the whole country in 138 sheets on the UTM projection, Clarke 1880 modified ellipsoid. Smaller scale series were derived from these data. Civilian official mapping is currently carried out by the Survey Section of the Ministry of Public Works and Housing and has included 1:5,000 scale coverage of all the developed coastal areas of the country, as well as a 1:25,000 scale series of northern parts of the UAE. The municipalities of Abu Dhabi, Sharjah, and Dubai have all established urban GISs to help them plan development.

Soviet military topographic mapping of the United Arab Emirates is available at the following scales: 1:1,000,000 (4 sheets, complete coverage, published 1979-1982); 1:500,000 (5 sheets, complete coverage, published 1977-1982); 1:200,000 (26 sheets, complete coverage, published 1975-1981); 1:100,000 (58 sheets, primarily complete coverage, published in 1978) and city (1:10,000) topographic mapping of Abu-Dhabi and Dubai published between 1977 and 1979. These products are available in print, digital raster and digital vector GIS formats from East View Geospatial.

Hydrographic charting of Emirates waters is carried out by the British Hydrographic Office (HO).

The Ministry of Petroleum and Mineral Resources compiled a variety of earth science mapping in the late 1970s. This included monochrome 15-sheet 1:100,000 scale coverage, and full color maps at 1:250,000 scale in four sheets, 1:500,000 and 1:1,000,000 scales.

More recent thematic coverage of Dubai has been derived from satellite imagery by the United Kingdom National Remote Sensing Centre Ltd (NRSC). A total of 31 1:25,000 scale image maps of the Emirates were produced in digital, photographic and lithographic media. Seven thematic database layers were compiled from these data and field sampling: geology, geomorphology, soil, hydrology, land use, erosion and vegetation data are held in an ARC/INFO GIS forming the basis for environmental planning in Dubai.

The Abu Dhabi National Oil Company celebrated 20 years of production with the publication in 1991 of the Energy map of the United Arab Emirates, published in association with Petroleum Economist (PE), London.

The National atlas of the United Arab Emirates was published in 1993 by GEOprojects, in association with the University of the United Arab Emirates and numerous government agencies. This includes over 150 topographic and thematic map plates, mostly at 1:1,500,000 scale, as well as more detailed case study areas mapped for many topics and an index to geographic names.

Frontline, Sharjah publishes simple tourist mapping of Emirates cities.

GEOprojects also publishes a number of maps of the UAE in its Arab World map series. A general map of the Emirates is regularly revised and includes numerous city maps and tourist information. In addition larger scale mapping is published for the most significant urban areas in the Emirates covering Al Ain, Abu Dhabi, Dubai and Sharjah.

Copyright © 2014 De Gruyter for e-version of World Mapping Today, 2nd Edition | Copyright © 2019 East View Geospatial, Inc.

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