Natural resources

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The UAE's primary natural resources are petroleum and natural gas. More than 90 percent of these resources are found in the emirate of Abu Dhabi. Natural freshwater is extremely limited and has been critically overexploited. Underwater aquifers fell by 10 metres between 1977 and 1984, resulting in increased salinity levels and the intrusion of seawater into groundwater. The country gets most of its water from desalination plants (thus seawater may be counted as a natural resource). Increasing amounts of solar energy are being generated, as in the new, environmentally friendly city of Masdar, which is still under construction in Abu Dhabi.

In addition to petroleum, the UAE extracts rock and sand, mostly for use in construction. Limestone, sand, marl, and gypsum are used to make cement, and there is small-scale mining of chromite in Fujaira.