Aruba

Key Facts

Local Time: GMT -4 EST +1
Population: 70,844 (2003
Language: Dutch is the official language. English and Spanish are widely understood and spoken by the general population.
Local Currency: Florins (Afl). Often spoken as guilders. US dollars are widely accepted throughout the island.
Dialling code from UK: 00 1 297 + local six digit number
GDP: US$1,94 bn; 1.5% growth in 2002; Source: CIA Factbook

Introduction

On 1 January 1986, Aruba became separated from the other five islands of the Netherlands Antilles, while remaining part of the Kingdom of the Netherlands. It lies about 50 miles off the coast of Venezuela and has an area of 74 square miles.

Although tourism is the mainstay of the economy, offshore banking and oil refining and storage are important. Over the years the construction sector has boomed with hotel capacity increasing each year since 1985. The reopening of the oil refinery in 1993, which is a major source of foreign exchange, has further strengthened growth

UK exports to Aruba during 2004 were valued at just over 11 million.

Aruban exports to the UK in 2004 were valued at 14.6 million.

Principal Religions

The principal religion is Roman Catholicism (about 80% of the population), most of the remainder being either Protestants or Jews.

Capital City

Oranjestad

Weights and Measures

The metric system is operated, and should be used in all documents required for local purposes and in all quotations.