Aruba is a dry, sandy strip of golden beaches, more desert-like than tropical. There is the duty-free capital of Oranjestad, and two strips of modern resorts offering night life, many amenities, and gambling. All hotels are government-owned. Its eleven first-class hotels with more than six thousand rooms run an occupancy exceeding 80 percent, thanks to a number of major airlines stopping there.
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Aruba and Curacao have large oil refineries because of a wish by some major oil companies to refine Venezuelan oil away from Venezuela. Oil tankers sail in single file, like a fleet on review. Total population of the Netherlands Antilles is about 250, 000.
Ethnically, 85 percent of the people are of mixed Negro stock. The sixty thousand residents on Aruba live well from the proceeds of tourism, oil refining, and aid from the Netherlands government.