United Arab Emirates

map of United Arab Emirateslocator map of United Arab Emirates


The United Arab Emirates, sometimes simply called the Emirates or the UAE, is an Arab country located in the southeast end of the Arabian Peninsula on the Persian Gulf, bordering Oman and Saudi Arabia, as well as sharing sea borders with Qatar and Iran.

The Trucial States of the Persian Gulf coast granted the UK control of their defense and foreign affairs in 19th century treaties. In 1971, six of these states, Abu Dhabi, Ajman, Dubai, Fujairah, Sharjah, and Umm al-Quwain,merged to form the United Arab Emirates (UAE). They were joined in 1972 by Ras al-Khaimah. The UAE is a federation of seven emirates. The capital is Abu Dhabi, which is one of the two centers of commercial and cultural activities, together with Dubai. Islam is the official religion of the UAE, and Arabic is the official language.

Since 1962, when Abu Dhabi became the first of the emirates to begin exporting oil, the country's society and economy have been transformed. The late Sheikh Zayed, ruler of Abu Dhabi and the first president of the UAE, oversaw the development of the Emirates and steered oil revenues into healthcare, education and infrastructure. Today, Emirates oil reserves are ranked as the seventh-largest in the world, along with world's seventeenth largest natural gas reserves, has contributed towards making the UAE one of the most-developed economies in Western Asia with the world's seventh-highest GDP per capita. Its most populous city of Dubai has emerged as a global city and a business gateway for the Middle East and Africa.