United Arab Emirates

United Arab Emirates

Overview
The United Arab Emirates, abbreviated as the UAE, or shortened to "the Emirates", is a state situated in the southeast of the Arabian Peninsula
Arabian Peninsula
The Arabian Peninsula is a land mass situated north-east of Africa. Also known as Arabia or the Arabian subcontinent, it is the world's largest peninsula and covers 3,237,500 km2...

 in Western Asia on the Persian Gulf
Persian Gulf
The Persian Gulf, in Southwest Asia, is an extension of the Indian Ocean located between Iran and the Arabian Peninsula.The Persian Gulf was the focus of the 1980–1988 Iran-Iraq War, in which each side attacked the other's oil tankers...

, bordering Oman
Oman
Oman , officially called the Sultanate of Oman , is an Arab state in southwest Asia on the southeast coast of the Arabian Peninsula. It is bordered by the United Arab Emirates to the northwest, Saudi Arabia to the west, and Yemen to the southwest. The coast is formed by the Arabian Sea on the...

, and Saudi Arabia
Saudi Arabia
The Kingdom of Saudi Arabia , commonly known in British English as Saudi Arabia and in Arabic as as-Sa‘ūdiyyah , is the largest state in Western Asia by land area, constituting the bulk of the Arabian Peninsula, and the second-largest in the Arab World...

, and sharing sea borders with Iraq
Iraq
Iraq ; officially the Republic of Iraq is a country in Western Asia spanning most of the northwestern end of the Zagros mountain range, the eastern part of the Syrian Desert and the northern part of the Arabian Desert....

, Kuwait
Kuwait
The State of Kuwait is a sovereign Arab state situated in the north-east of the Arabian Peninsula in Western Asia. It is bordered by Saudi Arabia to the south at Khafji, and Iraq to the north at Basra. It lies on the north-western shore of the Persian Gulf. The name Kuwait is derived from the...

, Bahrain
Bahrain
' , officially the Kingdom of Bahrain , is a small island state near the western shores of the Persian Gulf. It is ruled by the Al Khalifa royal family. The population in 2010 stood at 1,214,705, including 235,108 non-nationals. Formerly an emirate, Bahrain was declared a kingdom in 2002.Bahrain is...

, Qatar
Qatar
Qatar , also known as the State of Qatar or locally Dawlat Qaṭar, is a sovereign Arab state, located in the Middle East, occupying the small Qatar Peninsula on the northeasterly coast of the much larger Arabian Peninsula. Its sole land border is with Saudi Arabia to the south, with the rest of its...

, and Iran
Iran
Iran , officially the Islamic Republic of Iran , is a country in Southern and Western Asia. The name "Iran" has been in use natively since the Sassanian era and came into use internationally in 1935, before which the country was known to the Western world as Persia...

.

The UAE is a federation of seven emirate
Emirate
An emirate is a political territory that is ruled by a dynastic Muslim monarch styled emir.-Etymology:Etymologically emirate or amirate is the quality, dignity, office or territorial competence of any emir ....

s (equivalent to principalities
Principality
A principality is a monarchical feudatory or sovereign state, ruled or reigned over by a monarch with the title of prince or princess, or by a monarch with another title within the generic use of the term prince....

), each governed by a hereditary emir
Emir
Emir , meaning "commander", "general", or "prince"; also transliterated as Amir, Aamir or Ameer) is a title of high office, used throughout the Muslim world...

, with a single national president
President
A president is a leader of an organization, company, trade union, university, or country.Etymologically, a president is one who presides, who sits in leadership...

. The constituent emirates are Abu Dhabi
Abu Dhabi (emirate)
Abu Dhabi, officially the Emirate of Abu Dhabi, , is one of seven emirates that constitute the United Arab Emirates . It is the capital of UAE and is the largest emirate by area , and second-largest by population , accounting for approximately 86% of the total land area of the UAE...

, Ajman
Ajman
Ajman , also spelt Ujman, is one of the seven emirates constituting the United Arab Emirates . With an area of just 260 square kilometres , Ajman is the smallest emirate by area...

, Dubai
Dubai
Dubai is a city and emirate in the United Arab Emirates . The emirate is located south of the Persian Gulf on the Arabian Peninsula and has the largest population with the second-largest land territory by area of all the emirates, after Abu Dhabi...

, Fujairah
Fujairah
Fujairah is one of the seven emirates that make up the United Arab Emirates, and the only one on the Gulf of Oman in the country's east instead of Persian Gulf .-History:...

, Ras al-Khaimah
Ras al-Khaimah
Ras al-Khaimah is one of the emirates of the United Arab Emirates , in the east of the Persian Gulf. It is in the northern part of the UAE bordering Oman's exclave. The capital city and home of most residents is also called Ras al-Khaimah. The city has a population of 263,217 as of 2008. The city...

, Sharjah, and Umm al-Quwain
Umm al-Quwain
Umm al-Quwain is one of the emirates in the United Arab Emirates, located in the north of the country. The emirate was ruled until his death by Rashid bin Ahmad Al Mu'alla, who was a member of the UAE's Supreme Council since 1981. The emirate had 62,000 inhabitants in 2003 and has an area of 750...

.
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Encyclopedia
The United Arab Emirates, abbreviated as the UAE, or shortened to "the Emirates", is a state situated in the southeast of the Arabian Peninsula
Arabian Peninsula
The Arabian Peninsula is a land mass situated north-east of Africa. Also known as Arabia or the Arabian subcontinent, it is the world's largest peninsula and covers 3,237,500 km2...

 in Western Asia on the Persian Gulf
Persian Gulf
The Persian Gulf, in Southwest Asia, is an extension of the Indian Ocean located between Iran and the Arabian Peninsula.The Persian Gulf was the focus of the 1980–1988 Iran-Iraq War, in which each side attacked the other's oil tankers...

, bordering Oman
Oman
Oman , officially called the Sultanate of Oman , is an Arab state in southwest Asia on the southeast coast of the Arabian Peninsula. It is bordered by the United Arab Emirates to the northwest, Saudi Arabia to the west, and Yemen to the southwest. The coast is formed by the Arabian Sea on the...

, and Saudi Arabia
Saudi Arabia
The Kingdom of Saudi Arabia , commonly known in British English as Saudi Arabia and in Arabic as as-Sa‘ūdiyyah , is the largest state in Western Asia by land area, constituting the bulk of the Arabian Peninsula, and the second-largest in the Arab World...

, and sharing sea borders with Iraq
Iraq
Iraq ; officially the Republic of Iraq is a country in Western Asia spanning most of the northwestern end of the Zagros mountain range, the eastern part of the Syrian Desert and the northern part of the Arabian Desert....

, Kuwait
Kuwait
The State of Kuwait is a sovereign Arab state situated in the north-east of the Arabian Peninsula in Western Asia. It is bordered by Saudi Arabia to the south at Khafji, and Iraq to the north at Basra. It lies on the north-western shore of the Persian Gulf. The name Kuwait is derived from the...

, Bahrain
Bahrain
' , officially the Kingdom of Bahrain , is a small island state near the western shores of the Persian Gulf. It is ruled by the Al Khalifa royal family. The population in 2010 stood at 1,214,705, including 235,108 non-nationals. Formerly an emirate, Bahrain was declared a kingdom in 2002.Bahrain is...

, Qatar
Qatar
Qatar , also known as the State of Qatar or locally Dawlat Qaṭar, is a sovereign Arab state, located in the Middle East, occupying the small Qatar Peninsula on the northeasterly coast of the much larger Arabian Peninsula. Its sole land border is with Saudi Arabia to the south, with the rest of its...

, and Iran
Iran
Iran , officially the Islamic Republic of Iran , is a country in Southern and Western Asia. The name "Iran" has been in use natively since the Sassanian era and came into use internationally in 1935, before which the country was known to the Western world as Persia...

.

The UAE is a federation of seven emirate
Emirate
An emirate is a political territory that is ruled by a dynastic Muslim monarch styled emir.-Etymology:Etymologically emirate or amirate is the quality, dignity, office or territorial competence of any emir ....

s (equivalent to principalities
Principality
A principality is a monarchical feudatory or sovereign state, ruled or reigned over by a monarch with the title of prince or princess, or by a monarch with another title within the generic use of the term prince....

), each governed by a hereditary emir
Emir
Emir , meaning "commander", "general", or "prince"; also transliterated as Amir, Aamir or Ameer) is a title of high office, used throughout the Muslim world...

, with a single national president
President
A president is a leader of an organization, company, trade union, university, or country.Etymologically, a president is one who presides, who sits in leadership...

. The constituent emirates are Abu Dhabi
Abu Dhabi (emirate)
Abu Dhabi, officially the Emirate of Abu Dhabi, , is one of seven emirates that constitute the United Arab Emirates . It is the capital of UAE and is the largest emirate by area , and second-largest by population , accounting for approximately 86% of the total land area of the UAE...

, Ajman
Ajman
Ajman , also spelt Ujman, is one of the seven emirates constituting the United Arab Emirates . With an area of just 260 square kilometres , Ajman is the smallest emirate by area...

, Dubai
Dubai
Dubai is a city and emirate in the United Arab Emirates . The emirate is located south of the Persian Gulf on the Arabian Peninsula and has the largest population with the second-largest land territory by area of all the emirates, after Abu Dhabi...

, Fujairah
Fujairah
Fujairah is one of the seven emirates that make up the United Arab Emirates, and the only one on the Gulf of Oman in the country's east instead of Persian Gulf .-History:...

, Ras al-Khaimah
Ras al-Khaimah
Ras al-Khaimah is one of the emirates of the United Arab Emirates , in the east of the Persian Gulf. It is in the northern part of the UAE bordering Oman's exclave. The capital city and home of most residents is also called Ras al-Khaimah. The city has a population of 263,217 as of 2008. The city...

, Sharjah, and Umm al-Quwain
Umm al-Quwain
Umm al-Quwain is one of the emirates in the United Arab Emirates, located in the north of the country. The emirate was ruled until his death by Rashid bin Ahmad Al Mu'alla, who was a member of the UAE's Supreme Council since 1981. The emirate had 62,000 inhabitants in 2003 and has an area of 750...

. The capital is Abu Dhabi
Abu Dhabi
Abu Dhabi , literally Father of Gazelle, is the capital and the second largest city of the United Arab Emirates in terms of population and the largest of the seven member emirates of the United Arab Emirates. Abu Dhabi lies on a T-shaped island jutting into the Persian Gulf from the central western...

, which is also the state's center of political
Politics
Politics is a process by which groups of people make collective decisions. The term is generally applied to the art or science of running governmental or state affairs, including behavior within civil governments, but also applies to institutions, fields, and special interest groups such as the...

, industrial
Industry
Industry refers to the production of an economic good or service within an economy.-Industrial sectors:There are four key industrial economic sectors: the primary sector, largely raw material extraction industries such as mining and farming; the secondary sector, involving refining, construction,...

, and cultural
Culture
Culture is a term that has many different inter-related meanings. For example, in 1952, Alfred Kroeber and Clyde Kluckhohn compiled a list of 164 definitions of "culture" in Culture: A Critical Review of Concepts and Definitions...

 activities.

Prior to independence in 1971, the UAE was known as the Trucial States
Trucial States
The Trucial States were a group of sheikhdoms in the Persian Gulf.-General aspects:The sheikdoms included:*Abu Dhabi *Ajman...

 or Trucial Oman, in reference to a 19th-century truce between the local sheikhs, hereditary rulers of the territories, and the United Kingdom
United Kingdom
The United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern IrelandIn the United Kingdom and Dependencies, other languages have been officially recognised as legitimate autochthonous languages under the European Charter for Regional or Minority Languages...

. The term Pirate Coast was also used by some to refer to the emirates from the 18th to the early 20th century, owing to the preponderance of pirates operating from emirati ports.

The UAE's political system
Political system
A political system is a system of politics and government. It is usually compared to the legal system, economic system, cultural system, and other social systems...

, is based on its 1971 Constitution
Constitution of the United Arab Emirates
The Constitution of the United Arab Emirates provides a legal and political framework for the operation of the United Arab Emirates as a federation of seven emirates. The Constitution came into effect on December 2, 1971 and was permanently accepted in May 1996. Authored by Adi Bitar, a former...

, which is composed of several intricately connected governing bodies. As a federation of seven monarchies, whose rulers retain absolute power within their emirates, but with a UAE president
President of the United Arab Emirates
The President is the Head of State of the United Arab Emirates. Because the current ruler of Abu Dhabi customarily also holds the presidency of the UAE, the office is de facto hereditary. The President is also Supreme Commander of the UAE Armed Forces and Chairman of the Supreme Council and...

, it is neither a constitutional monarchy
Constitutional monarchy
Constitutional monarchy is a form of government in which a monarch acts as head of state within the parameters of a constitution, whether it be a written, uncodified or blended constitution...

 nor a republic. The emirs choose one of their members to be the president of the federation, but this does not alter the monarchical character of the government of the individual emirates. The constitution is concerned solely with the relations between the emirates as members of the federation, and does not prescribe a constitutional system of government.

Islam
Islam
Islam . The most common are and .   : Arabic pronunciation varies regionally. The first vowel ranges from ~~. The second vowel ranges from ~~~...

 is the official religion of the UAE, and Arabic
Arabic language
Arabic is a name applied to the descendants of the Classical Arabic language of the 6th century AD, used most prominently in the Quran, the Islamic Holy Book...

 is the official language
Official language
An official language is a language that is given a special legal status in a particular country, state, or other jurisdiction. Typically a nation's official language will be the one used in that nation's courts, parliament and administration. However, official status can also be used to give a...

.

UAE oil reserves
Oil reserves in the United Arab Emirates
Oil reserves in the United Arab Emirates, according to its government, are about , almost as big as Kuwait's claimed reserves. Of the emirates, Abu Dhabi has most of the oil with while Dubai has and Sharjah has . Most of the oil is in the Zakum field which is the third largest in the Middle East...

 are ranked as the world's sixth-largest and it possesses one of the most developed economies in West Asia. It is the thirty-fifth-largest economy at market exchange rate
Exchange rate
In finance, an exchange rate between two currencies is the rate at which one currency will be exchanged for another. It is also regarded as the value of one country’s currency in terms of another currency...

s, and has a high per capita
Per capita
Per capita is a Latin prepositional phrase: per and capita . The phrase thus means "by heads" or "for each head", i.e. per individual or per person...

 gross domestic product
Gross domestic product
Gross domestic product refers to the market value of all final goods and services produced within a country in a given period. GDP per capita is often considered an indicator of a country's standard of living....

 (GDP), with a nominal per capita GDP of 47,407 as per the International Monetary Fund
International Monetary Fund
The International Monetary Fund is an organization of 187 countries, working to foster global monetary cooperation, secure financial stability, facilitate international trade, promote high employment and sustainable economic growth, and reduce poverty around the world...

 (IMF). It is 15th in purchasing power per capita
Purchasing power parity
In economics, purchasing power parity is a condition between countries where an amount of money has the same purchasing power in different countries. The prices of the goods between the countries would only reflect the exchange rates...

 and has a relatively high Human Development Index
Human Development Index
The Human Development Index is a composite statistic used to rank countries by level of "human development" and separate "very high human development", "high human development", "medium human development", and "low human development" countries...

 for the Asian continent, ranking thirtieth globally. The UAE is classified as a high-income developing economy by the IMF.

Origins


The earliest known human habitation in the UAE dated from 5500 BCE. At this early stage, there is proof of interaction with the outside world, particularly with civilizations to the north in Persia
Iran
Iran , officially the Islamic Republic of Iran , is a country in Southern and Western Asia. The name "Iran" has been in use natively since the Sassanian era and came into use internationally in 1935, before which the country was known to the Western world as Persia...

. These contacts persisted and became wide-ranging, probably motivated by trade in copper from the Hajar Mountains
Al Hajar Mountains
The Hajjar Mountains in northeastern Oman and also the eastern United Arab Emirates are the highest mountain range in the eastern Arabian peninsula...

, which commenced around 3000 BCE. Foreign trade
International trade
International trade is the exchange of capital, goods, and services across international borders or territories. In most countries, such trade represents a significant share of gross domestic product...

, the recurring motif in the history of this strategic region, flourished also in later periods, facilitated by the domestication of the camel
Camel
A camel is an even-toed ungulate within the genus Camelus, bearing distinctive fatty deposits known as humps on its back. There are two species of camels: the dromedary or Arabian camel has a single hump, and the bactrian has two humps. Dromedaries are native to the dry desert areas of West Asia,...

 at the end of the second millennium BC
2nd millennium BC
The 2nd millennium BC marks the transition from the Middle to the Late Bronze Age.Its first half is dominated by the Middle Kingdom of Egypt and Babylonia. The alphabet develops. Indo-Iranian migration onto the Iranian plateau and onto the Indian subcontinent propagates the use of the chariot...

.

By the 1st century AD overland caravan traffic between Syria
Syria
Syria , officially the Syrian Arab Republic , is a country in Western Asia, bordering Lebanon and the Mediterranean Sea to the West, Turkey to the north, Iraq to the east, Jordan to the south, and Israel to the southwest....

 and cities in southern Iraq
Iraq
Iraq ; officially the Republic of Iraq is a country in Western Asia spanning most of the northwestern end of the Zagros mountain range, the eastern part of the Syrian Desert and the northern part of the Arabian Desert....

 began. Also, there was seaborne travel to the important port of Omana (present-day Umm al-Qaiwain) and then to India
India
India , officially the Republic of India , is a country in South Asia. It is the seventh-largest country by geographical area, the second-most populous country with over 1.2 billion people, and the most populous democracy in the world...

. These routes were an alternative to the Red Sea
Red Sea
The Red Sea is a seawater inlet of the Indian Ocean, lying between Africa and Asia. The connection to the ocean is in the south through the Bab el Mandeb strait and the Gulf of Aden. In the north, there is the Sinai Peninsula, the Gulf of Aqaba, and the Gulf of Suez...

 route used by the Romans
Ancient Rome
Ancient Rome was a thriving civilization that grew on the Italian Peninsula as early as the 8th century BC. Located along the Mediterranean Sea and centered on the city of Rome, it expanded to one of the largest empires in the ancient world....

. Pearls had been exploited in the area for millennia but at this time the trade reached new heights. Seafaring was also a mainstay and major fairs were held at Dibba
Dibba
Dibba , sometimes spelled Diba or Daba, is a coastal region at the northeastern tip of the United Arab Emirates/Oman peninsula on the Gulf of Oman...

, bringing in merchants from as far as China
China
Chinese civilization may refer to:* China for more general discussion of the country.* Chinese culture* Greater China, the transnational community of ethnic Chinese.* History of China* Sinosphere, the area historically affected by Chinese culture...

.

Advent of Islam


The arrival of envoys from the Islamic prophet
Prophets of Islam
Muslims identify the Prophets of Islam as those humans chosen by God and given revelation to deliver to mankind. Muslims believe that every prophet was given a belief to worship God and their respective followers believed it as well...

 Muhammad
Muhammad
Muhammad |ligature]] at U+FDF4 ;Arabic pronunciation varies regionally; the first vowel ranges from ~~; the second and the last vowel: ~~~. There are dialects which have no stress. In Egypt, it is pronounced not in religious contexts...

 in 630 heralded the conversion of the region to Islam
Islam
Islam . The most common are and .   : Arabic pronunciation varies regionally. The first vowel ranges from ~~. The second vowel ranges from ~~~...

. After Muhammad, one of the major battles of the Ridda Wars
Ridda wars
The Ridda wars , also known as the Wars of Apostasy, were a series of military campaigns against the rebellion of several Arabian tribes launched by the Caliph Abu Bakr during 632 and 633 AD, after prophet Muhammad died....

 was fought at Dibba
Dibba
Dibba , sometimes spelled Diba or Daba, is a coastal region at the northeastern tip of the United Arab Emirates/Oman peninsula on the Gulf of Oman...

 resulting in the defeat of the non-Muslims and the triumph of Islam in the Arabian Peninsula.

In 637, Julfar
Ras al-Khaimah
Ras al-Khaimah is one of the emirates of the United Arab Emirates , in the east of the Persian Gulf. It is in the northern part of the UAE bordering Oman's exclave. The capital city and home of most residents is also called Ras al-Khaimah. The city has a population of 263,217 as of 2008. The city...

 (today Ra's al-Khaimah
Ras al-Khaimah
Ras al-Khaimah is one of the emirates of the United Arab Emirates , in the east of the Persian Gulf. It is in the northern part of the UAE bordering Oman's exclave. The capital city and home of most residents is also called Ras al-Khaimah. The city has a population of 263,217 as of 2008. The city...

) was used as a staging post for the conquest of Iran. Over many centuries, Julfar became a wealthy port and pearling center from which dhow
Dhow
Dhow is the generic name of a number of traditional sailing vessels with one or more masts with lateen sails used in the Red Sea and Indian Ocean region. Some historians believe the dhow was invented by Arabs but this is disputed by some others. Dhows typically weigh 300 to 500 tons, and have a...

s travelled throughout the Indian Ocean
Indian Ocean
The Indian Ocean is the third largest of the world's oceanic divisions, covering approximately 20% of the water on the Earth's surface. It is bounded on the north by the Indian Subcontinent and Arabian Peninsula ; on the west by eastern Africa; on the east by Indochina, the Sunda Islands, and...

 especially to neighboring land of Sindh
Sindh
Sindh historically referred to as Ba'ab-ul-Islam , is one of the four provinces of Pakistan and historically is home to the Sindhi people. It is also locally known as the "Mehran". Though Muslims form the largest religious group in Sindh, a good number of Christians, Zoroastrians and Hindus can...

 and its cities of Thatta
Thatta
Thatta is a historic town of 220,000 inhabitants in the Sindh province of Pakistan, near Lake Keenjhar, the largest freshwater lake in the country. Thatta's major monuments especially its necropolis at Makli are listed among the World Heritage Sites. The Shah Jahan Mosque is also listed...

 and Debal
Debal
-Introduction:Debal was an ancient port located near modern Karachi, Sindh, Pakistan. In Arabic, it was usually called Daybul it is adjacent to the nearby Manora Island and was administered by Mansura, and later Thatta....

.

Portuguese control


Portuguese
Portugal
Portugal , officially the Portuguese Republic is a country situated in southwestern Europe on the Iberian Peninsula. Portugal is the westernmost country of Europe, and is bordered by the Atlantic Ocean to the West and South and by Spain to the North and East. The Atlantic archipelagos of the...

 expansion into the Indian Ocean
Indian Ocean
The Indian Ocean is the third largest of the world's oceanic divisions, covering approximately 20% of the water on the Earth's surface. It is bounded on the north by the Indian Subcontinent and Arabian Peninsula ; on the west by eastern Africa; on the east by Indochina, the Sunda Islands, and...

 in the early 16th century following Vasco da Gama
Vasco da Gama
Vasco da Gama, 1st Count of Vidigueira was a Portuguese explorer, one of the most successful in the Age of Discovery and the commander of the first ships to sail directly from Europe to India...

's route of exploration saw them battle Safavid
Safavid dynasty
The Safavid dynasty was one of the most significant ruling dynasties of Iran. They ruled one of the greatest Persian empires since the Muslim conquest of Persia and established the Twelver school of Shi'a Islam as the official religion of their empire, marking one of the most important turning...

 Persia
Iran
Iran , officially the Islamic Republic of Iran , is a country in Southern and Western Asia. The name "Iran" has been in use natively since the Sassanian era and came into use internationally in 1935, before which the country was known to the Western world as Persia...

 up the coast of the Persian Gulf
Persian Gulf
The Persian Gulf, in Southwest Asia, is an extension of the Indian Ocean located between Iran and the Arabian Peninsula.The Persian Gulf was the focus of the 1980–1988 Iran-Iraq War, in which each side attacked the other's oil tankers...

. The Portuguese controlled the area for 150 years, in which they conquered the inhabitants of the Arabian Peninsula. Vasco da Gama was helped by Ahmad Ibn Majid, a navigator and cartographer from Julfar
Ras al-Khaimah
Ras al-Khaimah is one of the emirates of the United Arab Emirates , in the east of the Persian Gulf. It is in the northern part of the UAE bordering Oman's exclave. The capital city and home of most residents is also called Ras al-Khaimah. The city has a population of 263,217 as of 2008. The city...

, to find the spice route from Asia.

European domination


During the 16th century, piecemeal, the entire territory of the nation came under the direct influence of the European colonial empires, with the British eventually getting the upper hand. The region was known to the British as the "Pirate Coast
History of the United Arab Emirates
The United Arab Emirates was formed from the group of tribally organised Arabian Peninsula sheikhdoms along the southern coast of the Persian Gulf and the northwestern coast of the Gulf of Oman.-Advent of Islam:...

", as raiders based there harassed the shipping industry
Shipping
Shipping has multiple meanings. It can be a physical process of transporting commodities and merchandise goods and cargo, by land, air, and sea. It also can describe the movement of objects by ship.Land or "ground" shipping can be by train or by truck...

 despite both European and Arab navies patrolling the area from the 17th century into the 19th. British expeditions to protect the Indian trade from raiders at Ras al-Khaimah
Ras al-Khaimah
Ras al-Khaimah is one of the emirates of the United Arab Emirates , in the east of the Persian Gulf. It is in the northern part of the UAE bordering Oman's exclave. The capital city and home of most residents is also called Ras al-Khaimah. The city has a population of 263,217 as of 2008. The city...

 led to campaigns against that headquarters and other harbours along the coast in 1819. The next year, a peace treaty
Peace treaty
A peace treaty is an agreement between two or more hostile parties, usually countries or governments, that formally ends a state of war between the parties...

 was signed to which all the sheikh
Sheikh
Not to be confused with sikhSheikh — also spelled Sheik or Shaikh, or transliterated as Shaykh — is an honorific in the Arabic language that literally means "elder" and carries the meaning "leader and/or governor"...

s of the coast adhered. Raids continued intermittently until 1835, when the sheikhs agreed not to engage in hostilities at sea. In 1853, they signed a treaty with the British, under which the sheikhs (the "Trucial Sheikhdoms") agreed to a "perpetual maritime truce." It was enforced by the United Kingdom, and disputes among sheikhs were referred to the British for settlement.
Primarily in reaction to the ambitions of other European countries, the United Kingdom and the Trucial Sheikhdoms
Trucial States
The Trucial States were a group of sheikhdoms in the Persian Gulf.-General aspects:The sheikdoms included:*Abu Dhabi *Ajman...

 established closer bonds in an 1892 treaty, similar to treaties entered into by Britain with other principalities in the Persian Gulf. The sheikhs agreed not to dispose of any territory except to Britain and not to enter into relationships with any foreign government other than the United Kingdom without its consent. In return, the British promised to protect the Trucial Coast from all aggression by sea and to help in case of land attack. British suppression of piracy
Piracy
Piracy is an act of robbery or criminal violence at sea. The term can include acts committed on land, in the air, or in other major bodies of water or on a shore. It does not normally include crimes committed against persons traveling on the same vessel as the perpetrator...

 meant that pearling fleets could operate in relative security. However, the British prohibition of the slave trade meant an important source of income was lost to some sheikhs and merchants.

Pearling industry


During the 19th and early 20th centuries, the pearling industry thrived in the relative calm sea, providing both income and employment to the people of the Persian Gulf. It began to become a good economic resource for the local people. Then the First World War
World War I
World War I , which was predominantly called the World War or the Great War from its occurrence until 1939, and the First World War or World War I thereafter, was a major war centred in Europe that began on 28 July 1914 and lasted until 11 November 1918...

 had a severe impact on the pearl fishery
Pearl hunting
Pearl hunting or pearl diving refers to a largely obsolete method of retrieving pearls from pearl oysters, freshwater pearl mussels and, on rare occasions, other nacre-producing molluscs, such as abalone.-History:...

, but it was the economic depression
Depression (economics)
In economics, a depression is a sustained, long-term downturn in economic activity in one or more economies. It is a more severe downturn than a recession, which is seen by some economists as part of the modern business cycle....

 of the late 1920s and early 1930s, coupled with the Japan
Japan
Japan is an island nation in East Asia. Located in the Pacific Ocean, it lies to the east of the Sea of Japan, China, North Korea, South Korea and Russia, stretching from the Sea of Okhotsk in the north to the East China Sea and Taiwan in the south...

ese invention of the cultured pearl
Cultured pearl
A cultured pearl is a pearl created by a pearl farmer under controlled conditions.-Development of a pearl:A pearl is formed when the mantle tissue is injured by a parasite, an attack of a fish or another event that damages the external fragile rim of the shell of a molluc shell bivalve or gastropod...

, that all but destroyed it. The industry eventually faded away shortly after the Second World War
World War II
World War II, or the Second World War , was a global conflict lasting from 1939 to 1945, involving most of the world's nations—including all of the great powers—eventually forming two opposing military alliances: the Allies and the Axis...

, when the newly independent Government of India
Government of India
The Government of India, officially known as the Union Government, and also known as the Central Government, was established by the Constitution of India, and is the governing authority of the union of 28 states and seven union territories, collectively called the Republic of India...

 imposed heavy taxation on pearls imported from the Arab states of the Persian Gulf
Arab states of the Persian Gulf
"Arab states of the Persian Gulf" or "Arab Persian Gulf states" or "Persian Gulf Arab states" or "Arabic Persian Gulf states" or "Arab States of The Gulf", are terms that refer to the six Arab states of Saudi Arabia, United Arab Emirates, Qatar, Kuwait, Bahrain and Oman, bordering the Persian Gulf....

.

The decline of pearling resulted in a very difficult era, with little opportunity to build any infrastructure.

Beginning of the oil era


At the beginning of the 1960s, the first oil company
Petroleum industry
The petroleum industry includes the global processes of exploration, extraction, refining, transporting , and marketing petroleum products. The largest volume products of the industry are fuel oil and gasoline...

 teams carried out preliminary surveys and the first cargo of crude was exported from Abu Dhabi
Abu Dhabi
Abu Dhabi , literally Father of Gazelle, is the capital and the second largest city of the United Arab Emirates in terms of population and the largest of the seven member emirates of the United Arab Emirates. Abu Dhabi lies on a T-shaped island jutting into the Persian Gulf from the central western...

 in 1962. As oil revenues increased, ruler of Abu Dhabi, Zayed bin Sultan Al Nahyan, undertook a massive construction program, building schools, housing, hospitals and roads. When Dubai’s oil exports commenced in 1969, Rashid bin Saeed Al Maktoum
Rashid bin Saeed Al Maktoum
HH The Emir Sheikh Rashid bin Saeed Al Maktoum was the Vice-President and Prime Minister of United Arab Emirates and Emir of Dubai...

, the de facto ruler of Dubai
Dubai
Dubai is a city and emirate in the United Arab Emirates . The emirate is located south of the Persian Gulf on the Arabian Peninsula and has the largest population with the second-largest land territory by area of all the emirates, after Abu Dhabi...

, was also able to use oil revenues to improve the quality of life of his people.

In 1955, the United Kingdom sided with Abu Dhabi in the latter's dispute with Oman
Oman
Oman , officially called the Sultanate of Oman , is an Arab state in southwest Asia on the southeast coast of the Arabian Peninsula. It is bordered by the United Arab Emirates to the northwest, Saudi Arabia to the west, and Yemen to the southwest. The coast is formed by the Arabian Sea on the...

 over the Buraimi Oasis, another territory to the south. A 1974 agreement between Abu Dhabi and Saudi Arabia would have settled the Abu Dhabi-Saudi border dispute
Territorial dispute
A territorial dispute is a disagreement over the possession/control of land between two or more states or over the possession or control of land by a new state and occupying power after it has conquered the land from a former state no longer currently recognized by the new state.-Context and...

; however, the agreement has yet to be ratified by the UAE government and is not recognized by the Saudi government. The border with Oman also remains officially unsettled, but the two governments agreed to delineate the border in May 1999.

Zayed bin Sultan Al Nahyan and the union


In the early 1960s, oil was discovered in Abu Dhabi
Abu Dhabi
Abu Dhabi , literally Father of Gazelle, is the capital and the second largest city of the United Arab Emirates in terms of population and the largest of the seven member emirates of the United Arab Emirates. Abu Dhabi lies on a T-shaped island jutting into the Persian Gulf from the central western...

, an event that led to quick unification calls made by UAE sheikdoms. Zayed bin Sultan Al Nahyan became ruler of Abu Dhabi in 1966 and the British started losing their oil investments and contracts to U.S. oil companies. The British had earlier started a development office that helped in some small developments in the emirates. The sheikhs of the emirates then decided to form a council to coordinate matters between them and took over the development office. They formed the Trucial States Council, and appointed Adi Bitar
Adi Bitar
Adi Nasib Al Bitar was a judge, a legal advisor and lawyer who worked all over the Middle East. He was the author of the constitution of the United Arab Emirates.- Early years :...

, Sheikh Rashid bin Saeed Al Maktoum
Rashid bin Saeed Al Maktoum
HH The Emir Sheikh Rashid bin Saeed Al Maktoum was the Vice-President and Prime Minister of United Arab Emirates and Emir of Dubai...

's legal advisor, as Secretary General and Legal Advisor to the Council. The council was terminated once the United Arab Emirates was formed.

In 1968, the United Kingdom
United Kingdom
The United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern IrelandIn the United Kingdom and Dependencies, other languages have been officially recognised as legitimate autochthonous languages under the European Charter for Regional or Minority Languages...

 announced its decision, reaffirmed in March 1971, to end the treaty relationships with the seven Trucial Sheikhdoms which had been, together with Bahrain
Bahrain
' , officially the Kingdom of Bahrain , is a small island state near the western shores of the Persian Gulf. It is ruled by the Al Khalifa royal family. The population in 2010 stood at 1,214,705, including 235,108 non-nationals. Formerly an emirate, Bahrain was declared a kingdom in 2002.Bahrain is...

 and Qatar
Qatar
Qatar , also known as the State of Qatar or locally Dawlat Qaṭar, is a sovereign Arab state, located in the Middle East, occupying the small Qatar Peninsula on the northeasterly coast of the much larger Arabian Peninsula. Its sole land border is with Saudi Arabia to the south, with the rest of its...

, under British protection. The nine attempted to form a union of Arab emirates, but by mid-1971 they were still unable to agree on terms of union, even though the British treaty relationship was to expire in December of that year.

Bahrain
Bahrain
' , officially the Kingdom of Bahrain , is a small island state near the western shores of the Persian Gulf. It is ruled by the Al Khalifa royal family. The population in 2010 stood at 1,214,705, including 235,108 non-nationals. Formerly an emirate, Bahrain was declared a kingdom in 2002.Bahrain is...

 became independent in August, and Qatar in September 1971. When the British-Trucial Sheikhdoms treaty expired on December 1, 1971, they became fully independent. The rulers of Abu Dhabi
Abu Dhabi
Abu Dhabi , literally Father of Gazelle, is the capital and the second largest city of the United Arab Emirates in terms of population and the largest of the seven member emirates of the United Arab Emirates. Abu Dhabi lies on a T-shaped island jutting into the Persian Gulf from the central western...

 and Dubai
Dubai
Dubai is a city and emirate in the United Arab Emirates . The emirate is located south of the Persian Gulf on the Arabian Peninsula and has the largest population with the second-largest land territory by area of all the emirates, after Abu Dhabi...

 decided to form a union between their two emirates independently, prepare a constitution, then call the rulers of the other five emirates to a meeting and offer them the opportunity to join. It was also agreed between the two that the constitution be written by December 2, 1971. On that date, at the Dubai Guesthouse Palace, four other emirates agreed to enter into a union called the United Arab Emirates. Ras al-Khaimah
Ras al-Khaimah
Ras al-Khaimah is one of the emirates of the United Arab Emirates , in the east of the Persian Gulf. It is in the northern part of the UAE bordering Oman's exclave. The capital city and home of most residents is also called Ras al-Khaimah. The city has a population of 263,217 as of 2008. The city...

 joined later, in early 1972.
The UAE supported military operation
Military operation
Military operation is the coordinated military actions of a state in response to a developing situation. These actions are designed as a military plan to resolve the situation in the state's favor. Operations may be of combat or non-combat types, and are referred to by a code name for the purpose...

s from the United States and other Coalition
Coalition
A coalition is a pact or treaty among individuals or groups, during which they cooperate in joint action, each in their own self-interest, joining forces together for a common cause. This alliance may be temporary or a matter of convenience. A coalition thus differs from a more formal covenant...

 nations that are engaged in the war against the Taliban in Afghanistan (2001) and Saddam Hussein in Iraq (2003) as well as operations supporting the Global War on Terrorism
War on Terrorism
The War on Terror is a term commonly applied to an international military campaign led by the United States and the United Kingdom with the support of other North Atlantic Treaty Organisation as well as non-NATO countries...

 for the Horn of Africa
Horn of Africa
The Horn of Africa is a peninsula in East Africa that juts hundreds of kilometers into the Arabian Sea and lies along the southern side of the Gulf of Aden. It is the easternmost projection of the African continent...

 at Al Dhafra Air Base
Al Dhafra Air Base
Al Dhafra Air Base is a military installation in the United Arab Emirates. The base is located approximately south of Abu Dhabi and is operated by the United Arab Emirates Air Force.-Facilities:The airport resides at an elevation of above mean sea level...

 located outside of Abu Dhabi
Abu Dhabi
Abu Dhabi , literally Father of Gazelle, is the capital and the second largest city of the United Arab Emirates in terms of population and the largest of the seven member emirates of the United Arab Emirates. Abu Dhabi lies on a T-shaped island jutting into the Persian Gulf from the central western...

. The air base also supported Allied operations during the 1991 Persian Gulf War
Gulf War
The Persian Gulf War , commonly referred to as simply the Gulf War, was a war waged by a U.N.-authorized coalition force from 34 nations led by the United States, against Iraq in response to Iraq's invasion and annexation of Kuwait.The war is also known under other names, such as the First Gulf...

 and Operation Northern Watch
Operation Northern Watch
Operation Northern Watch, the successor to Operation Provide Comfort, was a US European Command Combined Task Force charged with enforcing its own no-fly zone above the 36th parallel in Iraq...

. The country had already signed a military defense
Defense (military)
Defense has several uses in the sphere of military application.Personal defense implies measures taken by individual soldiers in protecting themselves whether by use of protective materials such as armor, or field construction of trenches or a bunker, or by using weapons that prevent the enemy...

 agreement with the U.S. in 1994 and one with France in 1995.

On 2 November 2004, the UAE's first president, Sheikh Zayed bin Sultan Al Nahyan, died. His eldest son, Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan, succeeded as Emir of Abu Dhabi
Abu Dhabi
Abu Dhabi , literally Father of Gazelle, is the capital and the second largest city of the United Arab Emirates in terms of population and the largest of the seven member emirates of the United Arab Emirates. Abu Dhabi lies on a T-shaped island jutting into the Persian Gulf from the central western...

. In accordance with the constitution, the UAE's Supreme Council of Rulers elected Khalifa as president. Sheikh Mohammad bin Zayed Al Nahyan
Mohammed bin Zayed Al Nahyan
Mohammed bin Zayed bin Sultan Al Nahyan is the Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi and Deputy Supreme Commander of the UAE Armed Forces .-Political and business career:...

 succeeded Khalifa as Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi. In January 2006, Sheikh Maktoum bin Rashid Al Maktoum
Maktoum bin Rashid Al Maktoum
Maktoum bin Rashid Al Maktoum , also referred to as Sheikh Maktoum was the Vice President and Prime Minister of the United Arab Emirates and the emir of Dubai.-Biography:...

, the prime minister of the UAE and the ruler of Dubai, died, and the crown prince Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum
Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum
Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum , also Sheikh Mohammed, , is the Prime Minister and Vice President of the United Arab Emirates , and absolute monarch of Dubai.-Personal life and education:...

 assumed both roles.

Geography


Geography of the UAE
Coastline 1,318 km (819 miles)
Bordering countries Saudi Arabia, and Oman


The United Arab Emirates is situated in Southwest Asia, bordering the Gulf of Oman
Gulf of Oman
The Gulf of Oman or Sea of Oman is a strait that connects the Arabian Sea with the Strait of Hormuz, which then runs to the Persian Gulf. It is generally included as a branch of the Persian Gulf, not as an arm of the Arabian Sea. On the north coast is Pakistan and Iran...

 and the Persian Gulf
Persian Gulf
The Persian Gulf, in Southwest Asia, is an extension of the Indian Ocean located between Iran and the Arabian Peninsula.The Persian Gulf was the focus of the 1980–1988 Iran-Iraq War, in which each side attacked the other's oil tankers...

, between Oman
Oman
Oman , officially called the Sultanate of Oman , is an Arab state in southwest Asia on the southeast coast of the Arabian Peninsula. It is bordered by the United Arab Emirates to the northwest, Saudi Arabia to the west, and Yemen to the southwest. The coast is formed by the Arabian Sea on the...

 and Saudi Arabia
Saudi Arabia
The Kingdom of Saudi Arabia , commonly known in British English as Saudi Arabia and in Arabic as as-Sa‘ūdiyyah , is the largest state in Western Asia by land area, constituting the bulk of the Arabian Peninsula, and the second-largest in the Arab World...

; it is in a strategic location along southern approaches to the Strait of Hormuz
Strait of Hormuz
The Strait of Hormuz is a narrow, strategically important waterway between the Gulf of Oman in the southeast and the Persian Gulf. On the north coast is Iran and on the south coast is the United Arab Emirates and Musandam, an exclave of Oman....

, a vital transit point for world crude oil
Petroleum
Petroleum or crude oil is a naturally occurring, flammable liquid consisting of a complex mixture of hydrocarbons of various molecular weights and other liquid organic compounds, that are found in geologic formations beneath the Earth's surface. Petroleum is recovered mostly through oil drilling...

.

The UAE lies between 22°30' and 26°10' north latitude and between 51° and 56°25′ east longitude. It shares a 530-kilometer border with Saudi Arabia on the west, south, and southeast, and a 450-kilometer border with Oman on the southeast and northeast. The land border with Qatar in the Khawr al Udayd
Khawr al Udayd
Khawr al Udayd, also spelled Khor al Adaid, is an inlet of the Persian Gulf in the southeast of Qatar. It is known to local English speakers as the "Inland Sea".-External links:*...

 area is about nineteen kilometers in the northwest; however, it is a source of ongoing dispute. Additionally, island disputes with Iran and Qatar remain unresolved.
The largest emirate, Abu Dhabi
Abu Dhabi (emirate)
Abu Dhabi, officially the Emirate of Abu Dhabi, , is one of seven emirates that constitute the United Arab Emirates . It is the capital of UAE and is the largest emirate by area , and second-largest by population , accounting for approximately 86% of the total land area of the UAE...

, accounts for 87% of the UAE's total area (67,340 square kilometers). The smallest emirate, Ajman
Ajman
Ajman , also spelt Ujman, is one of the seven emirates constituting the United Arab Emirates . With an area of just 260 square kilometres , Ajman is the smallest emirate by area...

, encompasses only 259 square kilometers (see figure).

The UAE coast stretches for more than 650 kilometers along the southern shore of the Persian Gulf. Most of the coast consists of salt pan
Dry lake
Dry lakes are ephemeral lakebeds, or a remnant of an endorheic lake. Such flats consist of fine-grained sediments infused with alkali salts. Dry lakes are also referred to as alkali flats, sabkhas, playas or mud flats...

s that extend far inland. The largest natural harbor
Harbor
A harbor or harbour , or haven, is a place where ships, boats, and barges can seek shelter from stormy weather, or else are stored for future use. Harbors can be natural or artificial...

 is at Dubai
Dubai
Dubai is a city and emirate in the United Arab Emirates . The emirate is located south of the Persian Gulf on the Arabian Peninsula and has the largest population with the second-largest land territory by area of all the emirates, after Abu Dhabi...

, although other ports have been dredged at Abu Dhabi, Sharjah, and elsewhere. Numerous islands are found in the Persian Gulf, and the ownership of some of them has been the subject of international disputes with both Iran
Iran
Iran , officially the Islamic Republic of Iran , is a country in Southern and Western Asia. The name "Iran" has been in use natively since the Sassanian era and came into use internationally in 1935, before which the country was known to the Western world as Persia...

 and Qatar
Qatar
Qatar , also known as the State of Qatar or locally Dawlat Qaṭar, is a sovereign Arab state, located in the Middle East, occupying the small Qatar Peninsula on the northeasterly coast of the much larger Arabian Peninsula. Its sole land border is with Saudi Arabia to the south, with the rest of its...

. The smaller islands, as well as many coral reef
Coral reef
Coral reefs are underwater structures made from calcium carbonate secreted by corals. Coral reefs are colonies of tiny living animals found in marine waters that contain few nutrients. Most coral reefs are built from stony corals, which in turn consist of polyps that cluster in groups. The polyps...

s and shifting sandbars, are a menace to navigation. Strong tides and occasional windstorms further complicate ship movements near the shore. The UAE also has a stretch of the Al Bāţinah
Al Batinah Region
Al Bāţinah is one of the regions of Oman.Al Batinah Region, otherwise known as Al Batinah, occupies an important location on the coast of Gulf of Oman. It lies between Khatmat Malahah in the north and Ras AL Hamra in the south and confined between the Al Hajar Mountains in the west and the Gulf...

 coast of the Gulf of Oman
Gulf of Oman
The Gulf of Oman or Sea of Oman is a strait that connects the Arabian Sea with the Strait of Hormuz, which then runs to the Persian Gulf. It is generally included as a branch of the Persian Gulf, not as an arm of the Arabian Sea. On the north coast is Pakistan and Iran...

, although the Musandam Peninsula, the very tip of Arabia by the Strait of Hormuz
Strait of Hormuz
The Strait of Hormuz is a narrow, strategically important waterway between the Gulf of Oman in the southeast and the Persian Gulf. On the north coast is Iran and on the south coast is the United Arab Emirates and Musandam, an exclave of Oman....

 is an enclave of Oman
Oman
Oman , officially called the Sultanate of Oman , is an Arab state in southwest Asia on the southeast coast of the Arabian Peninsula. It is bordered by the United Arab Emirates to the northwest, Saudi Arabia to the west, and Yemen to the southwest. The coast is formed by the Arabian Sea on the...

 within the UAE.

South and west of Abu Dhabi
Abu Dhabi
Abu Dhabi , literally Father of Gazelle, is the capital and the second largest city of the United Arab Emirates in terms of population and the largest of the seven member emirates of the United Arab Emirates. Abu Dhabi lies on a T-shaped island jutting into the Persian Gulf from the central western...

, vast, rolling sand dunes
Dune
In physical geography, a dune is a hill of sand built by wind. Dunes occur in different forms and sizes, formed by interaction with the wind. Most kinds of dunes are longer on the windward side where the sand is pushed up the dune and have a shorter "slip face" in the lee of the wind...

 merge into the Rub al-Khali (Empty Quarter) of Saudi Arabia
Saudi Arabia
The Kingdom of Saudi Arabia , commonly known in British English as Saudi Arabia and in Arabic as as-Sa‘ūdiyyah , is the largest state in Western Asia by land area, constituting the bulk of the Arabian Peninsula, and the second-largest in the Arab World...

. The desert area of Abu Dhabi includes two important oases with adequate underground water for permanent settlements and cultivation. The extensive Liwa Oasis
Liwa Oasis
The Liwa Oasis is a large oasis area in Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates.- Geography :Liwa Oasis is about 100 km south of the Persian Gulf coast and 150 km SSW of the city of Abu Dhabi, on the northern edge of Rub' al Khali desert. It is centered around and stretches about 100 km east-west, along...

 is in the south near the undefined border with Saudi Arabia. About 100 kilometers to the northeast of Liwa is the Al-Buraimi oasis, which extends on both sides of the Abu Dhabi-Oman border.

Prior to withdrawing from the area in 1971, Britain
United Kingdom
The United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern IrelandIn the United Kingdom and Dependencies, other languages have been officially recognised as legitimate autochthonous languages under the European Charter for Regional or Minority Languages...

 delineated the internal borders among the seven emirates in order to preempt territorial disputes that might hamper formation of the federation
Federation
A federation , also known as a federal state, is a type of sovereign state characterized by a union of partially self-governing states or regions united by a central government...

. In general, the rulers of the emirates accepted the British intervention, but in the case of boundary disputes between Abu Dhabi
Abu Dhabi
Abu Dhabi , literally Father of Gazelle, is the capital and the second largest city of the United Arab Emirates in terms of population and the largest of the seven member emirates of the United Arab Emirates. Abu Dhabi lies on a T-shaped island jutting into the Persian Gulf from the central western...

 and Dubai
Dubai
Dubai is a city and emirate in the United Arab Emirates . The emirate is located south of the Persian Gulf on the Arabian Peninsula and has the largest population with the second-largest land territory by area of all the emirates, after Abu Dhabi...

, and also between Dubai
Dubai
Dubai is a city and emirate in the United Arab Emirates . The emirate is located south of the Persian Gulf on the Arabian Peninsula and has the largest population with the second-largest land territory by area of all the emirates, after Abu Dhabi...

 and Sharjah, conflicting claims were not resolved until after the UAE became independent. The most complicated borders were in the Al-Hajar al-Gharbi
Al Hajar Mountains
The Hajjar Mountains in northeastern Oman and also the eastern United Arab Emirates are the highest mountain range in the eastern Arabian peninsula...

 Mountains, where five of the emirates contested jurisdiction over more than a dozen enclaves.

Flora and fauna



The oases grow date palms, acacia
Acacia
Acacia is a genus of shrubs and trees belonging to the subfamily Mimosoideae of the family Fabaceae, first described in Africa by the Swedish botanist Carl Linnaeus in 1773. Many non-Australian species tend to be thorny, whereas the majority of Australian acacias are not...

 and eucalyptus
Eucalyptus
Eucalyptus is a diverse genus of flowering trees in the myrtle family, Myrtaceae. Members of the genus dominate the tree flora of Australia...

 trees. In the desert the flora is very sparse and consists of grasses and thornbushes. The indigenous fauna had come close to extinction because of intensive hunting, which has led to a conservation program on Bani Yas
Bani Yas
Bani Yas is a tribe in the United Arab Emirates that had a coalition with many other tribes in the region. The tribal coalition which consists of tribes from Dubai to Khawr al Udayd southeast of Qatar, was called the Bani Yas Coalition. The tribe has been led by their rulers the Al Nahyan and their...

 island initiated by Sheikh Zayed bin Sultan Al Nahyan in the 1970s, resulting in the survival of, for example, Arabian oryx
Arabian Oryx
The Arabian Oryx or White Oryx is a medium sized antelope with a distinct shoulder hump, long straight horns, and a tufted tail. It is a bovid, and the smallest member of Oryx genus, native to desert and steppe areas of the Arabian peninsula...

 and leopard
Leopard
The leopard , Panthera pardus, is a member of the Felidae family and the smallest of the four "big cats" in the genus Panthera, the other three being the tiger, lion, and jaguar. The leopard was once distributed across eastern and southern Asia and Africa, from Siberia to South Africa, but its...

s. Coastal fish
Coastal fish
Coastal fish, also called offshore fish or neritic fish, are fish that inhabit the sea between the shoreline and the edge of the continental shelf. Since the continental shelf is usually less than 200 metres deep, it follows that pelagic coastal fish are generally epipelagic fish, inhabiting the...

 consist mainly of mackerel
Mackerel
Mackerel is a common name applied to a number of different species of fish, mostly, but not exclusively, from the family Scombridae. They may be found in all tropical and temperate seas. Most live offshore in the oceanic environment but a few, like the Spanish mackerel , enter bays and can be...

, perch
Estuary perch
The estuary perch, Macquaria colonorum, is an Australian species of the Percichthyidae family.It is very similar to and very closely related to its sister species the Australian bass, Macquaria novemaculeata...

 and tuna
Tuna
Tuna is a salt water fish from the family Scombridae, mostly in the genus Thunnus. Tuna are fast swimmers, and some species are capable of speeds of . Unlike most fish, which have white flesh, the muscle tissue of tuna ranges from pink to dark red. The red coloration derives from myoglobin, an...

, as well as shark
Shark
Sharks are a type of fish with a full cartilaginous skeleton and a highly streamlined body. The earliest known sharks date from more than 420 million years ago....

s and whale
Whale
Whale is the common name for various marine mammals of the order Cetacea. The term whale sometimes refers to all cetaceans, but more often it excludes dolphins and porpoises, which belong to suborder Odontoceti . This suborder also includes the sperm whale, killer whale, pilot whale, and beluga...

s.

Climate



The climate of the U.A.E is subtropical-arid with hot summers and warm winters. The hottest months are July and August, when average maximum temperatures reach above 40 °C (104 °F) on the coastal plain
Coastal plain
A coastal plain is an area of flat, low-lying land adjacent to a seacoast and separated from the interior by other features. One of the world's longest coastal plains is located in eastern South America. The southwestern coastal plain of North America is notable for its species diversity...

. In the Al Hajar Mountains
Al Hajar Mountains
The Hajjar Mountains in northeastern Oman and also the eastern United Arab Emirates are the highest mountain range in the eastern Arabian peninsula...

, temperatures are considerably lower, a result of increased altitude. Average minimum temperatures in January and February are between 10 and 14 °C (50 and 57.2 °F). During the late summer months, a humid southeastern wind known as Sharqi (i.e. "Easterner") makes the coastal region especially unpleasant. The average annual rainfall in the coastal area is less than 120 mm (4.7 in), but in some mountainous areas annual rainfall often reaches 350 mm (13.8 in). Rain in the coastal region falls in short, torrential bursts during the summer months, sometimes resulting in floods in ordinarily dry wadi
Wadi
Wadi is the Arabic term traditionally referring to a valley. In some cases, it may refer to a dry riverbed that contains water only during times of heavy rain or simply an intermittent stream.-Variant names:...

 beds. The region is prone to occasional, violent dust storm
Dust storm
A dust / sand storm is a meteorological phenomenon common in arid and semi-arid regions. Dust storms arise when a gust front or other strong wind blows loose sand and dirt from a dry surface. Particles are transported by saltation and suspension, causing soil to move from one place and deposition...

s, which can severely reduce visibility. The Jebel Jais mountain cluster in Ras al-Khaimah
Ras al-Khaimah
Ras al-Khaimah is one of the emirates of the United Arab Emirates , in the east of the Persian Gulf. It is in the northern part of the UAE bordering Oman's exclave. The capital city and home of most residents is also called Ras al-Khaimah. The city has a population of 263,217 as of 2008. The city...

 has experienced snow only twice since records began.

Government and politics


Government



The politics of the United Arab Emirates take place in a framework of a federal
Federation
A federation , also known as a federal state, is a type of sovereign state characterized by a union of partially self-governing states or regions united by a central government...

, presidential
Presidential system
A presidential system is a system of government where an executive branch exists and presides separately from the legislature, to which it is not responsible and which cannot, in normal circumstances, dismiss it....

, elective monarchy
Elective monarchy
An elective monarchy is a monarchy ruled by an elected rather than hereditary monarch. The manner of election, the nature of the candidacy and the electors vary from case to case...

. The UAE is a federation of seven absolute monarchies
Absolute monarchy
Absolute monarchy is a monarchical form of government in which the monarch exercises ultimate governing authority as head of state and head of government, his or her power not being limited by a constitution or by the law. An absolute monarch thus wields unrestricted political power over the...

: the emirates of Abu Dhabi
Abu Dhabi (emirate)
Abu Dhabi, officially the Emirate of Abu Dhabi, , is one of seven emirates that constitute the United Arab Emirates . It is the capital of UAE and is the largest emirate by area , and second-largest by population , accounting for approximately 86% of the total land area of the UAE...

, Ajman
Ajman
Ajman , also spelt Ujman, is one of the seven emirates constituting the United Arab Emirates . With an area of just 260 square kilometres , Ajman is the smallest emirate by area...

, Fujairah
Fujairah
Fujairah is one of the seven emirates that make up the United Arab Emirates, and the only one on the Gulf of Oman in the country's east instead of Persian Gulf .-History:...

, Sharjah, Dubai
Dubai
Dubai is a city and emirate in the United Arab Emirates . The emirate is located south of the Persian Gulf on the Arabian Peninsula and has the largest population with the second-largest land territory by area of all the emirates, after Abu Dhabi...

, Ras al-Khaimah
Ras al-Khaimah
Ras al-Khaimah is one of the emirates of the United Arab Emirates , in the east of the Persian Gulf. It is in the northern part of the UAE bordering Oman's exclave. The capital city and home of most residents is also called Ras al-Khaimah. The city has a population of 263,217 as of 2008. The city...

 and Umm al-Qaiwain
Umm al-Quwain
Umm al-Quwain is one of the emirates in the United Arab Emirates, located in the north of the country. The emirate was ruled until his death by Rashid bin Ahmad Al Mu'alla, who was a member of the UAE's Supreme Council since 1981. The emirate had 62,000 inhabitants in 2003 and has an area of 750...

. The President of the United Arab Emirates
President of the United Arab Emirates
The President is the Head of State of the United Arab Emirates. Because the current ruler of Abu Dhabi customarily also holds the presidency of the UAE, the office is de facto hereditary. The President is also Supreme Commander of the UAE Armed Forces and Chairman of the Supreme Council and...

 is its head of state
Head of State
A head of state is the individual that serves as the chief public representative of a monarchy, republic, federation, commonwealth or other kind of state. His or her role generally includes legitimizing the state and exercising the political powers, functions, and duties granted to the head of...

, and the Prime Minister of the United Arab Emirates is its head of government
Head of government
Head of government is the chief officer of the executive branch of a government, often presiding over a cabinet. In a parliamentary system, the head of government is often styled prime minister, chief minister, premier, etc...

, including foreign affairs, security and defense, nationality and immigration issues, education, public health, currency, postal, telephone and other communications services, air traffic control, licensing of aircraft, labor relations, banking, delimitation
Boundary delimitation
Boundary delimitation, or simply delimitation, is the term used to describe the drawing of boundaries, but is most often used to describe the drawing of electoral boundaries, specifically those of precincts, states, counties or other municipalities...

 of territorial waters and extradition of criminals. All responsibilities not granted to the national government are reserved to the emirates.

The UAE government comprises three branches: the executive
Executive (government)
Executive branch of Government is the part of government that has sole authority and responsibility for the daily administration of the state bureaucracy. The division of power into separate branches of government is central to the idea of the separation of powers.In many countries, the term...

, legislature
Legislature
A legislature is a kind of deliberative assembly with the power to pass, amend, and repeal laws. The law created by a legislature is called legislation or statutory law. In addition to enacting laws, legislatures usually have exclusive authority to raise or lower taxes and adopt the budget and...

, and judiciary
Judiciary
The judiciary is the system of courts that interprets and applies the law in the name of the state. The judiciary also provides a mechanism for the resolution of disputes...

. The executive branch consists of the President, Vice President, Prime Minister, Federal Supreme Council, and a Council of Ministers (the cabinet). The Federal Supreme Council is composed of the emirs of the seven emirates. It elects the president, vice president, members of the Council of Ministers, and judges of the Federal Supreme Court. The Supreme Council also formulates government policy, proposes and ratifies national laws, and ratifies treaties.

Although elected by the Supreme Council, the president
President of the United Arab Emirates
The President is the Head of State of the United Arab Emirates. Because the current ruler of Abu Dhabi customarily also holds the presidency of the UAE, the office is de facto hereditary. The President is also Supreme Commander of the UAE Armed Forces and Chairman of the Supreme Council and...

 and prime minister are essentially hereditary. The emir of Abu Dhabi holds the presidency, and the emir of Dubai is prime minister. All but one prime minister served concurrently as vice president. The political influences and financial obligations of the emirates are reflected by their respective positions in the federal government. While each emirate still retains autonomy over its own territory, a percentage of its revenue is allocated to the UAE’s central budget.

Sheikh Zayed bin Sultan Al Nahyan was the UAE's president from the nation's founding until his death on November 2, 2004. On the following day the Federal Supreme Council elected his son, Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan, to the post. Abu Dhabi's crown prince, Mohammed bin Zayed Al Nahyan
Mohammed bin Zayed Al Nahyan
Mohammed bin Zayed bin Sultan Al Nahyan is the Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi and Deputy Supreme Commander of the UAE Armed Forces .-Political and business career:...

, is the heir apparent
Heir apparent
An heir apparent or heiress apparent is a person who is first in line of succession and cannot be displaced from inheriting, except by a change in the rules of succession....

.

The legislature is the Federal National Council
Federal National Council
The Federal National Council , is the federal authority of the United Arab Emirates formed to represent the general emirati people. The FNC consist of 40 members with advisory tasks in the house of legislative council...

 (FNC), which consists of 40 members drawn from all the emirates. Half are appointed by the rulers of the constituent emirates, and the other half are indirectly elected to serve two-year terms. The first indirect elections took place in 2006, and the goal is a wholly elected council. The council carries out the country’s main consultative duties and has both a legislative and supervisory role provided by the constitution. The council scrutinizes and amends proposed legislation, but cannot prevent it from becoming law. The main tasks of the FNC are:
  • Discussing constitutional amendments and draft laws, which may be approved, amended or rejected
  • Reviewing the annual draft budget of the federation
  • Debating international treaties and conventions
  • Influencing the Government’s work through the channels of discussion, question and answer sessions, recommendations and following up on complaints


A constitutionally independent judiciary includes the Federal Supreme Court. However, Dubai
Dubai
Dubai is a city and emirate in the United Arab Emirates . The emirate is located south of the Persian Gulf on the Arabian Peninsula and has the largest population with the second-largest land territory by area of all the emirates, after Abu Dhabi...

 and Ras al-Khaimah
Ras al-Khaimah
Ras al-Khaimah is one of the emirates of the United Arab Emirates , in the east of the Persian Gulf. It is in the northern part of the UAE bordering Oman's exclave. The capital city and home of most residents is also called Ras al-Khaimah. The city has a population of 263,217 as of 2008. The city...

 do not belong to the national judiciary. All emirates have their own secular and Islamic law
Sharia
Sharia law, is the moral code and religious law of Islam. Sharia is derived from two primary sources of Islamic law: the precepts set forth in the Quran, and the example set by the Islamic prophet Muhammad in the Sunnah. Fiqh jurisprudence interprets and extends the application of sharia to...

 for civil, criminal, and high courts.

In parallel to the economic developments of the UAE, the country's leaders have also initiated political reforms in order to further develop the political institutions. The political modernization process was envisaged in three stages: first, conduct elections to elect half the FNC members through an Electoral College; second expand the powers of the FNC and increase the number of FNC members, which would require extensive constitutional studies and possible modifications, at the end of which the political institution would be a more enabled body; and finally, an open election for half the council.

The purpose of the elections was to expand political participation and develop a culture of government reform. The limited scope of participation was conditioned by three reasons: (1) the country not having an electoral tradition, (2) the prevailing political tension and instability in the region meaning that there was no scope for error, and (3) elections in the region having proved to potentially be divisive affairs, based on sectarian and religious issues, which the UAE wanted to avoid.

In December 2008, the Supreme Council approved constitutional amendments both to empower the FNC and to enhance government transparency and accountability.

United Arab Emirates Government

The United Arab Emirates (UAE) eGovernment is the extension of the UAE Federal Government in its electronic form. The UAE eGovernment enables convenient access to government information and services through innovative and customer-friendly delivery channels and streamlines the processes for quality and timely government service delivery. The UAE eGovernment engages modern tools in Information and Communication Technology to actively connect with its wide base of users from within the UAE and beyond. The setting up of the UAE eGovernment is a major step towards modernisation and upgradation of government functioning as it brings about a cost-effective, eco-friendly, transparent and participative government.

Law


The United Arab Emirates law originates from the old days of when the Emirates were a tribal society. Each of the seven Emirates have their own court system. This is comparable to the independent state court systems, in addition to the federal court system, in the United States of America. The federal court system is located in Abu Dhabi. Other systems of law are also in practice, such as in Abu Dhabi where an Open Court is held every Sunday. In Open Court, locals seek the aid of Sheikh Zayed bin Sultan Al Nahyan and his court for help in a variety of issues such as bankruptcy or familial disputes.

Human rights and social development


Human rights are legally protected by the Constitution of the United Arab Emirates
Constitution of the United Arab Emirates
The Constitution of the United Arab Emirates provides a legal and political framework for the operation of the United Arab Emirates as a federation of seven emirates. The Constitution came into effect on December 2, 1971 and was permanently accepted in May 1996. Authored by Adi Bitar, a former...

, which confers equality
Egalitarianism
Egalitarianism is a trend of thought that favors equality of some sort among moral agents, whether persons or animals. Emphasis is placed upon the fact that equality contains the idea of equity of quality...

, liberty
Liberty
Liberty is a moral and political principle, or Right, that identifies the condition in which human beings are able to govern themselves, to behave according to their own free will, and take responsibility for their actions...

, rule of law
Rule of law
The rule of law, sometimes called supremacy of law, is a legal maxim that says that governmental decisions should be made by applying known principles or laws with minimal discretion in their application...

, presumption of innocence
Innocence
Innocence is a term used to indicate a lack of guilt, with respect to any kind of crime, sin, or wrongdoing. In a legal context, innocence refers to the lack of legal guilt of an individual, with respect to a crime.-Symbolism:...

 in legal procedures, inviolability of the home, freedom of movement
Freedom of movement
Freedom of movement, mobility rights or the right to travel is a human right concept that the constitutions of numerous states respect...

, freedom of opinion
Freedom of speech
Freedom of speech is the freedom to speak freely without censorship. The term freedom of expression is sometimes used synonymously, but includes any act of seeking, receiving and imparting information or ideas, regardless of the medium used...

 and speech
Speech
Speech is the human faculty of speaking.It may also refer to:* Public speaking, the process of speaking to a group of people* Manner of articulation, how the body parts involved in making speech are manipulated...

, freedom of communication, freedom of religion
Freedom of religion
Freedom of religion is a principle that supports the freedom of an individual or community, in public or private, to manifest religion or belief in teaching, practice, worship, and observance; the concept is generally recognized also to include the freedom to change religion or not to follow any...

, freedom of council and association, freedom of occupation, freedom to be elected to office and others onto all citizens, within the limit of the law.

Because of the rapid development of the UAE from a traditional society in the mid-20th century to a modernizing one at the beginning of the 21st century, the concurrent development of legal provisions and the practical enforcement of existing laws has been challenging and, in consequence, problems exist mainly in regard to human rights of non-citizens, who make up around 80% of the population. Main issues include companies' and employers' non-compliance with labor laws.

Many expatriate workers, mostly of South Asian origin, have after their arrival in the UAE been turned into debt-ridden de facto indentured servant
Indentured servant
Indentured servitude refers to the historical practice of contracting to work for a fixed period of time, typically three to seven years, in exchange for transportation, food, clothing, lodging and other necessities during the term of indenture. Usually the father made the arrangements and signed...

s. Confiscation of passports, although illegal, occurs on a large scale, primarily of unskilled or semi-skilled employees.

The UAE's system of employment for non-citizens ties an employee to the employer and prevents him or her from seeking alternative employment without the express approval of the original employer. Also, among employers of foreign labourers non-payment of wages, cramped and unsanitary living conditions and poor health and safety practices are widespread and have been the subject of foreign media attention.

Labourers often toil in intense heat with temperatures reaching 54 degrees celsius (129 degrees Fahrenheit) in the cities in August. Temperatures in the desert can be higher. Official temperatures are censored during the summer months - this is a common practice among all Gulf countries. Although attempts have been made since 2009 to enforce a midday break rule, these are frequently flouted and apply only to a narrow section of labourers - only those who work in direct sunlight, which neglects the vast majority, for example, those who work on construction sites without air-conditioning or even adequate ventilation. Those labourers who do receive a midday break often have no suitable place to rest and are seen seeking shade under bridges or palm trees, where outdoor temperatures remain intolerable.

In order to institutionalize the fight against human trafficking, including that of expatriate workers for blue collar jobs, the UAE government has devised a four-pillar strategy: (1) legislation, (2) enforcement (3) victim support, and (4) bilateral agreements and international cooperation. In 2007 the National Committee to Combat Human Trafficking was established, which serves as a coordinating agency. The UAE has ratified the United Nations Protocol to Prevent, Suppress and Punish Trafficking in Persons, especially Women and Children (Palermo Protocol).

The victim support program includes protection, counseling and rehabilitation. Police departments and non-Government organizations provide shelter and support for human trafficking victims until they are able to acquire the right documents and many victims are then sent home at the Government’s expense, under the Crime Victim Assistance Programme. These shelters include the Dubai Women's and Children's Foundation, which was established in July 2007, and Ewaa in Abu Dhabi, which opened in late 2008, as well as the Human Rights Care Department in Dubai and the Social Support Centre in Abu Dhabi, which have been operating for several years.

The issue of sexual abuse
Sexual abuse
Sexual abuse, also referred to as molestation, is the forcing of undesired sexual behavior by one person upon another. When that force is immediate, of short duration, or infrequent, it is called sexual assault. The offender is referred to as a sexual abuser or molester...

 among female domestic servants
Domestic worker
A domestic worker is a man, woman or child who works within the employer's household. Domestic workers perform a variety of household services for an individual or a family, from providing care for children and elderly dependents to cleaning and household maintenance, known as housekeeping...

 is an area of concern, particularly given that domestic servants are not covered by the UAE Labor Law of 1980 or the Draft Labor Law of 2007. Worker protests have been cracked down on. Until today, the government has not allowed for trade union
Trade union
A trade union, trades union or labor union is an organization of workers that have banded together to achieve common goals such as better working conditions. The trade union, through its leadership, bargains with the employer on behalf of union members and negotiates labour contracts with...

s to form despite having promised to do so since 2004.

As Sharia
Sharia
Sharia law, is the moral code and religious law of Islam. Sharia is derived from two primary sources of Islamic law: the precepts set forth in the Quran, and the example set by the Islamic prophet Muhammad in the Sunnah. Fiqh jurisprudence interprets and extends the application of sharia to...

 prohibits sodomy
Sodomy
Sodomy is an anal or other copulation-like act, especially between male persons or between a man and animal, and one who practices sodomy is a "sodomite"...

, homosexual relationships are not commonly disclosed. The UAE is much more moderate on homosexual punishment than many of its neighbors. The death penalty is never implemented for homosexuality, and rarely life imprisonment. Foreigners generally receive deportation, which is sometimes temporary. Prospective foreign employees infected with Hepatitis
Hepatitis
Hepatitis is a medical condition defined by the inflammation of the liver and characterized by the presence of inflammatory cells in the tissue of the organ. The name is from the Greek hepar , the root being hepat- , meaning liver, and suffix -itis, meaning "inflammation"...

, Tuberculosis
Tuberculosis
Tuberculosis, MTB, or TB is a common, and in many cases lethal, infectious disease caused by various strains of mycobacteria, usually Mycobacterium tuberculosis. Tuberculosis usually attacks the lungs but can also affect other parts of the body...

, or HIV
HIV
Human immunodeficiency virus is a lentivirus that causes acquired immunodeficiency syndrome , a condition in humans in which progressive failure of the immune system allows life-threatening opportunistic infections and cancers to thrive...

 will not be given work visas and have to leave the country. There is, however, no screening of tourists.

The UAE authorities on the federal and local level have instituted a number of mechanisms and policies to improve the protection of human rights. For example, in 2004, the Dubai police opened designated departments in all emirate police stations that are mandated to protect the human rights of both victims and perpetrators of crime.

UN rapporteurs – one on the sale of children, child prostitution and child pornography, and the other on contemporary forms of racism, racial discrimination, xenophobia and related intolerance – visited the UAE separately and held discussions with various ministries, civil society organizations, academics and ordinary citizens. Commending the Government’s ‘cooperation and openness’, a preliminary report of the rapporteur on racism said: "The recent review of the UAE by the Committee on the Elimination of Racial Discrimination and by the Universal Periodic Review of the Human Rights Council demonstrates that the authorities are willing to find ways and means of addressing human rights challenges faced by the people in the UAE and to ensure compliance with international human rights standards."

Efforts are under way to promulgate a draft national law for better protection of children, in line with the Convention on the Rights of the Child. The proposed law provides for the establishment of a hotline to respond to children's problems and encourages the establishment of associations or clubs specializing in child affairs, as well as calling for the appointment of a special judge to handle cases related to children.

The UAE National Human Rights Report, prepared by a committee comprising representatives from various ministries and government institutions, with the participation of representatives from civil society
Civil society
Civil society is composed of the totality of many voluntary social relationships, civic and social organizations, and institutions that form the basis of a functioning society, as distinct from the force-backed structures of a state , the commercial institutions of the market, and private criminal...

 and non-governmental organization
Non-governmental organization
A non-governmental organization is a legally constituted organization created by natural or legal persons that operates independently from any government. The term originated from the United Nations , and is normally used to refer to organizations that do not form part of the government and are...

s (NGOs), and presented to the UN Human Rights Council
United Nations Human Rights Council
The United Nations Human Rights Council is an inter-governmental body within the United Nations System. The UNHRC is the successor to the United Nations Commission on Human Rights , and is a subsidiary body of the United Nations General Assembly...

 on 4 December 2008 outlines efforts in the field of human rights observance and listed challenges facing the country, such as the following:
  • Providing more mechanisms to protect human rights, keeping up with national and international developments, and updating laws and systems
  • Meeting the state's expectations with regards to building national capabilities and deepening efforts for education on human rights and basic freedoms through a national plan
  • Striving to regulate the relationship between employers and workers in framework that preserves dignity and rights, and is in harmony with international standards, especially with regard to domestic help
  • Increasing the empowerment of women's role in society, increasing opportunities for involvement in a number of fields based on their skills and abilities
  • Working to confront human trafficking crimes by reviewing the best international practices in the field, working to update and improve the state's legislature in accordance with international standards, working to establish institutions and agencies to confront human trafficking crimes, and working to support the foundations of international cooperation with international organizations and institutions.


The UAE government is currently studying the establishment of a national human-rights commission. Mean wages were $45.61 per manhour in 2009.

Foreign policy and military


The UAE’s liberal climate towards foreign cooperation, investment and modernization has prompted extensive diplomatic and commercial relations with other countries. It plays a significant role in OPEC
OPEC
OPEC is an intergovernmental organization of twelve developing countries made up of Algeria, Angola, Ecuador, Iran, Iraq, Kuwait, Libya, Nigeria, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates, and Venezuela. OPEC has maintained its headquarters in Vienna since 1965, and hosts regular meetings...

 and the UN
United Nations
The United Nations is an international organization whose stated aims are facilitating cooperation in international law, international security, economic development, social progress, human rights, and achievement of world peace...

, and is one of the founding members of the Gulf Cooperation Council
Cooperation Council for the Arab States of the Gulf
The Cooperation Council for the Arab States of the Gulf , also known as the Gulf Cooperation Council , is a political and economic union of the Arab states bordering the Persian Gulf and constituting the Arabian Peninsula, namely Bahrain, Kuwait, Oman, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, and United Arab Emirates...

 (GCC).

Regionally, the UAE has a very close relationship with other GCC members as well as most of the Arab countries. The Emirates have long maintained close relations with Egypt
Egypt
Egypt , officially the Arab Republic of Egypt, Arabic: , is a country mainly in North Africa, with the Sinai Peninsula forming a land bridge in Southwest Asia. Egypt is thus a transcontinental country, and a major power in Africa, the Mediterranean Basin, the Middle East and the Muslim world...

 and remain the highest investor in the country from among the rest of the Arab world. Pakistan
Pakistan
Pakistan , officially the Islamic Republic of Pakistan is a sovereign state in South Asia. It has a coastline along the Arabian Sea and the Gulf of Oman in the south and is bordered by Afghanistan and Iran in the west, India in the east and China in the far northeast. In the north, Tajikistan...

 has also been a major recipient of economic aid and relations have been extremely close since the founding of the federation. Pakistan had been first to formally recognize the UAE upon its formation and continues to be one of its major economic and trading partners with about 400,000 expatriates receiving employment in the UAE. India
India
India , officially the Republic of India , is a country in South Asia. It is the seventh-largest country by geographical area, the second-most populous country with over 1.2 billion people, and the most populous democracy in the world...

’s large expat community in the UAE also has over the centuries evolved into current close political, economic and cultural ties. The largest demographic presence in the Emirates is Indian
Non-resident Indian and Person of Indian Origin
A Non-Resident Indian is an Indian citizen who has migrated to another country, a person of Indian origin who is born outside India, or a person of Indian origin who resides permanently outside India. Other terms with the same meaning are overseas Indian and expatriate Indian...

. Like most countries in the region, the UAE and Iran
Iran
Iran , officially the Islamic Republic of Iran , is a country in Southern and Western Asia. The name "Iran" has been in use natively since the Sassanian era and came into use internationally in 1935, before which the country was known to the Western world as Persia...

 dispute rights to a number of islands in the Persian Gulf but this has not significantly impacted relations because of the large Iranian community presence and strong economic ties.


Following the 1990 Iraq invasion of Kuwait
Invasion of Kuwait
The Invasion of Kuwait, also known as the Iraq-Kuwait War, was a major conflict between the Republic of Iraq and the State of Kuwait, which resulted in the seven-month long Iraqi occupation of Kuwait, which subsequently led to direct military intervention by United States-led forces in the Gulf...

, the UAE has maintained extensive relations with its allies for security and cooperation towards increasing interoperability of its defense forces and for liberating Kuwait
Kuwait
The State of Kuwait is a sovereign Arab state situated in the north-east of the Arabian Peninsula in Western Asia. It is bordered by Saudi Arabia to the south at Khafji, and Iraq to the north at Basra. It lies on the north-western shore of the Persian Gulf. The name Kuwait is derived from the...

. France
France
The French Republic , The French Republic , The French Republic , (commonly known as France , is a unitary semi-presidential republic in Western Europe with several overseas territories and islands located on other continents and in the Indian, Pacific, and Atlantic oceans. Metropolitan France...

 and the USA
United States
The United States of America is a federal constitutional republic comprising fifty states and a federal district...

 have played the most strategically significant roles with defense cooperation agreements and military material provision. Most recently, these relations culminated in a joint nuclear deal for the US to supply the UAE with nuclear power equipment, technology and fuel. In turn, the UAE – a Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty
Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty
The Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons, commonly known as the Non-Proliferation Treaty or NPT, is a landmark international treaty whose objective is to prevent the spread of nuclear weapons and weapons technology, to promote cooperation in the peaceful uses of nuclear energy and to...

 (NPT) signatory – has agreed to open its nuclear facilities to full international inspections and refrain from producing its own reactor fuel.

Commercially, the UK
United Kingdom
The United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern IrelandIn the United Kingdom and Dependencies, other languages have been officially recognised as legitimate autochthonous languages under the European Charter for Regional or Minority Languages...

 and Germany
Germany
Germany , officially the Federal Republic of Germany , is a federal parliamentary republic in Europe. The country consists of 16 states while the capital and largest city is Berlin. Germany covers an area of 357,021 km2 and has a largely temperate seasonal climate...

 are the UAE’s largest export markets and bilateral
Bilateralism
Bilateralism consists of the political, economic, or cultural relations between two sovereign states. For example, free trade agreements signed by two states are examples of bilateral treaties. It is in contrast to unilateralism or multilateralism, which refers to the conduct of diplomacy by a...

 relations have long been close as a large number of their nationals reside in the UAE.
Diplomatic relations
Diplomacy
Diplomacy is the art and practice of conducting negotiations between representatives of groups or states...

 between UAE and Japan were established as early as UAE's independence in December 1971. The two countries had always enjoyed friendly ties and trade between each other. Exports from the UAE to Japan include crude oil
Petroleum
Petroleum or crude oil is a naturally occurring, flammable liquid consisting of a complex mixture of hydrocarbons of various molecular weights and other liquid organic compounds, that are found in geologic formations beneath the Earth's surface. Petroleum is recovered mostly through oil drilling...

 and natural gas
Natural gas
Natural gas is a naturally occurring gas mixture consisting primarily of methane, typically with 0–20% higher hydrocarbons . It is found associated with other hydrocarbon fuel, in coal beds, as methane clathrates, and is an important fuel source and a major feedstock for fertilizers.Most natural...

 and imports from Japan to UAE include cars
Automobile
An automobile, autocar, motor car or car is a wheeled motor vehicle used for transporting passengers, which also carries its own engine or motor...

 and electric
Electricity
Electricity is a general term encompassing a variety of phenomena resulting from the presence and flow of electric charge. These include many easily recognizable phenomena, such as lightning, static electricity, and the flow of electrical current in an electrical wire...

 items.

The UAE is pursuing a policy of peaceful settling of the region's issues. The country supports the right of the Palestinian people to establish an independent state. At the second international conference to support the Palestinian economy and reconstruction of Gaza strip, which was held in Sharm el Sheikh, Egypt, the UAE said it would continue to offer political, economic and humanitarian support to the Palestinian cause. The UAE has provided over US$3 billion in aid to the Palestinians, including development funds for infrastructure, housing, hospital and school projects. In addition, the country donated US$174 million towards reconstruction in Gaza. The UAE has been an active supporter of the Iraqi Government in its efforts to draw up a comprehensive political formula to enable the country to achieve security and stability. It has one of the few functioning Arab embassies and resident ambassadors in Baghdad, and has canceled debts worth about US$7 billion to support Iraq’s reconstruction efforts. The UAE continues to contribute constructively to the international efforts aimed at stabilizing Afghanistan and supporting its bid to restore security. As part of its humanitarian and development assistance to Afghanistan, it provided US$550 million between 2002 and 2008. The UAE is the only Arab country performing humanitarian activities on the ground in Afghanistan.

One major diplomatic success for the UAE during 2009, which also reflected its growing international status, came with Abu Dhabi being chosen to host the headquarters of the International Renewable Energy Agency (IRENA). This is one of the few times that a developing country has had the opportunity to host the headquarters of a major international organization.

Foreign aid


The UAE has continuously been a major contributor of emergency relief
Emergency management
Emergency management is the generic name of an interdisciplinary field dealing with the strategic organizational management processes used to protect critical assets of an organization from hazard risks that can cause events like disasters or catastrophes and to ensure the continuance of the...

 to regions affected by conflict and natural disaster
Natural disaster
A natural disaster is the effect of a natural hazard . It leads to financial, environmental or human losses...

s in the developing world
Third World
The term Third World arose during the Cold War to define countries that remained non-aligned with either capitalism and NATO , or communism and the Soviet Union...

.
The main UAE governmental agency for foreign aid
Aid
In international relations, aid is a voluntary transfer of resources from one country to another, given at least partly with the objective of benefiting the recipient country....

 is the Abu Dhabi Fund for Development (ADFD) which was established in 1971.
Since its establishment, the ADFD has provided over Dh12.6 billion (US$3.45 billion) in soft
loans and grants to countries mainly in Africa.
Since 1971, these have accounted for a further Dh10 billion (US$2.7 billion), bringing the total amount of the loans, grants and investments provided by the fund or the Abu Dhabi government, and managed by the fund, to around Dh24 billion (US$6.5 billion), covering 258 different projects in a total of 52 countries.

In November 2021 the Abu Dhabi Fund announced a long term loan of around US$278 million for rehabilitation of agricultural land in the state of Uzbekistan
Uzbekistan
Uzbekistan , officially the Republic of Uzbekistan is a doubly landlocked country in Central Asia and one of the six independent Turkic states. It shares borders with Kazakhstan to the west and to the north, Kyrgyzstan and Tajikistan to the east, and Afghanistan and Turkmenistan to the south....

.
Between 1994 to mid-2008, for example, around Dh15.4 billion (US$4.2 billion) has been provided for the Palestinians, including, most recently, US$300 million pledged at a donor conference in Paris and an annual commitment of US$43 million to support the Palestine National Authority.

The UAE has also used the Red Crescent
International Red Cross and Red Crescent Movement
The International Red Cross and Red Crescent Movement is an international humanitarian movement with approximately 97 million volunteers, members and staff worldwide which was founded to protect human life and health, to ensure respect for all human beings, and to prevent and alleviate human...

 authority and charities such as Dubai Cares
Dubai Cares
Dubai Cares is a humanitarian initiative that seeks to provide children in developing countries with access to quality primary education. It was launched in September 2007 by Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, the Vice President and Prime Minister of United Arab Emirates, and the Ruler of...

 and Noor Dubai to donate aid to foreign countries.

Political divisions


The United Arab Emirates is divided into seven emirates. Abu Dhabi
Abu Dhabi (emirate)
Abu Dhabi, officially the Emirate of Abu Dhabi, , is one of seven emirates that constitute the United Arab Emirates . It is the capital of UAE and is the largest emirate by area , and second-largest by population , accounting for approximately 86% of the total land area of the UAE...

 is the most populated Emirate with 38% of the UAE population. The Emirate of Dubai
Dubai
Dubai is a city and emirate in the United Arab Emirates . The emirate is located south of the Persian Gulf on the Arabian Peninsula and has the largest population with the second-largest land territory by area of all the emirates, after Abu Dhabi...

 has a further 30%, so over two-thirds of the UAE population live in either Abu Dhabi or Dubai.

Abu Dhabi has an area of 67,340 square kilometres, which is 86.7% of the country’s total area, excluding the islands. It has a coastline extending for more than 400 kilometres and is divided for administrative purposes into three major regions.
The Emirate of Dubai
Dubai
Dubai is a city and emirate in the United Arab Emirates . The emirate is located south of the Persian Gulf on the Arabian Peninsula and has the largest population with the second-largest land territory by area of all the emirates, after Abu Dhabi...

 extends along the Persian Gulf coast of the UAE for approximately 72 kilometres. Dubai has an area of 3,885 square kilometers, which is equivalent to 5 per cent of the country’s total area, excluding the islands.
The Emirate of Sharjah extends along approximately 16 kilometers of the UAE’s Persian Gulf coastline and for more than 80 kilometers into the interior.
The northern emirates which include Fujairah
Fujairah
Fujairah is one of the seven emirates that make up the United Arab Emirates, and the only one on the Gulf of Oman in the country's east instead of Persian Gulf .-History:...

, Ajman
Ajman
Ajman , also spelt Ujman, is one of the seven emirates constituting the United Arab Emirates . With an area of just 260 square kilometres , Ajman is the smallest emirate by area...

, Ras al-Khaimah
Ras al-Khaimah
Ras al-Khaimah is one of the emirates of the United Arab Emirates , in the east of the Persian Gulf. It is in the northern part of the UAE bordering Oman's exclave. The capital city and home of most residents is also called Ras al-Khaimah. The city has a population of 263,217 as of 2008. The city...

, and Umm al-Qaiwain
Umm al-Quwain
Umm al-Quwain is one of the emirates in the United Arab Emirates, located in the north of the country. The emirate was ruled until his death by Rashid bin Ahmad Al Mu'alla, who was a member of the UAE's Supreme Council since 1981. The emirate had 62,000 inhabitants in 2003 and has an area of 750...

 all have a total area of 3,881 square kilometres.
There are two areas under joint control. One is jointly controlled by Oman
Oman
Oman , officially called the Sultanate of Oman , is an Arab state in southwest Asia on the southeast coast of the Arabian Peninsula. It is bordered by the United Arab Emirates to the northwest, Saudi Arabia to the west, and Yemen to the southwest. The coast is formed by the Arabian Sea on the...

 and Ajman
Ajman
Ajman , also spelt Ujman, is one of the seven emirates constituting the United Arab Emirates . With an area of just 260 square kilometres , Ajman is the smallest emirate by area...

, the other by Fujairah
Fujairah
Fujairah is one of the seven emirates that make up the United Arab Emirates, and the only one on the Gulf of Oman in the country's east instead of Persian Gulf .-History:...

 and Sharjah.

There is an Oman
Oman
Oman , officially called the Sultanate of Oman , is an Arab state in southwest Asia on the southeast coast of the Arabian Peninsula. It is bordered by the United Arab Emirates to the northwest, Saudi Arabia to the west, and Yemen to the southwest. The coast is formed by the Arabian Sea on the...

i exclave
Enclave and exclave
In political geography, an enclave is a territory whose geographical boundaries lie entirely within the boundaries of another territory.An exclave, on the other hand, is a territory legally or politically attached to another territory with which it is not physically contiguous.These are two...

 surrounded by UAE territory, known as Wadi Madha
Madha
The Omani territory of Madha or Wadi Madha is an exclave of Oman, surrounded by the United Arab Emirates . It is located halfway between the Musandam Peninsula and the rest of Oman. It belongs to Muhafazat Musandam....

. It is located halfway between the Musandam peninsula and the rest of Oman in the Emirate of Sharjah. It covers approximately 75 square kilometres (29 sq mi) and the boundary was settled in 1589. The north-east corner of Madha is closest to the Khor Fakkan
Khor Fakkan
Khor Fakkan is a town located along the Gulf of Oman on the east coast of the United Arab Emirates . The town is set on the picturesque bay of Khor Fakkan, which means "Creek of Two Jaws". Khor Fakkan belongs to the emirate of Sharjah but is geographically surrounded by the emirate of Fujairah...

-Fujairah
Fujairah
Fujairah is one of the seven emirates that make up the United Arab Emirates, and the only one on the Gulf of Oman in the country's east instead of Persian Gulf .-History:...

 road, barely 10 metres (33 ft) away. Within the Omani exclave of Madha, is a UAE exclave called Nahwa
Nahwa
Nahwa is a village that is part of the Emirate of Sharjah in the United Arab Emirates. It is an enclave within the Omani territory of Madha, itself an exclave of Oman....

, also belonging to the Emirate of Sharjah. It is about 8 kilometres (5 mi) on a dirt track west of the town of New Madha. It consists of about forty houses with its own clinic and telephone exchange
Telephone exchange
In the field of telecommunications, a telephone exchange or telephone switch is a system of electronic components that connects telephone calls...

.

Demographics


In 2010, the UAE's population was estimated at 8,264,070, of which less than 20% were UAE nationals or Emiratis, while the majority of the population were expatriates. The country's net migration rate
Net migration rate
Net migration rate is the difference of immigrants and emigrants of an area in a period of time, divided per 1,000 inhabitants...

 stands at 21.71, the world's highest.

23% of the population are non-Emirati Arabs and Iranians and the majority of the population, about 50%, is from India
India
India , officially the Republic of India , is a country in South Asia. It is the seventh-largest country by geographical area, the second-most populous country with over 1.2 billion people, and the most populous democracy in the world...

. Approximately 1.75 million Indian nationals
Non-resident Indian and Person of Indian Origin
A Non-Resident Indian is an Indian citizen who has migrated to another country, a person of Indian origin who is born outside India, or a person of Indian origin who resides permanently outside India. Other terms with the same meaning are overseas Indian and expatriate Indian...

 reside in the UAE, making them the single largest expatriate community in the country. However, by 2020 emiratis are projected to form 10% of the population. There is also a growing presence of Europeans especially in multi-cultural cities such as Dubai Those from other parts of Asia (including the Philippines, Iran or Sri Lanka) comprised up to 1 million people. The rest of the population were from other Arab states
Arab world
The Arab world refers to Arabic-speaking states, territories and populations in North Africa, Western Asia and elsewhere.The standard definition of the Arab world comprises the 22 states and territories of the Arab League stretching from the Atlantic Ocean in the west to the Arabian Sea in the...

.

Thousands of Palestinians
Palestinian people
The Palestinian people, also referred to as Palestinians or Palestinian Arabs , are an Arabic-speaking people with origins in Palestine. Despite various wars and exoduses, roughly one third of the world's Palestinian population continues to reside in the area encompassing the West Bank, the Gaza...

, who came as either political refugees
Refugee
A refugee is a person who outside her country of origin or habitual residence because she has suffered persecution on account of race, religion, nationality, political opinion, or because she is a member of a persecuted 'social group'. Such a person may be referred to as an 'asylum seeker' until...

 or temporary employment, also live in the United Arab Emirates. There is also a sizable population of people from Egypt, Somalia
Somalia
Somalia , officially the Somali Republic and formerly known as the Somali Democratic Republic under Socialist rule, is a country located in the Horn of Africa. Since the outbreak of the Somali Civil War in 1991 there has been no central government control over most of the country's territory...

 and Sudan
Sudan
Sudan , officially the Republic of the Sudan , is a country in North Africa, sometimes considered part of the Middle East politically. It is bordered by Egypt to the north, the Red Sea to the northeast, Eritrea and Ethiopia to the east, South Sudan to the south, the Central African Republic to the...

 who migrated to the UAE before its formation. The UAE has also attracted a small number of expatriate
Expatriate
An expatriate is a person temporarily or permanently residing in a country and culture other than that of the person's upbringing...

s from countries in Europe
Europe
Europe is, by convention, one of the world's seven continents. Comprising the westernmost peninsula of Eurasia, Europe is generally 'divided' from Asia to its east by the watershed divides of the Ural and Caucasus Mountains, the Ural River, the Caspian and Black Seas, and the waterways connecting...

, North America
North America
North America is a continent wholly within the Northern Hemisphere and almost wholly within the Western Hemisphere. It is also considered a northern subcontinent of the Americas...

, Asia
Asia
Asia is the world's largest and most populous continent, located primarily in the eastern and northern hemispheres. It covers 8.7% of the Earth's total surface area and with approximately 3.879 billion people, it hosts 60% of the world's current human population...

, and Oceania
Oceania
Oceania is a region centered on the islands of the tropical Pacific Ocean. Conceptions of what constitutes Oceania range from the coral atolls and volcanic islands of the South Pacific to the entire insular region between Asia and the Americas, including Australasia and the Malay Archipelago...

. More than 100,000 British nationals live in the country.

The population of the UAE has a skewed sex distribution: With a male/female sex ratio
Sex ratio
Sex ratio is the ratio of males to females in a population. The primary sex ratio is the ratio at the time of conception, secondary sex ratio is the ratio at time of birth, and tertiary sex ratio is the ratio of mature organisms....

 of 2.2 for the total population and 2.75 for the 15–65 age group
Demographic profile
A demographic or demographic profile is a term used in marketing and broadcasting, to describe a demographic grouping or a market segment...

, the UAE's gender imbalance is the highest in the world.

The most populated city is Dubai
Dubai
Dubai is a city and emirate in the United Arab Emirates . The emirate is located south of the Persian Gulf on the Arabian Peninsula and has the largest population with the second-largest land territory by area of all the emirates, after Abu Dhabi...

, with approximately 1.7 million people. Other major cities include Abu Dhabi
Abu Dhabi
Abu Dhabi , literally Father of Gazelle, is the capital and the second largest city of the United Arab Emirates in terms of population and the largest of the seven member emirates of the United Arab Emirates. Abu Dhabi lies on a T-shaped island jutting into the Persian Gulf from the central western...

, Al-Ain
Al Ain
Al Ain |Spring]]), also known as the Garden City due to its greenery, is the second largest city in the Emirate of Abu Dhabi and the fourth largest city in the United Arab Emirates. With a population of 374,000 , it is located approximately 160 km east of the capital Abu Dhabi and about...

, Sharjah
Sharjah (city)
Sharjah is the third largest and most populous city in the United Arab Emirates. It is located along the southern coast of the Persian Gulf on the Arabian Peninsula.Sharjah is the seat of government of the emirate of Sharjah...

, and Fujairah
Fujairah
Fujairah is one of the seven emirates that make up the United Arab Emirates, and the only one on the Gulf of Oman in the country's east instead of Persian Gulf .-History:...

. About 88% of the population of the United Arab Emirates is urban. The remaining inhabitants live in tiny towns scattered throughout the country or in the many desert oilfield camps in the nation.

The average life expectancy is 75 years, higher than any other Arab country.

Religions


Islam
Islam
Islam . The most common are and .   : Arabic pronunciation varies regionally. The first vowel ranges from ~~. The second vowel ranges from ~~~...

 is largest and the official state religion
State religion
A state religion is a religious body or creed officially endorsed by the state...

 of the UAE, though the government follows a policy of tolerance toward other religions and rarely interferes in the activities of non-Muslims.

However, it is illegal in the UAE to spread the ideas of any religion apart from Islam through any form of media as it is considered a form of proselytizing. There are approximately 31 churches throughout the country and one Hindu temple in the region of Bur Dubai
Bur Dubai
Bur Dubai is a historic district in Dubai, United Arab Emirates, located on the western side of the Dubai Creek. The name literally translates to Mainland Dubai, a reference to the traditional separation of the Bur Dubai area from Deira by the Dubai Creek...

.

Based on the Ministry of Economy census in 2005, 76% of the total population was Muslim
Muslim
A Muslim, also spelled Moslem, is an adherent of Islam, a monotheistic, Abrahamic religion based on the Quran, which Muslims consider the verbatim word of God as revealed to prophet Muhammad. "Muslim" is the Arabic term for "submitter" .Muslims believe that God is one and incomparable...

, 9% Christian
Christian
A Christian is a person who adheres to Christianity, an Abrahamic, monotheistic religion based on the life and teachings of Jesus of Nazareth as recorded in the Canonical gospels and the letters of the New Testament...

, and 15% other (mainly Hindu
Hindu
Hindu refers to an identity associated with the philosophical, religious and cultural systems that are indigenous to the Indian subcontinent. As used in the Constitution of India, the word "Hindu" is also attributed to all persons professing any Indian religion...

). Census figures do not take into account the many "temporary" visitors and workers while also counting Baha'is and Druze as Muslim. Non-Islamic religions are mainly followed by foreigners or expatriates. As the majority of the population are non-citizens, of the citizens 85% are Sunni Muslim
Sunni Islam
Sunni Islam is the largest branch of Islam. Sunni Muslims are referred to in Arabic as ʾAhl ūs-Sunnah wa āl-Ǧamāʿah or ʾAhl ūs-Sunnah for short; in English, they are known as Sunni Muslims, Sunnis or Sunnites....

 while 15% are Shi'a Muslims. Omani
Omani
Omani may refer to:* Something of, from, or related to Oman, an Arab coujntry in southwestern Asia** A person from Oman or of Omani descent, collectively referred to as Omanis; see Demographics of Oman and Culture of Oman...

 immigrants are mostly Ibadi
Ibadi
The Ibāḍī movement, Ibadism or Ibāḍiyya is a form of Islam distinct from the Sunni and Shia denominations. It is the dominant form of Islam in Oman and Zanzibar...

, while Sufi influences exist too.

Education


Literacy Rate
Year Rate
1989 53.5%
2000 79%
2003 77.9%
2009
The illiteracy rate is mainly in the adult population, as a large majority of the population is foreign labourers.
Sources:

The education system
Education
Education in its broadest, general sense is the means through which the aims and habits of a group of people lives on from one generation to the next. Generally, it occurs through any experience that has a formative effect on the way one thinks, feels, or acts...

 through secondary level is monitored by the Ministry of Education. It consists of primary schools, middle school
Middle school
Middle School and Junior High School are levels of schooling between elementary and high schools. Most school systems use one term or the other, not both. The terms are not interchangeable...

s and high schools. The public schools are government-funded and the curriculum is created to match the United Arab Emirates development's goals and values. The medium of instruction in the public school is Arabic
Arabic language
Arabic is a name applied to the descendants of the Classical Arabic language of the 6th century AD, used most prominently in the Quran, the Islamic Holy Book...

 with emphasis on English
English language
English is a West Germanic language that arose in the Anglo-Saxon kingdoms of England and spread into what was to become south-east Scotland under the influence of the Anglian medieval kingdom of Northumbria...

 as a second language. There are also many private school
Private school
Private schools, also known as independent schools or nonstate schools, are not administered by local, state or national governments; thus, they retain the right to select their students and are funded in whole or in part by charging their students' tuition, rather than relying on mandatory...

s which are internationally accredited. Public schools in the country are free for citizens of the UAE, while the fees for private schools vary.

There has been significant improvement in private education across the UAE. This is particularly important given the fact that a relatively high percentage of students in the Emirates are enrolled in private schools: in Dubai 50% of all students are in private schools, while the number for Abu Dhabi stands at around 40%.

Many private international schools in the UAE are accredited by international bodies and there are currently 17 International Baccalaureate schools operating in the country, all of which have obtained approval from the International Baccalaureate Organization in Geneva to run their programs.

Reforms to special education are under way across the country. In 2006, the Cabinet passed the UAE Disabilities Act, a comprehensive law that requires public and private schools to provide equal access to all children. The law was subsequently amended in 2009 to replace references to disability with the phrase "special needs".

The higher education
Higher education
Higher, post-secondary, tertiary, or third level education refers to the stage of learning that occurs at universities, academies, colleges, seminaries, and institutes of technology...

 system is monitored by the Ministry of Higher Education. The ministry also is responsible for admitting students to its undergraduate
Undergraduate education
Undergraduate education is an education level taken prior to gaining a first degree . Hence, in many subjects in many educational systems, undergraduate education is post-secondary education up to the level of a bachelor's degree, such as in the United States, where a university entry level is...

 institutions.

A recent survey showed that the illiteracy
Literacy
Literacy has traditionally been described as the ability to read for knowledge, write coherently and think critically about printed material.Literacy represents the lifelong, intellectual process of gaining meaning from print...

 rate is on the decline in the UAE, and is now in the region of 7%. This is mainly due to programmes that combat illiteracy amongst the adult population. Currently there are thousands of nationals pursuing formal learning at 86 adult education
Adult education
Adult education is the practice of teaching and educating adults. Adult education takes place in the workplace, through 'extension' school or 'school of continuing education' . Other learning places include folk high schools, community colleges, and lifelong learning centers...

 centres spread across the country.

In fall 2009, the Masdar Institute of Science and Technology (MIST) opened its doors to its first class of graduate students. The Dubai School of Government (DSG), a research and teaching institution focusing on good governance and public policy in the Middle East, launched its first masters program also in 2009. A number of foreign universities, from the Paris Sorbonne to Michigan State University, have opened campuses in the UAE. In February 2008, a branch of the New York Film Academy opened in Abu Dhabi; it launched its first bachelor’s degree program in 2010. In fall 2010 the opening of the Abu Dhabi campus of New York University marked a new milestone. INSEAD, one of the world’s largest graduate business schools, has been operating a Middle East campus in Abu Dhabi since 2007, and now runs seven executive-education programs.

The Government has launched many programs and initiatives to improve the quality of education at schools across the country.

The UAE has shown a strong interest in improving education and research. Enterprises include the establishment of the CERT Research Centers and the Masdar Institute of Science and Technology and institute for enterprise development.

Health



Standards of healthcare
Health care
Health care is the diagnosis, treatment, and prevention of disease, illness, injury, and other physical and mental impairments in humans. Health care is delivered by practitioners in medicine, chiropractic, dentistry, nursing, pharmacy, allied health, and other care providers...

 are considered to be generally high in the United Arab Emirates, resulting from increased government spending
Government spending
Government spending includes all government consumption, investment but excludes transfer payments made by a state. Government acquisition of goods and services for current use to directly satisfy individual or collective needs of the members of the community is classed as government final...

 during strong economic years. According to the UAE government, total expenditures on healthcare from 1996 to 2003 were US$436 million. According to the World Health Organization
World Health Organization
The World Health Organization is a specialized agency of the United Nations that acts as a coordinating authority on international public health. Established on 7 April 1948, with headquarters in Geneva, Switzerland, the agency inherited the mandate and resources of its predecessor, the Health...

, in 2006 total expenditures on health care constituted 2.6 percent of gross domestic product
Gross domestic product
Gross domestic product refers to the market value of all final goods and services produced within a country in a given period. GDP per capita is often considered an indicator of a country's standard of living....

 (GDP), and the per capita expenditure for health care was US$673. General government expenditure on health as percentage of total government expenditure is 8.7% and
Health care currently is free only for UAE citizens, with a health insurance scheme in place for those working the Emirates. Hospital beds (per 10 000 population) was 18 in 2005. The number of doctors
Physician
A physician is a health care provider who practices the profession of medicine, which is concerned with promoting, maintaining or restoring human health through the study, diagnosis, and treatment of disease, injury and other physical and mental impairments...

 per 100,000 (annual average, 1990–2005) was 17 and dentistry personnel (per 100 000 population) was 30 in 2002. The pharmaceutical personnel (per 100 000 population) was 40.

The life expectancy at birth in the UAE is at 78.5 years.
According to World Health Organisation (WHO) statistics, the UAE is ranked fourth in the world in terms of health care.

In February 2008, the Ministry of Health unveiled a five-year health strategy for the public health sector in the northern emirates, which fall under its purview and which, unlike Abu Dhabi
Abu Dhabi
Abu Dhabi , literally Father of Gazelle, is the capital and the second largest city of the United Arab Emirates in terms of population and the largest of the seven member emirates of the United Arab Emirates. Abu Dhabi lies on a T-shaped island jutting into the Persian Gulf from the central western...

 and Dubai
Dubai
Dubai is a city and emirate in the United Arab Emirates . The emirate is located south of the Persian Gulf on the Arabian Peninsula and has the largest population with the second-largest land territory by area of all the emirates, after Abu Dhabi...

, do not have separate healthcare authorities. The strategy focuses on unifying
healthcare policy and improving access to healthcare services at reasonable cost, at the same time reducing dependence on overseas treatment. The ministry plans to add three hospitals to the current 14, and 29 primary healthcare centres to the current 86. Nine were scheduled to open in 2008.

The introduction of mandatory health insurance
Health insurance
Health insurance is insurance against the risk of incurring medical expenses among individuals. By estimating the overall risk of health care expenses among a targeted group, an insurer can develop a routine finance structure, such as a monthly premium or payroll tax, to ensure that money is...

 in Abu Dhabi for expatriate
Expatriate
An expatriate is a person temporarily or permanently residing in a country and culture other than that of the person's upbringing...

s and their dependents was a major driver in reform of healthcare policy. Abu Dhabi nationals were brought under the scheme from 1 June 2008 and Dubai followed for its government employees. Eventually, under federal law, every Emirati and expatriate in the country will be covered by compulsory health insurance under a unified mandatory scheme.
Recently the country has been benefiting from medical tourists from all over the GCC
Cooperation Council for the Arab States of the Gulf
The Cooperation Council for the Arab States of the Gulf , also known as the Gulf Cooperation Council , is a political and economic union of the Arab states bordering the Persian Gulf and constituting the Arabian Peninsula, namely Bahrain, Kuwait, Oman, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, and United Arab Emirates...

. The UAE currently attracts medical tourists seeking plastic surgery and advanced procedures, cardiac and spinal surgery, and dental treatment, as health services have higher standards than other Arab countries in the Persian Gulf.

Cardiovascular disease
Cardiovascular disease
Heart disease or cardiovascular disease are the class of diseases that involve the heart or blood vessels . While the term technically refers to any disease that affects the cardiovascular system , it is usually used to refer to those related to atherosclerosis...

 is the principal cause of death in the UAE, constituting 28 percent of total deaths; other major causes are accident
Accident
An accident or mishap is an unforeseen and unplanned event or circumstance, often with lack of intention or necessity. It implies a generally negative outcome which may have been avoided or prevented had circumstances leading up to the accident been recognized, and acted upon, prior to its...

s and injuries
Injury
-By cause:*Traumatic injury, a body wound or shock produced by sudden physical injury, as from violence or accident*Other injuries from external physical causes, such as radiation injury, burn injury or frostbite*Injury from infection...

, malignancies
Cancer
Cancer , known medically as a malignant neoplasm, is a large group of different diseases, all involving unregulated cell growth. In cancer, cells divide and grow uncontrollably, forming malignant tumors, and invade nearby parts of the body. The cancer may also spread to more distant parts of the...

, and congenital anomalies
Congenital disorder
A congenital disorder, or congenital disease, is a condition existing at birth and often before birth, or that develops during the first month of life , regardless of causation...

. Diabetes
Diabetes mellitus
Diabetes mellitus, often simply referred to as diabetes, is a group of metabolic diseases in which a person has high blood sugar, either because the body does not produce enough insulin, or because cells do not respond to the insulin that is produced...

 and Cancer
Cancer
Cancer , known medically as a malignant neoplasm, is a large group of different diseases, all involving unregulated cell growth. In cancer, cells divide and grow uncontrollably, forming malignant tumors, and invade nearby parts of the body. The cancer may also spread to more distant parts of the...

 are also the main causes of death in the country, and statistics have indicated that the UAE has one of the highest rates of diabetes in the world.

Economy

Economic indicators
Unemployment
Unemployment
Unemployment , as defined by the International Labour Organization, occurs when people are without jobs and they have actively sought work within the past four weeks...

4%May 2009 The unemployment rate may be much higher as many people have become unemployed due to the global economic crisis taking a heavy toll on property values, construction and employment.
GDP growth 3.20%2010
CPI
Consumer price index
A consumer price index measures changes in the price level of consumer goods and services purchased by households. The CPI, in the United States is defined by the Bureau of Labor Statistics as "a measure of the average change over time in the prices paid by urban consumers for a market basket of...

 inflation
1.9%April 2008 – April 2009
National debt $142 billionJune 18, 2009

At the time of independence, the UAE was already regarded as a rich country with GDP per capita exceeding 2,000. In 2011, UAE is ranked as the 14th best nation in the world for doing business based on its economy and regulatory environment, ranked by the Doing Business 2011 Report
Doing Business Report
The Doing Business Report is a study elaborated by the World Bank Group since 2004 every year that is aimed to measure the costs to firms of business regulations in 183 countries in 2010...

 published by the World Bank Group
World Bank Group
The World Bank Group is a family of five international organizations that makes leveraged loans, generally to poor countries.The Bank came into formal existence on 27 December 1945 following international ratification of the Bretton Woods agreements, which emerged from the United Nations Monetary...



The UAE has an open economy
Open economy
An open economy is an economy in which there are economic activities between domestic community and outside, e.g. people, including businesses, can trade in goods and services with other people and businesses in the international community, and flow of funds as investment across the border...

 with one of the highest per capita incomes in the world and a sizable annual trade surplus. In 2009, its GDP, as measured by purchasing power parity
Purchasing power parity
In economics, purchasing power parity is a condition between countries where an amount of money has the same purchasing power in different countries. The prices of the goods between the countries would only reflect the exchange rates...

, stood at 400.4 billion.
The GDP per capita is currently the third in the world and second in the Middle East
Middle East
The Middle East is a region that encompasses Western Asia and Northern Africa. It is often used as a synonym for Near East, in opposition to Far East...

, after Qatar
Qatar
Qatar , also known as the State of Qatar or locally Dawlat Qaṭar, is a sovereign Arab state, located in the Middle East, occupying the small Qatar Peninsula on the northeasterly coast of the much larger Arabian Peninsula. Its sole land border is with Saudi Arabia to the south, with the rest of its...

 and Kuwait
Kuwait
The State of Kuwait is a sovereign Arab state situated in the north-east of the Arabian Peninsula in Western Asia. It is bordered by Saudi Arabia to the south at Khafji, and Iraq to the north at Basra. It lies on the north-western shore of the Persian Gulf. The name Kuwait is derived from the...

 as measured by the CIA World Factbook
The World Factbook
The World Factbook is a reference resource produced by the Central Intelligence Agency of the United States with almanac-style information about the countries of the world. The official paper copy version is available from the National Technical Information Service and the Government Printing Office...

, or the 17th in the world as measured by the International Monetary Fund
International Monetary Fund
The International Monetary Fund is an organization of 187 countries, working to foster global monetary cooperation, secure financial stability, facilitate international trade, promote high employment and sustainable economic growth, and reduce poverty around the world...

.

With almost 1 trillion in foreign invested assets, some argue the UAE to be the richest, with the highest average income in the world. Over half of this money is generated by the nation's capital, Abu Dhabi. With a population of just under 900,000 Abu Dhabi was labeled "The richest city in the world" by a CNN
CNN
Cable News Network is a U.S. cable news channel founded in 1980 by Ted Turner. Upon its launch, CNN was the first channel to provide 24-hour television news coverage, and the first all-news television channel in the United States...

 article .

UAE's economy, particularly that of Dubai, was badly hit by the financial crisis of 2007–2010. In 2009, the country's economy shrank by 4.00 percent, but UAE's overseas investments are expected to support its full economic recovery. However, concern remains about the property sector. Property prices in Dubai fell dramatically when Dubai World, the government construction company, sought to delay a debt payment. The ability to service debt remains a problem.

Petroleum
Petroleum
Petroleum or crude oil is a naturally occurring, flammable liquid consisting of a complex mixture of hydrocarbons of various molecular weights and other liquid organic compounds, that are found in geologic formations beneath the Earth's surface. Petroleum is recovered mostly through oil drilling...

 and natural gas
Natural gas
Natural gas is a naturally occurring gas mixture consisting primarily of methane, typically with 0–20% higher hydrocarbons . It is found associated with other hydrocarbon fuel, in coal beds, as methane clathrates, and is an important fuel source and a major feedstock for fertilizers.Most natural...

 exports play an important role in the economy, especially in Abu Dhabi
Abu Dhabi
Abu Dhabi , literally Father of Gazelle, is the capital and the second largest city of the United Arab Emirates in terms of population and the largest of the seven member emirates of the United Arab Emirates. Abu Dhabi lies on a T-shaped island jutting into the Persian Gulf from the central western...

. More than 85% of the UAE's economy was based on the exports of natural resources in 2009.

A massive construction boom, an expanding manufacturing base, and a thriving services sector are helping the UAE diversify its economy. Nationwide, there is currently $350 billion worth of active construction
Construction
In the fields of architecture and civil engineering, construction is a process that consists of the building or assembling of infrastructure. Far from being a single activity, large scale construction is a feat of human multitasking...

 projects. Aluminum, steel, iron and other forms of metal exports along with textile produce much a significant amount of income and are expected to surpass the income brought in by petroleum
Petroleum
Petroleum or crude oil is a naturally occurring, flammable liquid consisting of a complex mixture of hydrocarbons of various molecular weights and other liquid organic compounds, that are found in geologic formations beneath the Earth's surface. Petroleum is recovered mostly through oil drilling...

 and natural gas
Natural gas
Natural gas is a naturally occurring gas mixture consisting primarily of methane, typically with 0–20% higher hydrocarbons . It is found associated with other hydrocarbon fuel, in coal beds, as methane clathrates, and is an important fuel source and a major feedstock for fertilizers.Most natural...

 exports within the next 40 to 60 years. Government projects include the Burj Khalifa, which is the world's tallest building, Dubai World Central International Airport which, when completed, will be the most expensive airport
Airport
An airport is a location where aircraft such as fixed-wing aircraft, helicopters, and blimps take off and land. Aircraft may be stored or maintained at an airport...

 ever built, and the three Palm Islands
Palm Islands
The Palm Islands are an artificial archipelago in Dubai, United Arab Emirates on which major commercial and residential infrastructures will be constructed...

, the largest artificial island
Artificial island
An artificial island or man-made island is an island or archipelago that has been constructed by people rather than formed by natural means...

s in the world. Other projects include the Dubai Mall which is the world's largest shopping mall
Shopping mall
A shopping mall, shopping centre, shopping arcade, shopping precinct or simply mall is one or more buildings forming a complex of shops representing merchandisers, with interconnecting walkways enabling visitors to easily walk from unit to unit, along with a parking area — a modern, indoor version...

, and a man-made archipelago called The World
The World (archipelago)
The World or World Islands is an artificial archipelago of various small islands constructed in the rough shape of a world map, located off the coast of Dubai, United Arab Emirates. The World islands are composed mainly of sand dredged from Dubai's shallow coastal waters, and are one of several...

 which seeks to increase Dubai's rapidly growing tourism industry. Also in the entertainment sector is the construction of Dubailand, which is expected to be twice the size of Disney World
Walt Disney World Resort
Walt Disney World Resort , is the world's most-visited entertaimental resort. Located in Lake Buena Vista, Florida ; approximately southwest of Orlando, Florida, United States, the resort covers an area of and includes four theme parks, two water parks, 23 on-site themed resort hotels Walt...

, and of Dubai Sports City
Dubai Sports City
The Dubai Sports City is a $4 billion, mixed-use sports city currently being constructed in Dubai, United Arab Emirates. The city will consist of apartment buildings as well as several sports facilities. The first structures opened in late 2007...

 which will not only provide homes for local sports teams but may be part of future Olympic bids
Bids for Olympic Games
National Olympic Committees select from within their national territory cities to put forward bids to host an Olympic Games. The staging of the Paralympic Games is automatically included in the bid...

. However, this is concern that this construction boom has been built on debt and speculation, with little creation of true economic value.

Major increases in imports occurred in manufactured goods, machinery, and transportation equipment, which together accounted for 80% of total imports. Another important foreign exchange
Foreign exchange market
The foreign exchange market is a global, worldwide decentralized financial market for trading currencies. Financial centers around the world function as anchors of trading between a wide range of different types of buyers and sellers around the clock, with the exception of weekends...

 earner, the Abu Dhabi Investment Authority
Abu Dhabi Investment Authority
The Abu Dhabi Investment Authority is a sovereign wealth fund owned by Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates founded for the purpose of investing funds on behalf of the Government of Abu Dhabi....

 – which controls the investments of Abu Dhabi, the wealthiest emirate – manages an estimated $360 billion in overseas investments & an estimated $900 billion in assets.

More than 200 factories operate at the Jebel Ali
Jebel Ali
Jebel Ali is a port town, located 35 kilometres southwest of the city of Dubai in the United Arab Emirates . The village has a thriving expatriate community with over 300 residents. The area is also home to "5,500 companies from 120 countries"....

 complex in Dubai, which includes a deep-water port and a free trade zone
Free trade zone
A free trade zone or export processing zone , also called foreign-trade zone, formerly free port is an area within which goods may be landed, handled, manufactured or reconfigured, and reexported without the intervention of the customs authorities...

 for manufacturing and distribution in which all goods for re-export or transshipment enjoy a 100% duty exemption. A major power plant
Power station
A power station is an industrial facility for the generation of electric energy....

 with associated water desalination
Desalination
Desalination, desalinization, or desalinisation refers to any of several processes that remove some amount of salt and other minerals from saline water...

 units, an aluminium smelter, and a steel fabrication unit are prominent facilities in the complex. The complex is currently undergoing expansion, with sections of land set aside for different sectors of industry. A large international passenger and cargo airport, Dubai World Central International Airport, with associated logistics, manufacturing and hospitality industries, is also planned here.


Except in the free trade zones, the UAE requires at least 51% local citizen ownership in all businesses operating in the country as part of its attempt to place Emiratis into leadership positions. However, this law is under review and the majority ownership clause will very likely be scrapped in order to bring the country into line with World Trade Organisation regulations.

As a member of the Gulf Cooperation Council
Cooperation Council for the Arab States of the Gulf
The Cooperation Council for the Arab States of the Gulf , also known as the Gulf Cooperation Council , is a political and economic union of the Arab states bordering the Persian Gulf and constituting the Arabian Peninsula, namely Bahrain, Kuwait, Oman, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, and United Arab Emirates...

 (GCC), the UAE participates in the wide range of GCC activities that focus on economic issues. These include regular consultations and development of common policies covering trade, investment, banking and finance, transportation, telecommunications, and other technical areas, including protection of intellectual property rights
Intellectual property
Intellectual property is a term referring to a number of distinct types of creations of the mind for which a set of exclusive rights are recognized—and the corresponding fields of law...

.

The currency of the United Arab Emirates is the Emirati Dirham.

Infrastructure


The UAE has been spending billions of dollars on infrastructure and is the biggest projects market in the region, accounting for 37 percent of total project value within the construction, oil and gas, petrochemicals, power and water and waste sectors. Many huge investments have been poured into real estate
Real estate
In general use, esp. North American, 'real estate' is taken to mean "Property consisting of land and the buildings on it, along with its natural resources such as crops, minerals, or water; immovable property of this nature; an interest vested in this; an item of real property; buildings or...

, tourism
Tourism
Tourism is travel for recreational, leisure or business purposes. The World Tourism Organization defines tourists as people "traveling to and staying in places outside their usual environment for not more than one consecutive year for leisure, business and other purposes".Tourism has become a...

 and leisure
Leisure
Leisure, or free time, is time spent away from business, work, and domestic chores. It is also the periods of time before or after necessary activities such as eating, sleeping and, where it is compulsory, education....

. These developments are particularly evident in the larger emirates of Abu Dhabi
Abu Dhabi
Abu Dhabi , literally Father of Gazelle, is the capital and the second largest city of the United Arab Emirates in terms of population and the largest of the seven member emirates of the United Arab Emirates. Abu Dhabi lies on a T-shaped island jutting into the Persian Gulf from the central western...

 and Dubai
Dubai
Dubai is a city and emirate in the United Arab Emirates . The emirate is located south of the Persian Gulf on the Arabian Peninsula and has the largest population with the second-largest land territory by area of all the emirates, after Abu Dhabi...

. In the former, Masdar City
Masdar City
Masdar is a project in Abu Dhabi, in the United Arab Emirates. Its core is a planned city, which is being built by the Abu Dhabi Future Energy Company, a subsidiary of Mubadala Development Company, with the majority of seed capital provided by the government of Abu Dhabi...

 and Saadiyat Island
Saadiyat Island
Saadiyat Island is a large, low lying island 500 metres off the coast of Abu Dhabi island in the UAE, currently being developed.A mixed commercial, residential, and leisure project is currently under construction on the island, expected to be completed in 2020...

 highlight the status as an emerging market. Dubai World Central
Dubai World Central
Dubai World Central is the company under which a number of planned projects are being constructed in Dubai, in the United Arab Emirates. According to the commercial website, the eight project companies that form this brand are:...

, a 140-square kilometre multi-phase development under construction near Jebel Ali
Jebel Ali
Jebel Ali is a port town, located 35 kilometres southwest of the city of Dubai in the United Arab Emirates . The village has a thriving expatriate community with over 300 residents. The area is also home to "5,500 companies from 120 countries"....

, will create 900,000 jobs, and will include Al Maktoum International Airport, which will be the largest airport in the world by 2020. Property developer
Real estate development
Real estate development, or Property Development, is a multifaceted business, encompassing activities that range from the renovation and re-lease of existing buildings to the purchase of raw land and the sale of improved land or parcels to others...

 Emaar
Emaar Properties
Emaar Properties , based in the United Arab Emirates, is a Public Joint Stock Company listed on the Dubai Financial Market. Established in 1997 with an initial paid-up capital of AED 1 bn, Emaar Properties is currently the Persian Gulf region's largest land and real estate developer...

’s Burj Khalifa is a Dh3.67 billion (US$1billion) tower that is the world's tallest skyscraper.

Governments in the northern emirates are rapidly following suit, providing major incentives for developers of residential and commercial property. In addition, UAE President Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan has allocated Dh16 billion (US$4.4 billion) for infrastructure projects in the northern emirates. The allocation will be used to fund the construction of road networks, new housing communities, drainage networks and other projects, providing integrated solutions to some infrastructure deficits in these areas.

The United Arab Emirates has an extensive road network that connects all major cities and towns. Roads in the western and southern regions are still relatively undeveloped. Those are highly dangerous roads passing through desert regions and many are still unsealed, gravel roads. This has resulted in the continued use of airplanes as the main or alternative mode of transport
Mode of transport
Mode of transport is a term used to distinguish substantially different ways to perform transport. The most dominant modes of transport are aviation, land transport, which includes rail, road and off-road transport, and ship transport...

ation for the residents.

There are seaports
Port
A port is a location on a coast or shore containing one or more harbors where ships can dock and transfer people or cargo to or from land....

 throughout the country. The major ports are Port Jebel Ali
Jebel Ali
Jebel Ali is a port town, located 35 kilometres southwest of the city of Dubai in the United Arab Emirates . The village has a thriving expatriate community with over 300 residents. The area is also home to "5,500 companies from 120 countries"....

, Port Rashid, Port Khalid, Port Saeed
Port Saeed
This article is about the locality in Dubai. For the Egyptian city of a similar name, see Port Said.Port Saeed is a locality in Dubai, United Arab Emirates...

, Port Khor Fakkan
Khor Fakkan
Khor Fakkan is a town located along the Gulf of Oman on the east coast of the United Arab Emirates . The town is set on the picturesque bay of Khor Fakkan, which means "Creek of Two Jaws". Khor Fakkan belongs to the emirate of Sharjah but is geographically surrounded by the emirate of Fujairah...

, and Port Zayed.

The UAE contains a number of significant airports. Dubai International Airport
Dubai International Airport
Dubai International Airport is an international airport serving Dubai, the largest city of the United Arab Emirates. It is a major aviation hub in the Middle East, and is the main airport of Dubai. It is situated in the Al Garhoud district, southeast of Dubai...

 (DXB) is the main airport of the country. In 2008, the airport was the 20th busiest airport in the world
World's busiest airports by passenger traffic
The world's busiest airports by passenger traffic are measured by number of total passengers . One passenger is described as someone who arrives in, departs from, or transfers through the airport on a given day...

 by passenger traffic and 11th busiest
World's busiest airports by cargo traffic
The world's thirty busiest airports by cargo traffic for various periods . Numbers listed refer to loaded and unloaded freight in metric tonnes.-2010 final statistics:...

 by cargo traffic.
The airport also was the 6th busiest airport in the world by international passenger traffic
World's busiest airports by international passenger traffic
The following is a list of the world's busiest airports by international passenger traffic.London Heathrow has been the busiest since 2000-2010 year-to-date statistics:Airports Council International's year-to-date figures are as follows....

.
Other important airports include Abu Dhabi International Airport
Abu Dhabi International Airport
Abu Dhabi International Airport is an airport in Abu Dhabi, the capital of the United Arab Emirates. The airport is one of the fastest growing airports in the world in terms of passengers , new airline operators, and infrastructural development...

, Sharjah International Airport
Sharjah International Airport
Sharjah International Airport is located in Sharjah, United Arab Emirates.Sharjah Airport is the second largest Middle East Airfreight Hub in terms of cargo tonnage, according to official 2009 statistics from Airports Council International...

, and Al-Ain International Airport
Al Ain International Airport
Al Ain International Airport is an airport located in Al Ain, United Arab Emirates. It was opened in March 31, 1994. Fourteen flights and 4,000 passenger pass through the airport each week...

.
There are also airports in smaller towns, as well as small domestic airstrips in the rural Western region. There are daily flight services between West and East UAE, which is the only convenient option for passengers travelling between the two parts of the country to places such as Sir Bani Yas
Sir Bani Yas
Sir Bani Yas is a natural Island located southwest of Abu Dhabi, the capital of the United Arab Emirates. It lies offshore from Jebel Dhanna, which serves as a crossing point to other islands such as Dalma. Sir Bani Yas is from north to south and from east to west making it the largest,...

.
The UAE is home to the largest airline in the Middle East
Middle East
The Middle East is a region that encompasses Western Asia and Northern Africa. It is often used as a synonym for Near East, in opposition to Far East...

, Emirates Airline. It has Dubai as its hub, and flies to over 100 destinations across six continents. The airline was the eighth-largest airline
Airline
An airline provides air transport services for traveling passengers and freight. Airlines lease or own their aircraft with which to supply these services and may form partnerships or alliances with other airlines for mutual benefit...

 in the world in terms of international passengers carried, and fifth-largest in the world in terms of scheduled international passenger-kilometres flown in 2008.
Etihad Airways
Etihad Airways
Etihad Airways is the flag carrier of the United Arab Emirates. Established in July 2003 and based at Abu Dhabi International Airport, Etihad commenced operations in November 2003....

, from Abu Dhabi, is also growing, with over 100 aircraft on order.

The Dh15.5 billion (US$4.2 billion) Dubai Metro
Dubai Metro
The Dubai Metro is a driverless, fully automated metro network in the United Arab Emirates city of Dubai. The Red Line and Green Line are operational, with three further lines are planned. These first two lines run underground in the city centre and on elevated viaducts elsewhere...

 project includes a 52-kilometre Red Line
Red Line (Dubai Metro)
The Red Line is one of the two lines on the Dubai Metro network in Dubai, United Arab Emirates. The first section was inaugurated on 9 September 2009. Construction was declared complete on 28 April 2010.. The line has 29 stations spanning , which have been opened in phases from 2009 to 2011...

 viaduct, which stretches the length of Sheikh Zayed Road between Al Rashidiya
Al Rashidiya
Al Rashidiya is a locality in Dubai, United Arab Emirates . Al Rashidiya is located south of Dubai International Airport in Deira, the eastern region of Dubai. The locality is bounded to the north by route D 89 , the west by route D 62 and the east by route E 311...

 and Jebel Ali
Jebel Ali
Jebel Ali is a port town, located 35 kilometres southwest of the city of Dubai in the United Arab Emirates . The village has a thriving expatriate community with over 300 residents. The area is also home to "5,500 companies from 120 countries"....

 and was opened in September 2009 after round-the-clock work for three years. The Red Line when fully complete will carry an estimated 27,000 passengers per hour in each direction on 42 trains. Work also on the Green Line
Green Line (Dubai Metro)
The Green Line is one of the two lines on the Dubai Metro network in Dubai, United Arab Emirates. It is currently opened in a limited phase, with 16 stations open from Etisalat to Dubai Healthcare City, though when completely operational; will have 18 stations spanning...

, which will link Al Qusais
Al Qusais
Al Qusais or Al Gusais is a large community in Dubai, United Arab Emirates . It is located in the Deira area of east Dubai. Al Qusais borders the localities of Hor Al Anz and Al Twar and is further subdivided into residential and industrial localities.Al Qusais residential areas are subdivided...

 to Dubai Healthcare City, began in 2006 and is scheduled for completion in late 2010.
In Abu Dhabi
Abu Dhabi
Abu Dhabi , literally Father of Gazelle, is the capital and the second largest city of the United Arab Emirates in terms of population and the largest of the seven member emirates of the United Arab Emirates. Abu Dhabi lies on a T-shaped island jutting into the Persian Gulf from the central western...

 plans are underway for all a metro system
Rapid transit
A rapid transit, underground, subway, elevated railway, metro or metropolitan railway system is an electric passenger railway in an urban area with a high capacity and frequency, and grade separation from other traffic. Rapid transit systems are typically located either in underground tunnels or on...

 and also a country-wide national railway
National Railway
The National Railway or National Air Line Railroad was a planned railroad between New York City and Washington, D.C. in the United States around 1870...

, which will connect all the major cities and is later to connect to the GCC wide network. The cost for the railway will be between Dh25bn and Dh30bn, and will be a total length of 1,100 kilometres, connecting Ghuwaifat, bordering the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia
Saudi Arabia
The Kingdom of Saudi Arabia , commonly known in British English as Saudi Arabia and in Arabic as as-Sa‘ūdiyyah , is the largest state in Western Asia by land area, constituting the bulk of the Arabian Peninsula, and the second-largest in the Arab World...

, in the west and the border with the Sultanate of Oman in the east.

The Federal Electricity and Water Authority (FEWA) is the body responsible for overseeing federal utilities, whilst authorities in individual emirates, including Abu Dhabi Water and Electricity Authority (ADWEA), Dubai Water and Electricity Authority (DEWA) and Sharjah Water and Electricity Authority (SEWA), oversee power and water generation in their individual emirates. The UAE plans to build 68 rechargeable dams in the coming five years to augment the 114 dams in existence, all but two of which are rechargeable, to help with providing for the growing population.

The UAE is also planning to develop a peaceful nuclear energy programme
Nuclear power
Nuclear power is the use of sustained nuclear fission to generate heat and electricity. Nuclear power plants provide about 6% of the world's energy and 13–14% of the world's electricity, with the U.S., France, and Japan together accounting for about 50% of nuclear generated electricity...

 to generate electricity. So far, the UAE has signed peaceful nuclear agreements with France
France
The French Republic , The French Republic , The French Republic , (commonly known as France , is a unitary semi-presidential republic in Western Europe with several overseas territories and islands located on other continents and in the Indian, Pacific, and Atlantic oceans. Metropolitan France...

, United States
United States
The United States of America is a federal constitutional republic comprising fifty states and a federal district...

, and South Korea
South Korea
The Republic of Korea , , is a sovereign state in East Asia, located on the southern portion of the Korean Peninsula. It is neighbored by the People's Republic of China to the west, Japan to the east, North Korea to the north, and the East China Sea and Republic of China to the south...

, and a MOU with the United Kingdom
United Kingdom
The United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern IrelandIn the United Kingdom and Dependencies, other languages have been officially recognised as legitimate autochthonous languages under the European Charter for Regional or Minority Languages...

.

The UAE is presently serviced by two telecommunications operators, Etisalat
Etisalat
Emirates Telecommunications Corporation, branded trade name Etisalat is a UAE based telecommunications services provider, currently operating in 18 countries across Asia, the Middle East and Africa...

 and Emirates Integrated Telecommunications Company ("du"). Etisalat operated a monopoly until du launched mobile services in February 2007. However, Etisalat, with over 80 per cent of the market, remains the UAE's biggest telecom provider and is expanding dramatically internationally and is now the sixteenth largest telecommunications firm in
the world. Du is targeting a 30 per cent market share
Market share
Market share is the percentage of a market accounted for by a specific entity. In a survey of nearly 200 senior marketing managers, 67 percent responded that they found the "dollar market share" metric very useful, while 61% found "unit market share" very useful.Marketers need to be able to...

 by 2010. Between 2002 and 2007, the number of mobile phone
Mobile phone
A mobile phone is a device which can make and receive telephone calls over a radio link whilst moving around a wide geographic area. It does so by connecting to a cellular network provided by a mobile network operator...

 subscribers in the UAE grew by an annual average of 25.6 per cent, almost four
times its population growth. In 2007, there were 7.7 million subscribers. Forecasts indicate that the UAE mobile market will increase to 11.9 million users by 2012.

Current UAE internet penetration figures assume 2.4 users per subscription. TRA projections indicate that over the next few years growth in both users and subscriptions will be coupled with a fall in the number of users per subscription: the number of subscribers are expected to increase from 0.904 million in 2007 to 1.15 million in 2008, 1.44 million in 2009 and 2.66 million in 2012.
Internet use is extensive; by 2007 there were 1.7 million users. The authorities filter websites for religious, political and sexual content.

Culture



The United Arab Emirates has a diverse and multicultural society. The country's cultural imprint as a small, ethnically homogenous pearling
Pearl hunting
Pearl hunting or pearl diving refers to a largely obsolete method of retrieving pearls from pearl oysters, freshwater pearl mussels and, on rare occasions, other nacre-producing molluscs, such as abalone.-History:...

 community was changed with the arrival of other ethnic group
Ethnic group
An ethnic group is a group of people whose members identify with each other, through a common heritage, often consisting of a common language, a common culture and/or an ideology that stresses common ancestry or endogamy...

s and nationals—first by the Iranians
Iranian peoples
The Iranian peoples are an Indo-European ethnic-linguistic group, consisting of the speakers of Iranian languages, a major branch of the Indo-European language family, as such forming a branch of Indo-European-speaking peoples...

 in the early 1900s, and later by India
India
India , officially the Republic of India , is a country in South Asia. It is the seventh-largest country by geographical area, the second-most populous country with over 1.2 billion people, and the most populous democracy in the world...

ns and Pakistan
Pakistan
Pakistan , officially the Islamic Republic of Pakistan is a sovereign state in South Asia. It has a coastline along the Arabian Sea and the Gulf of Oman in the south and is bordered by Afghanistan and Iran in the west, India in the east and China in the far northeast. In the north, Tajikistan...

is in the 1960s. Despite the diversity of the population, only minor and infrequent episodes of ethnic tension
Ethnic hatred
Ethnic hatred, inter-ethnic hatred, racial hatred, or ethnic tension refers to feelings and acts of prejudice and hostility towards an ethnic group in various degrees. See list of anti-ethnic and anti-national terms for specific cases....

s have been reported in the city. Major holidays in Dubai include Eid al Fitr
Eid ul-Fitr
Eid ul-Fitr, Eid al-Fitr, Id-ul-Fitr, or Id al-Fitr , often abbreviated to Eid, is a Muslim holiday that marks the end of Ramadan, the Islamic holy month of fasting . Eid is an Arabic word meaning "festivity," while Fiṭr means "breaking the fast"...

, which marks the end of Ramadan
Ramadan
Ramadan is the ninth month of the Islamic calendar, which lasts 29 or 30 days. It is the Islamic month of fasting, in which participating Muslims refrain from eating, drinking, smoking and sex during daylight hours and is intended to teach Muslims about patience, spirituality, humility and...

, and National Day
National Day (United Arab Emirates)
The National Day is celebrated on the 2nd of December each year in the United Arab Emirates. It marks the UAE's formal independence from the United Kingdom and the eventual unification of the seven emirates in 1971 which combined to form the modern-day country. People celebrate this day with flags...

 (2 December), which marks the formation of the United Arab Emirates.

Emirati culture mainly revolves around the religion of Islam
Islam
Islam . The most common are and .   : Arabic pronunciation varies regionally. The first vowel ranges from ~~. The second vowel ranges from ~~~...

 and traditional Arab, and Bedouin culture. The influence of Islamic and Arab culture on the region's architecture
Architecture
Architecture is both the process and product of planning, designing and construction. Architectural works, in the material form of buildings, are often perceived as cultural and political symbols and as works of art...

, music
Music
Music is an art form whose medium is sound and silence. Its common elements are pitch , rhythm , dynamics, and the sonic qualities of timbre and texture...

, attire
Clothing
Clothing refers to any covering for the human body that is worn. The wearing of clothing is exclusively a human characteristic and is a feature of nearly all human societies...

, cuisine
Cuisine
Cuisine is a characteristic style of cooking practices and traditions, often associated with a specific culture. Cuisines are often named after the geographic areas or regions that they originate from...

 and lifestyle are very prominent as well. Five times every day, Muslim
Muslim
A Muslim, also spelled Moslem, is an adherent of Islam, a monotheistic, Abrahamic religion based on the Quran, which Muslims consider the verbatim word of God as revealed to prophet Muhammad. "Muslim" is the Arabic term for "submitter" .Muslims believe that God is one and incomparable...

s are called to prayer from the minaret
Minaret
A minaret مناره , sometimes مئذنه) is a distinctive architectural feature of Islamic mosques, generally a tall spire with an onion-shaped or conical crown, usually either free standing or taller than any associated support structure. The basic form of a minaret includes a base, shaft, and gallery....

s of mosque
Mosque
A mosque is a place of worship for followers of Islam. The word is likely to have entered the English language through French , from Portuguese , from Spanish , and from Berber , ultimately originating in — . The Arabic word masjid literally means a place of prostration...

s which are scattered around the country. Since 2006, the weekend has been Friday-Saturday, as a compromise between Friday's holiness to Muslims and the Western weekend of Saturday-Sunday.

This unique socioeconomic development
Socioeconomic development
Socio-economic development is the process of social and economic development in a society.Socio-economic development is measured with indicators, such as GDP, life expectancy, literacy and levels of employment...

 in the Persian Gulf
Persian Gulf
The Persian Gulf, in Southwest Asia, is an extension of the Indian Ocean located between Iran and the Arabian Peninsula.The Persian Gulf was the focus of the 1980–1988 Iran-Iraq War, in which each side attacked the other's oil tankers...

 has meant that the UAE is relatively liberal. While Islam is the main religion, the UAE has been known for its tolerant practices. Christian churches can be found alongside mosque
Mosque
A mosque is a place of worship for followers of Islam. The word is likely to have entered the English language through French , from Portuguese , from Spanish , and from Berber , ultimately originating in — . The Arabic word masjid literally means a place of prostration...

s and this courtesy has seemingly been extended to Hinduism
Hinduism
Hinduism is the predominant and indigenous religious tradition of the Indian Subcontinent. Hinduism is known to its followers as , amongst many other expressions...

 and Sikhism
Sikhism
Sikhism is a monotheistic religion founded during the 15th century in the Punjab region, by Guru Nanak Dev and continued to progress with ten successive Sikh Gurus . It is the fifth-largest organized religion in the world and one of the fastest-growing...

 as there is a place tucked away inside a residential style building which houses a Hindu temple
Hindu temple
A Mandir, Devalayam, Devasthanam, or a Hindu temple is a place of worship for followers of Hinduism...

 and a Sikh gurudwara. There is evidently no persecution of Hindu
Hindu
Hindu refers to an identity associated with the philosophical, religious and cultural systems that are indigenous to the Indian subcontinent. As used in the Constitution of India, the word "Hindu" is also attributed to all persons professing any Indian religion...

s or Sikh
Sikh
A Sikh is a follower of Sikhism. It primarily originated in the 15th century in the Punjab region of South Asia. The term "Sikh" has its origin in Sanskrit term शिष्य , meaning "disciple, student" or शिक्ष , meaning "instruction"...

s which is why it is home to several communities that have faced persecution elsewhere, who are now contributing to the cosmopolitan atmosphere. There are a variety of Asian-influenced schools, cultural centers and restaurants. Increasing numbers of European centers, schools, and restaurants can also be seen in the UAE.

Dress and etiquette


Most Emirati males prefer to wear a kandura
Thawb
A thawb or thobe , dishdasha , kandura , or suriyah in Libya, is an ankle-length garment, usually with long sleeves, similar to a robe. It is commonly worn in Arab countries. An Izaar is commonly worn underneath.-Background:...

, an ankle-length white tunic woven from wool or cotton, and most Emirati women wear an abaya
Abaya
The abaya "cloak" , sometimes also called an aba, is a simple, loose over-garment, essentially a robe-like dress, worn by some women in parts of the Islamic world including in Turkey, North Africa and the Arabian Peninsula....

, a black over-garment covering most parts of the body. Western-style clothing is, however, dominant because of the large expatriate population, and this practice is beginning to grow in popularity among Emiratis.

Etiquette is an important aspect of UAE culture and tradition, to which visitors are expected to conform. Recently, many expatriates have disregarded the law and been arrested for indecent clothing at beaches. Western-style dress is tolerated in appropriate places, such as bars or clubs, but the UAE has maintained a strict policy of protecting highly public spaces from cultural insensitivity. This is due, in large part, to the effects such practices are considered to have on the social integration and participation of a largely conservative Emirati population.

Food


The traditional food of the Emirates has always been rice, fish, and meat. The people of the United Arab Emirates have adopted most of their foods from the surrounding countries including Iran, Saudi Arabia, and Oman. Seafood
Seafood
Seafood is any form of marine life regarded as food by humans. Seafoods include fish, molluscs , crustaceans , echinoderms . Edible sea plants, such as some seaweeds and microalgae, are also seafood, and are widely eaten around the world, especially in Asia...

 has been the mainstay of the Emirati diet for centuries. Meat and rice are other staple foods; lamb and mutton are the more favored meats, then goat and beef. Popular beverages are coffee and tea, which can be supplemented with cardamom, saffron, or mint to give them a distinct flavor.

Muslims are prohibited from eating pork
Pork
Pork is the culinary name for meat from the domestic pig , which is eaten in many countries. It is one of the most commonly consumed meats worldwide, with evidence of pig husbandry dating back to 5000 BC....

, so it is not included in local menus. Hotels frequently have pork substitutes such as beef sausages and veal rashers on their breakfast menus. If pork is available, it is clearly labeled as such.

Alcohol
Alcohol
In chemistry, an alcohol is an organic compound in which the hydroxy functional group is bound to a carbon atom. In particular, this carbon center should be saturated, having single bonds to three other atoms....

 is generally only served in hotel restaurants and bars (but not in Sharjah). All nightclubs and golf clubs are permitted to sell alcohol. Specific supermarkets may sell alcohol and pork, but these products are sold in separate sections.

Dishes forming part of the Emirati cuisine:

Literature and poetry


The main themes in Emirati poetry for Arab Poets range from satire
Satire
Satire is primarily a literary genre or form, although in practice it can also be found in the graphic and performing arts. In satire, vices, follies, abuses, and shortcomings are held up to ridicule, ideally with the intent of shaming individuals, and society itself, into improvement...

, chivalry
Chivalry
Chivalry is a term related to the medieval institution of knighthood which has an aristocratic military origin of individual training and service to others. Chivalry was also the term used to refer to a group of mounted men-at-arms as well as to martial valour...

, self-praise
Boasting
Boasting is the act of making an ostentatious speech. It is considered a vice by such major religious groups as Christianity, Islam, Hinduism, and Buddhism...

, patriotism
Patriotism
Patriotism is a devotion to one's country, excluding differences caused by the dependencies of the term's meaning upon context, geography and philosophy...

, religion
Religion
Religion is a collection of cultural systems, belief systems, and worldviews that establishes symbols that relate humanity to spirituality and, sometimes, to moral values. Many religions have narratives, symbols, traditions and sacred histories that are intended to give meaning to life or to...

, family
Family
In human context, a family is a group of people affiliated by consanguinity, affinity, or co-residence. In most societies it is the principal institution for the socialization of children...

 and love
Love
Love is an emotion of strong affection and personal attachment. In philosophical context, love is a virtue representing all of human kindness, compassion, and affection. Love is central to many religions, as in the Christian phrase, "God is love" or Agape in the Canonical gospels...

, and could range from descriptive to narrative.

The style and form of ancient poetry in the UAE was strongly influenced by the 8th-century Arab scholar Al Khalil bin Ahmed. This form underwent slight modification (Al Muwashahat) during the period of Islamic civilization
Islamic Golden Age
During the Islamic Golden Age philosophers, scientists and engineers of the Islamic world contributed enormously to technology and culture, both by preserving earlier traditions and by adding their own inventions and innovations...

 in Andalucia (Spain
Spain
Spain , officially the Kingdom of Spain languages]] under the European Charter for Regional or Minority Languages. In each of these, Spain's official name is as follows:;;;;;;), is a country and member state of the European Union located in southwestern Europe on the Iberian Peninsula...

).

The earliest known poet in the UAE is Ibn Majid, who was born between 1432 and 1437 in Ras Al-Khaimah
Ras al-Khaimah
Ras al-Khaimah is one of the emirates of the United Arab Emirates , in the east of the Persian Gulf. It is in the northern part of the UAE bordering Oman's exclave. The capital city and home of most residents is also called Ras al-Khaimah. The city has a population of 263,217 as of 2008. The city...

. Coming from a family of successful sailors, Ibn Majid's oeuvre has a total of 40 surviving compositions, 39 of which are verses.

The greatest luminaries in the UAE literary realm during the 20th century, particularly for Classical Arabic
Classical Arabic
Classical Arabic , also known as Qur'anic or Koranic Arabic, is the form of the Arabic language used in literary texts from Umayyad and Abbasid times . It is based on the Medieval dialects of Arab tribes...

 poetry, were Mubarak Al Oqaili (1880–1954), Salem bin Ali al Owais (1887–1959) and Ahmed bin Sulayem (1905–1976). Three other poets from Sharjah, known as the Hirah group, also thrived during the 20th century including Khalfan Musabah (1923–1946), Sheikh Saqr Al Qasimi (1925–1993), an ex-ruler of Sharjah, and Sultan bin Ali al Owais (1925–2000). The Hirah group’s works are observed to have been heavily influenced by the Apollo and romantic poets
Romantic poetry
Romanticism, a philosophical, literary, artistic and cultural era which began in the mid/late-1700s as a reaction against the prevailing Enlightenment ideals of the day , also influenced poetry...

.

The meeting of classical Arabic poetry and media continued through the regionally highly successful television shows – Million’s Poet and The Prince of Poets – broadcast on Abu Dhabi TV and poetry TV channels. The Prince of Poets also won the International Broadcasting Award in London in the specialist genre TV category.

There are three annual book fairs in the UAE, the well-known Sharjah International Book Fair, the oldest and largest in the country, its Abu Dhabi counterpart and the newly launched Al-Ain Book Fair.

The UAE has a booming magazine and newspaper industry. the biggest selling English language magazine is Ahlan! magazine. The biggest selling English language newspaper is Gulf News.

Museums and art galleries


Many emirates have established museum
Museum
A museum is an institution that cares for a collection of artifacts and other objects of scientific, artistic, cultural, or historical importance and makes them available for public viewing through exhibits that may be permanent or temporary. Most large museums are located in major cities...

s of regional repute, most famously Sharjah
Sharjah (city)
Sharjah is the third largest and most populous city in the United Arab Emirates. It is located along the southern coast of the Persian Gulf on the Arabian Peninsula.Sharjah is the seat of government of the emirate of Sharjah...

 with its Heritage District containing 17 museums, which in 1998 was the Cultural Capital of the Arab World. Abu Dhabi
Abu Dhabi
Abu Dhabi , literally Father of Gazelle, is the capital and the second largest city of the United Arab Emirates in terms of population and the largest of the seven member emirates of the United Arab Emirates. Abu Dhabi lies on a T-shaped island jutting into the Persian Gulf from the central western...

's cultural foundation is also an important place for the presentation of indigenous and foreign art. In Dubai
Dubai
Dubai is a city and emirate in the United Arab Emirates . The emirate is located south of the Persian Gulf on the Arabian Peninsula and has the largest population with the second-largest land territory by area of all the emirates, after Abu Dhabi...

, the area of Al Quoz
Al Quoz
Al Quoz , or Al Goze, is a locality in Dubai, United Arab Emirates . Al Quoz is located in western Dubai. It is bordered to the north by Al Wasl and to the west by Umm Al Sheif, Al Manara and Al Safa...

 has attracted a number of art galleries.

Abu Dhabi has embarked on the path to become an art center of international caliber, by creating a culture district on Saadiyat Island
Saadiyat Island
Saadiyat Island is a large, low lying island 500 metres off the coast of Abu Dhabi island in the UAE, currently being developed.A mixed commercial, residential, and leisure project is currently under construction on the island, expected to be completed in 2020...

. There, six grand projects are planned: the Sheikh Zayed National Museum by Foster + Partners
Foster and Partners
Foster + Partners is an architectural firm based in London. The practice is led by its founder and Chairman, Norman Foster, and has constructed many high-profile glass-and-steel buildings....

, the modern art museum Guggenheim Abu Dhabi
Guggenheim Abu Dhabi
The Guggenheim Abu Dhabi is a planned museum, to be located in Abu Dhabi, UAE. On July 8, 2006, the city of Abu Dhabi, capital of the United Arab Emirates, announced it had signed an agreement with the Guggenheim Foundation in New York to build a Guggenheim Museum. It will be the world's largest...

 to be built by Frank Gehry
Frank Gehry
Frank Owen Gehry, is a Canadian American Pritzker Prize-winning architect based in Los Angeles, California.His buildings, including his private residence, have become tourist attractions...

, the classical museum Louvre Abu Dhabi
Louvre Abu Dhabi
The Louvre Abu Dhabi is a planned museum, to be located in Abu Dhabi, UAE. On Tuesday 7 March 2007, the Louvre in Paris announced that a new Louvre museum would be completed by 2012 in Abu Dhabi, though current expectations are that completion will be delayed until at least 2014. This is part of a...

 by Jean Nouvel
Jean Nouvel
Jean Nouvel is a French architect. Nouvel studied at the École des Beaux-Arts in Paris and was a founding member of Mars 1976 and Syndicat de l'Architecture...

, a maritime museum by Tadao Ando
Tadao Ando
is a Japanese architect whose approach to architecture was once categorized by Francesco Dal Co as critical regionalism. Ando has led a storied life, working as a truck driver and boxer prior to settling on the profession of architecture, despite never having taken formal training in the field...

, a Performing Arts Center by Zaha Hadid
Zaha Hadid
Zaha Hadid, CBE is an Iraqi-British architect.-Life and career:Hadid was born in 1950 in Baghdad, Iraq. She received a degree in mathematics from the American University of Beirut before moving to study at the Architectural Association School of Architecture in London.After graduating she worked...

, and a Biennale Park with 16 pavilions.

Dubai also plans to build a Kunsthal
Kunsthal
The Kunsthal is a museum in Rotterdam, which opened its doors in 1992. The museum is situated in the Museumpark of Rotterdam next to the Natuurhistorisch Museum Rotterdam, and in the vicinity of the Museum Boijmans Van Beuningen. Entrance to the Kunsthal is from the Westzeedijk...

 museum and a district for galleries and artists.

2009 saw the UAE’s first pavilion at the Venice Biennale, one of the top cultural events in Europe. The pavilion was called ‘It’s Not You, It’s Me’ and was designed to offer a playful and provocative look at what has been described as the world’s most prestigious contemporary art event. This was the first occasion on which a country from the Persian Gulf has taken part in the Biennale.

Music, dance and cinema


The United Arab Emirates is a part of the khaliji
Khaliji (music)
Khaliji is the style of music native to the Arab states of the Persian Gulf . It is characterized by heavy use of the traditional tabl drum and music of the oud.-See also:* Ardha...

 tradition, and is also known for Bedouin
Bedouin
The Bedouin are a part of a predominantly desert-dwelling Arab ethnic group traditionally divided into tribes or clans, known in Arabic as ..-Etymology:...

 folk music.
Liwa
Liwa (music)
Līwa is a traditional dance performed in the Arab states of the Persian Gulf, mainly in communities of descendants of East Africans from the Swahili Coast...

 is a type of music and dance performed mainly in communities which contain descendants of East Africans.
During celebrations singing and dancing also took place and many of the songs and dances, handed down from generation to generation, have survived to the present time. Young girls would dance by swinging their long black hair and swaying their bodies in time to the strong beat of the music. Men would re-enact battles fought or successful hunting expeditions, often symbolically using sticks, swords or rifles.

Hollywood movies are the most popular in the UAE. The UAE has an active music scene, with musicians Amr Diab
Amr Diab
Amr Abdol-Basset Abdol-Azeez Diab is an Egyptian singer and composer of geel music; the contemporary face of Egyptian el-geel pop music, according to World Music. Diab is the best-selling Arab recording artist of all time, according to Let's Go Egypt...

, Diana Haddad
Diana Haddad
Diana Joseph Fouad Haddad is a Lebanese singer and television personality with Emirati citizenship. Mainly known as Diana Haddad, she is one of the most popular and successful singers in the Arab World and has been so since the late 1990s...

, Tarkan, Aerosmith
Aerosmith
Aerosmith is an American rock band, sometimes referred to as "The Bad Boys from Boston" and "America's Greatest Rock and Roll Band". Their style, which is rooted in blues-based hard rock, has come to also incorporate elements of pop, heavy metal, and rhythm and blues, and has inspired many...

, Santana
Santana (band)
Santana is a rock band based around guitarist Carlos Santana and founded in the late 1960s. It first came to public attention after their performing the song "Soul Sacrifice" at the Woodstock Festival in 1969, when their Latin rock provided a contrast to other acts on the bill...

, Mark Knopfler
Mark Knopfler
Mark Freuder Knopfler, OBE is a Scottish-born British guitarist, singer, songwriter, record producer and film score composer. He is best known as the lead guitarist, vocalist, and songwriter for the British rock band Dire Straits, which he co-founded in 1977...

, Christina Aguilera
Christina Aguilera
Christina María Aguilera is an American recording artist and actress. Aguilera first appeared on national television in 1990 as a contestant on the Star Search program, and went on to star in Disney Channel's television series The Mickey Mouse Club from 1993–1994...

, Elton John
Elton John
Sir Elton Hercules John, CBE, Hon DMus is an English rock singer-songwriter, composer, pianist and occasional actor...

, Pink
Pink (singer)
Alecia Beth Moore , better known by her stage name Pink , is an American singer-songwriter, musician and actress....

, Shakira
Shakira
Shakira Isabel Mebarak Ripoll , known professionally as Shakira , is a Colombian singer who emerged in the music scene of Colombia and Latin America in the early 1990s...

, Celine Dion
Celine Dion
Céline Marie Claudette Dion, , , is a Canadian singer. Born to a large family from Charlemagne, Quebec, Dion emerged as a teen star in the French-speaking world after her manager and future husband René Angélil mortgaged his home to finance her first record...

, Coldplay
Coldplay
Coldplay are a British alternative rock band formed in 1996 by lead vocalist Chris Martin and lead guitarist Jonny Buckland at University College London. After they formed Pectoralz, Guy Berryman joined the group as a bassist and they changed their name to Starfish. Will Champion joined as a...

, Ahlam
Ahlam
Ahlam Ali Al Shāmsi , commonly known as Ahlam is a leading female singer from the UAE . She has 10 albums to her name, and is popular throughout the Middle East, particularly among Arab nations of the Persian Gulf.-Biography:...

, and Phil Collins
Phil Collins
Philip David Charles "Phil" Collins, LVO is an English singer-songwriter, drummer, pianist and actor best known as a drummer and vocalist for British progressive rock group Genesis and as a solo artist....

 and a slew of Bollywood
Bollywood
Bollywood is the informal term popularly used for the Hindi-language film industry based in Mumbai , Maharashtra, India. The term is often incorrectly used to refer to the whole of Indian cinema; it is only a part of the total Indian film industry, which includes other production centers producing...

 stars having performed in the country. Kylie Minogue
Kylie Minogue
Kylie Ann Minogue, OBE - often known simply as Kylie - is an Australian singer, recording artist, songwriter, and actress. After beginning her career as a child actress on Australian television, she achieved recognition through her role in the television soap opera Neighbours, before commencing...

 was paid 4.4 million dollars to perform at the opening of the Atlantis resort
Atlantis, The Palm
Atlantis, the Palm is a hotel resort at Palm Jumeirah in Dubai, United Arab Emirates. It is a joint venture between Kerzner International Limited and Istithmar PSJC and was opened on 24 September 2008. The resort is modelled after the Atlantis, Paradise Island resort in Nassau, Bahamas...

 on November 20, 2008. The Dubai Desert Rock Festival
Dubai Desert Rock Festival
The Dubai Desert Rock Festival was an event celebrating various styles of rock and metal music on one stage in Dubai, United Arab Emirates. At the time, it was the only festival of its kind in the Middle East. As well as live music, extreme sports were also featured as crowd attractions...

 is also another major festival consisting of heavy metal and rock artists.

In 2009 the highly successful Abu Dhabi Classics series celebrated its second season by treating the Emirates Palace audience to the Middle Eastern debut of the New York Philharmonic with pieces by Beethoven and Mahler, as well as holding a concert inside the recently renovated Jahili Fort in Al-Ain.

Sports



Association football is the national sport
National sport
A national sport or national pastime is a sport or game that is considered to be an intrinsic part of the culture of a nation. Some sports are de facto national sports, as baseball is in the U.S., while others are de jure as lacrosse and ice hockey are in Canada.-De jure national sports:-De facto...

 of the United Arab Emirates. Emirati Soccer clubs Al-Ain, Al-Wasl
Al Wasl FC
Al Wasl Sports Club is a multi-sports club in Dubai, the United Arab Emirates. It is best known for its football team.-The Cheetahs:Being one of the most popular clubs in the UAE, AlWasl have had several nicknames. The most famous one being...

, Al-Shabbab ACD, Al-Sharjah
Sharjah FC
Sharjah Sports Club is a United Arab Emirates professional football club. It is based in Sharjah city. The home stadium is Sharjah Stadium....

, Al-Wahda, and Al-Ahli are the most popular teams and enjoy the reputation of long-time regional champions. The great rivalries keep the UAE energized as people fill the streets when their favorite team wins. The United Arab Emirates Football Association
United Arab Emirates Football Association
The United Arab Emirates Football Association is the governing body of football in the United Arab Emirates.-Domestic Competitions:*UAE Premier League*UAE Football League Division 1*UAE Football League Division 2*UAE Super Cup*UAE Vice Presidents Cup...

 was first established in 1971 and since then has dedicated its time and effort to promoting the game, organizing youth program
Youth program
Youth programs are particular activities designed to involve people between the ages of 10 and 25. Activities included are generally oriented towards youth development through recreation, social life, prevention, intervention, or education...

s and improving the abilities of not only its players, but of the officials and coaches involved with its regional teams. The UAE football team
United Arab Emirates national football team
The United Arab Emirates national football team represents United Arab Emirates in association football and is controlled by the United Arab Emirates Football Association, the governing body for football in United Arab Emirates...

 qualified for the World Cup
FIFA World Cup
The FIFA World Cup, often simply the World Cup, is an international association football competition contested by the senior men's national teams of the members of Fédération Internationale de Football Association , the sport's global governing body...

 in 1990
1990 FIFA World Cup
The 1990 FIFA World Cup was the 14th FIFA World Cup, the quadrennial international football world championship tournament. It was held from 8 June to 8 July 1990 in Italy, the second country to host the event twice. Teams representing 116 national football associations from all six populated...

—with Egypt it was the third consecutive World Cup with two Arab nations qualifying after Kuwait
Kuwait national football team
The Kuwait National Football Team is the national team of Kuwait and is controlled by the Kuwait Football Association. They made one World Cup Finals appearance, in 1982, managing a draw with Czechoslovakia but losing to England and France. During the match against France, France scored a goal...

 and Algeria
Algeria national football team
The Algeria national football team , nicknamed الأفنــاك, Les Fennecs , represents Algeria in association football and is controlled by the Fédération Algérienne de Football. Algeria's home ground is the Stade 5 Juillet 1962 in Algiers and their head coach is Vahid Halilhodžić.Algeria has qualified...

 in 1982
1982 FIFA World Cup
The 1982 FIFA World Cup, the 12th FIFA World Cup, was held in Spain from 13 June to 11 July. The tournament was won by Italy, after defeating West Germany 3–1 in the final.-Host selection:...

 and Iraq
Iraq national football team
The Iraqi national football team represents Iraq in international football and is controlled by the Iraq Football Association. They won the 2007 Asian Football Confederation Asian Cup tournament.-The Golden Generation:...

 and Algeria
Algeria national football team
The Algeria national football team , nicknamed الأفنــاك, Les Fennecs , represents Algeria in association football and is controlled by the Fédération Algérienne de Football. Algeria's home ground is the Stade 5 Juillet 1962 in Algiers and their head coach is Vahid Halilhodžić.Algeria has qualified...

 again in 1986
1986 FIFA World Cup
The 1986 FIFA World Cup, the 13th FIFA World Cup, was held in Mexico from 31 May to 29 June. The tournament was the second to feature a 24-team format. Colombia had been originally chosen to host the competition by FIFA but, largely due to economic reasons, was not able to do so and officially...

.
The UAE also recently won the Gulf Cup Championship
Gulf Cup of Nations
The Gulf Cup of Nations , also known as Khaleeji followed by the edition of the games , is a football tournament currently held every two years rotating the host city every edition...

 held in Abu Dhabi
Abu Dhabi
Abu Dhabi , literally Father of Gazelle, is the capital and the second largest city of the United Arab Emirates in terms of population and the largest of the seven member emirates of the United Arab Emirates. Abu Dhabi lies on a T-shaped island jutting into the Persian Gulf from the central western...

 January 2007.

Cricket
Cricket
Cricket is a bat-and-ball game played between two teams of 11 players on an oval-shaped field, at the centre of which is a rectangular 22-yard long pitch. One team bats, trying to score as many runs as possible while the other team bowls and fields, trying to dismiss the batsmen and thus limit the...

 is one of the most popular sports in the UAE, largely because of the expatriate population from the Indian subcontinent
Indian subcontinent
The Indian subcontinent, also Indian Subcontinent, Indo-Pak Subcontinent or South Asian Subcontinent is a region of the Asian continent on the Indian tectonic plate from the Hindu Kush or Hindu Koh, Himalayas and including the Kuen Lun and Karakoram ranges, forming a land mass which extends...

, the United Kingdom
United Kingdom
The United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern IrelandIn the United Kingdom and Dependencies, other languages have been officially recognised as legitimate autochthonous languages under the European Charter for Regional or Minority Languages...

, and Australia
Australia
Australia , officially the Commonwealth of Australia, is a country in the Southern Hemisphere comprising the mainland of the Australian continent, the island of Tasmania, and numerous smaller islands in the Indian and Pacific Oceans. It is the world's sixth-largest country by total area...

. The Sharjah Cricket Association Stadium
Sharjah Cricket Association Stadium
The Sharjah Cricket Association Stadium is in the emirate of Sharjah in the United Arab Emirates. It was originally constructed in the early 1980s and has been much improved over the years...

 in Sharjah has hosted 4 international Test match
Test cricket
Test cricket is the longest form of the sport of cricket. Test matches are played between national representative teams with "Test status", as determined by the International Cricket Council , with four innings played between two teams of 11 players over a period of up to a maximum five days...

es so far. Sheikh Zayed Stadium
Sheikh Zayed Stadium
Sheikh Zayed Stadium is a multi-purpose stadium in Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates. It is currently used mostly for football matches but can also stage athletics. It is named after the late Sheikh Zayed bin Sultan Al Nahyan, the founder and first president of the UAE. The construction of the...

 and Al Jazira Mohammed Bin Zayed Stadium
Al Jazira Mohammed Bin Zayed Stadium
Al Jazira Mohammed Bin Zayed Stadium is a multi-purpose stadium in Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates. It is currently used mostly for football and cricket matches and is the home ground of Al Jazira Club....

 in Abu Dhabi
Abu Dhabi
Abu Dhabi , literally Father of Gazelle, is the capital and the second largest city of the United Arab Emirates in terms of population and the largest of the seven member emirates of the United Arab Emirates. Abu Dhabi lies on a T-shaped island jutting into the Persian Gulf from the central western...

 also host international cricket
International structure of cricket
There was no formal structure of international cricket until the early twenty first century. It had long been traditional for countries, without any intervention from a body such as the International Cricket Council , to organize for themselves the various cricket matches...

 matches. Dubai
Dubai
Dubai is a city and emirate in the United Arab Emirates . The emirate is located south of the Persian Gulf on the Arabian Peninsula and has the largest population with the second-largest land territory by area of all the emirates, after Abu Dhabi...

 has two cricket stadiums (Dubai Cricket Ground
Cricket field
A cricket field consists of a large circular or oval-shaped grassy ground on which the game of cricket is played. There are no fixed dimensions for the field but its diameter usually varies between 450 feet to 500 feet...

 No.1 and No.2) with a third, 'S3' currently under construction as part of Dubai Sports City
Dubai Sports City
The Dubai Sports City is a $4 billion, mixed-use sports city currently being constructed in Dubai, United Arab Emirates. The city will consist of apartment buildings as well as several sports facilities. The first structures opened in late 2007...

. Dubai is also home to the International Cricket Council
International Cricket Council
The International Cricket Council is the international governing body of cricket. It was founded as the Imperial Cricket Conference in 1909 by representatives from England, Australia and South Africa, renamed the International Cricket Conference in 1965, and took up its current name in 1989.The...

.
The United Arab Emirates national cricket team qualified for the 1996 Cricket World Cup
1996 Cricket World Cup
The 1996 Cricket World Cup, also called the Wills World Cup after its official sponsors, was the sixth edition of the tournament organized by the International Cricket Council . It was the second World Cup to be hosted by Pakistan and India, and for the first time by Sri Lanka...

 and narrowly missed out on qualification for the 2007 Cricket World Cup
2007 Cricket World Cup
The 2007 ICC Cricket World Cup was the ninth edition of the ICC Cricket World Cup tournament that took place in the West Indies from 13 March to 28 April 2007, using the sport's One Day International format...

.

Formula One
Formula One
Formula One, also known as Formula 1 or F1 and referred to officially as the FIA Formula One World Championship, is the highest class of single seater auto racing sanctioned by the Fédération Internationale de l'Automobile . The "formula" designation in the name refers to a set of rules with which...

 is particularly popular in the United Arab Emirates, and is annually held at the picturesque Yas Marina Circuit. The race is held at evening time, and is the first ever Grand Prix to start in daylight and finish at night.

Other popular sports include camel racing
Camel racing
Camel racing is a popular sport in India, Pakistan, Saudi Arabia, Egypt, Bahrain, Jordan, Qatar, United Arab Emirates, Oman, Australia, and Mongolia. Professional camel racing, like horse racing, is an event for betting and tourist attraction...

, falconry
Falconry
Falconry is "the taking of wild quarry in its natural state and habitat by means of a trained raptor". There are two traditional terms used to describe a person involved in falconry: a falconer flies a falcon; an austringer flies a hawk or an eagle...

, endurance riding
Endurance riding
Endurance riding is an equestrian sport based on controlled long-distance races. It is one of the international competitions recognized by the FEI. There are endurance rides worldwide....

, and tennis
Tennis
Tennis is a sport usually played between two players or between two teams of two players each . Each player uses a racket that is strung to strike a hollow rubber ball covered with felt over a net into the opponent's court. Tennis is an Olympic sport and is played at all levels of society at all...

.

See also


  • Takatof
    Takatof
    The Takatof Programme for Social Volunteering is a nationwide volunteering initiative in the United Arab Emirates. It is one of the principal initiatives of the Emirates Foundation, a charitable organisation established in 2005 in the UAE under the patronage of His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin...

  • UAE eGovernment


External links