About UAE


The United Arab Emirates (UAE) consists of seven emirates: Abu Dhabi, Dubai, Sharjah, Umm al-Qaiwain, Fujairah, Ajman and Ra’s al-Khaimah. UAE controls the southeastern portion of the Arabian Peninsula south of the states of Bahrain and Qatar. The federation covers 82,820 square kilometers and is bordered on the north by the Persian Gulf and Iran, on the east by Oman, and on the south and west by Saudi Arabia. Four-fifths of the UAE is desert but has contrasting landscapes – from the towering red dunes of the Liwa to the rich palm – filled OASIS of Al Ain, from the precipitous Hajar Mountains to the more fertile stretches of its coastal plains.

The UAE’s rich history is rooted in trade and tied to Islam, which came to the region in AD 630. Its location between Europe and the Far East attracted merchants from India, China and Europeans. The town of Abu Dhabi became an important center. In the 19th century, the British signed a series of agreements with the individual emirates that resulted in the area becoming known as “The Trucial States.” The pearling industry thrived in 19th and early 20th centuries, providing income and employment to the people of the Gulf. Though small in size, the UAE has become an important player in regional and international affairs. In 1962, the first shipment of crude was exported from Abu Dhabi. With oil revenues growing year by year, the Late Sheikh Zayed bin Sultan Al Nahyan was chosen as Ruler of Abu Dhabi in 1966.

In 1971, the late President Sheikh Zayed bin Sultan Al Nahyan unified the small, underdeveloped states into a federation. Agreement was reached between the rulers of six of the Emirates (Abu Dhabi, Dubai, Sharjah, Umm al-Qaiwain, Fujairah and Ajman), and the Federation to be known as the United Arab Emirates was formally established on 2 December 1971. The seventh Emirate, Ra’s al-Khaimah, acceded to the new Federation the following year.

With his visionary leadership, oil wealth was used to develop the UAE into one of the world’s most open and successful economies. Since then, the seven Emirates have forged a distinct national identity. The UAE’s political system combines traditional and modern and enabled the country to develop a modern administrative structure while ensuring that traditions of the past are maintained, adapted and preserved.The modern UAE now has population of over 8 million. The largest city being Dubai. The week days in UAE is Sunday till Thursday but some private companies work on Saturday too.

* Source – Ministry of Foreign Affairs, UAE

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