The United Arab Emirates, sometimes simply called the Emirates (Arabic: الامارات al-Imārāt) or the UAE, is a Middle Eastern federation country in Western Asia, at the southeast end of the Arabian Peninsula occupying the Persian Gulf bordering Oman to the east and Saudi Arabia to the south, and shares marine borders with Qatar and Iran. In 2013, the UAE’s population was 9.2 million, of which 1.4 million are Emirati citizens and 7.8 million are expatriates.
دولة الإمارات العربية المتحدة
Established in December 1971, the country is a federation of seven emirates. The constituent emirates are Abu Dhabi (which serves as the capital), Ajman, Dubai, Fujairah, Ras al-Khaimah, Sharjah and Umm al-Quwain. Each emirate is governed by an absolute monarch; together, they jointly form the Federal Supreme Council. One of the monarchs is selected as the President of the United Arab Emirates. Islam is the official religion of the UAE, and Arabic is the official language, although English is widely spoken and is the language of business and education, especially in Abu Dhabi and Dubai.
The UAE’s oil reserves are the seventh-largest in the world, while its natural gas reserves are the world’s seventeenth-largest. Sheikh Zayed, ruler of Abu Dhabi and the first President of the UAE, oversaw the development of the Emirates and steered oil revenues into healthcare, education and infrastructure. The UAE’s economy is the most diversified in the Gulf Cooperation Council, with its most populous city of Dubai is an important global city and an international aviation hub. Nevertheless, the country remains principally reliant on its export of petroleum and natural gas.