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الإمارات العربيّة المتّحدة
Al-Imārāt al-‘Arabīyah al-Muttahidah
( In Detail) ( In Detail)
National motto: none
image:LocationUnitedArabEmirates.png
Official language Arabic
Capital Abu Dhabi
Largest City Dubai
Area 75,150 km² (29,016 mi²)
Population
- Total ( 2005)
- Density
Ranked 136th
4,041,000
46/km²
HDI ( 2003) 0.849 ( 41st) – high
President Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahayan
Prime Minister Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum
Independence declared 2 December 1971
Currency UAE dirham
Time zone UTC +4
National anthem Arabic Emirati Tahiat Alalam
Internet TLD .ae
Calling code 971
The United Arab Emirates (also called the UAE) is a Middle Eastern country situated in the southeast of the Arabian Peninsula in Southwest Asia on the Persian Gulf, comprising seven emirates: Abu Dhabi, Ajmān, Dubai, Fujairah, Ras al-Khaimah, Sharjah and Umm al-Qaiwain. Before 1971, they were known as the Trucial States or Trucial Oman, in reference of a nineteenth-century truce between the British and some Arab Sheikhs. It borders Oman and Saudi Arabia. The country is rich in oil.

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Contents

History
Politics
Economy
Human rights and labor issues
Airlines history
Geography
Demographics
Technology and telecommunications
Culture
Universities
Media



History - Contents

The seven Trucial Sheikdom States of the Persian Gulf coast granted the United Kingdom control of their defense and foreign affairs in nineteenth-century treaties. In 1971, six of these states — Abu Dhabi, Ajman, Fujairah, Sharjah, Dubai, and Umm al-Qaiwain — merged to form the United Arab Emirates. They were joined in 1972 by Ras Al Khaimah.


Politics - Contents



Federal institutions
The Supreme Council consists of the individual rulers of the seven emirates. The President and Vice-President are elected by the Supreme Council every five years. Although unofficial, the Presidency is de facto hereditary to the Al-Nahyan clan of Abu Dhabi and the Premiership is hereditary to the Al-Maktoom clan of Dubai. The Supreme Council also elects the Council of Ministers, while an appointed 40-member Federal National Council, drawn from all the emirates, reviews proposed laws. There is a federal court system; all emirates except Dubai and Ras al-Khaimah have joined the federal system; all emirates have secular and Islamic law for civil, criminal, and high courts.Sheikh Zayed bin Sultan Al Nahyan was the union's president from the nation's founding until his death on 2 November 2004. His son, Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahayan was elected president the next day.

The 7 Emirates and their present rulers
Emirates of the United Arab Emirates
  • The UAE comprises the following seven emirates:
    • Abu Dhabi - Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahayan (Arabic: الشيخ: خليفة بن زايد آل نهيان), since 2004
    • Ajman - Sheikh Humaid bin Rashid Al Nuaimi (Arabic:الشيخ: حميد بن راشد آل نعيمي), since 1981
    • Dubai - Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum (Arabic:الشيخ: محمد بن راشد آل مكتوم), since 2006
    • Fujairah - Sheikh Hamad bin Muhammad Al Sharqi (Arabic:الشيخ: حمد بن محمد آل شرقي), since 1974
    • Ras Al Khaimah - Sheikh Saqr bin Muhammad Al Qasimi (Arabic:الشيخ: صقر بن محمد آل قصيمي), since 1948
    • Sharjah - Dr. Sheikh Sultan bin Muhammad Al Qasimi (Arabic:الدكتور/الشيخ: سلطان بن محمد آل قصيمي), since 1987
    • Umm Al Quwain - Sheikh Rashid bin Ahmad Al Mualla (Arabic:الشيخ: راشد بن أحمد آل مُله), since 1981



Economy - Contents

Arab oil producing states such as the UAE use revenue from oil to finance national development. This view shows urban expansion in Dubai.
Arab oil producing states such as the UAE use revenue from oil to finance national development. This view shows urban expansion in Dubai.
The UAE's wealth is largely based on oil and gas output, some 33% of GDP. It is the third largest oil producer in the Persian Gulf after Saudi Arabia and Iran (Iraq's oil output has fluctuated due to war). Since 1973, the UAE has undergone a profound transformation from an impoverished region of small desert principalities to a modern state with a high standard of living. The country's per capita GDP is not far below the GDPs of the leading West European nations. Its generosity with oil revenues and its moderate foreign policy stance have allowed it to play a vital role in the affairs of the region. In recent years the government has sought to diversify its sources of income and lessen its dependence on finite oil reserves. One result of these efforts is a steadily developing tourism industry, centered on coastal, desert and sporting resorts and infrastructure. The success of these ventures, along with other factors like the relatively low price of commodities, the warm temperatures that prevail for most of the year, the engineering marvels such as Burj Al Arab and The Palm Islands, and friendliness to the West have led many to call it the Hong Kong of the Middle East.


Human rights and labor issues - Contents

It is common practice for employers in the UAE to retain employees' passports for the duration of the employment contract to prevent expatriate employees from changing jobs. This is an illegal practice, but it is almost never investigated, let alone punished by the government. On termination of an employment contract, certain categories of expatriates are banned from obtaining a work permit in the country for six months.The United States Department of State has cited widespread instances of blue collar labor abuse in the general context of the United Arab Emirates [1].The government has been criticized by human rights agencies such as Human Rights Watch for its inaction in addressing the discrimination against Asian workers in the emirate. Salary structures based on nationality, sex, age, and race rather than on qualification are common [2].According to Ansar Burney Trust, an illegal sex industry thrives in the emirates, especially in Dubai. This complements the tourism and hospitality industry, a major part of Dubai's economy [3]. According to Antislavery.org, UAE has been found to use child jockeys in camel racing, violating both human rights laws and child sex laws.The UAE's human rights record, particularly in relation to migrant workers, was widely criticised during the trials of Sarah Balabagan in 1995.A website www.mafiwasta.com is campaigning to pressure the government of the UAE into signing up to International Labour Organisation core conventions on freedom of association. Strikes and unions are currently banned in the UAE and many labourers are virtual prisoners, having paid huge agents' fees in order to obtain jobs and visas.


Airlines history - Contents

The national airline of the UAE was formerly Gulf Air, operated jointly with Bahrain and Oman. On September 13, 2005, the UAE announced that they were withdrawing from Gulf Air to concentrate on Etihad Airways, their new national carrier established in 2003.In 1985, Dubai established a local airline called Emirates, which has become one of the most popular in the world.


Geography - Contents

Map of the United Arab Emirates
The UAE lies in Southwest Asia, bordering the Gulf of Oman and the Persian Gulf, between Oman and Saudi Arabia. It is a flat, barren coastal plain merging into rolling sand dunes of vast desert wasteland; with mountains in the east. Its strategic location along southern approaches to the Strait of Hormuz makes it a vital transit point for world crude oil. The UAE is considered to be one of the fifteen states that comprise the so-called " Cradle of Humanity".The border demarcation treaties of 1974 and 1977 between the United Arab Emirates and Saudi Arabia were never made public. Therefore the exact border of the two countries is only known to their governments.

Exclaves and enclaves
There is an Omani enclave inside UAE territory, known as Wadi Madha. It is located halfway between the Musandam peninsula and the rest of Oman, on the Dubai- Hatta road in the Emirate of Sharjah. It covers approximately 75 km² (29 mi²) and the boundary was settled in 1969. The north-east corner of Madha is closest to the Khor Fakkan- Fujairah road, barely 10 m (33 ft) away. Within the enclave is an UAE exclave called Nahwa, also belonging to the Emirate of Sharjah. It is about 8 km (5 mi) on a dirt track west of the town of New Madha. It consists of about 40 houses with its own clinic and telephone exchange [4].


Demographics - Contents

The UAE's population of 4.041 million (2003) includes more than 3.23 million non nationals. Indeed, around 50% of the population is South Asian, with the remainder being Emirati, Arab, European and East Asian. Some of the natives are originally of Persian and Indian subcontinent descent. Muslims make up about 96% of the population and the other 4% are mostly Christians, Hindus and Buddhists. Arabic is the country's official language and is used in the government and bureaucracy, while English is increasingly important commercially and as the lingua franca for non-Arab expatriates. Around 90% of the population can read and write (2005 estimate).


Technology and telecommunications - Contents

Federal Act No. 1 [5] of 1976 establishes the Emirates Telecommunications Corporation as the sole telephone and telecommunications provider in the country, however freezones and modern housing developments are exempt from this and utilise a separate telecommunications company.For the majority of the UAE, Etisalat has a monopoly on business and personal telecommunications services.The Telecommunications Regulatory Authority (TRA) requires Etisalat to actively censor Internet sites. Material deemed offensive is often blocked.Recently, a new Telephone company and Internet Service Provider (previously called Sahamnet and now a subsidiary of Dubai Internet City) has launched to serve expatriates who have purchased freehold property within the UAE. The new company competes with Etisalat but its scope of operations is limited and in fact runs on the Etisalat Internet backbone. Although this alternate provider is not censored it operates a stringent firewall that restricts incoming port connections. Dubai Internet City's 100 MBit connectivity makes it a haven for illegal file sharing.


Culture - Contents

Rooted in Islamic culture, the UAE has strong ties with the rest of the Arab world. The government is committed to preserving traditional forms of art and culture, including via the Abu Dhabi Cultural Foundation. Change is very apparent in social life however - attitudes towards women are shifting, and new sports are becoming popular alongside traditional camel racing including the world's richest horse race, the Dubai World Cup, held annually in March. Due to the predominant Muslim religious beliefs, pork and alcohol are not served commonly in the area. [6]
  • Music of the United Arab Emirates
  • Islam in the United Arab Emirates


Holidays
Date English Name Arabic Transliteration
1 January New Year's Day رأس السنة الميلادية
Varies The Day of The Sacrifice Eid ul-Adha (عيد الأضحى)
Varies Islamic New Year Ra's Al Sana Al Hijria (رأس السنة الهجرية)
6 August Accession of H.H. Sheikh Zayed bin Sultan-al Nahyan
Varies The Night Journey Isra'a wa al-Miraj (الإسراء و المعراج)
2 December National Day Al-Eid Al Watani (العيد الوطني)
Varies End of Ramadan Eid ul-Fitr (عيد الفطر)



Universities - Contents

  • Ajman University of Science and Technology Network
  • American University of Sharjah
  • American University in Dubai
  • Higher Colleges of Technology
  • UAE University in Al Ain
  • Zayed University
  • The British University in Dubai
  • University of Wollongong in Dubai
  • The Petroleum Institute in Abu Dhabi
  • University of Sharjah



Media - Contents

  • Sport of Sheikhs - Emmy and duPont award winning documentary on child slavery in the UAE
  • Dubai - pearl of the middle east

Arab League – جامعة الدول العربية Flag of the League of Arab States
Algeria | Bahrain | Comoros | Djibouti | Egypt | Iraq | Jordan | Kuwait | Lebanon | Libya | Mauritania | Morocco | Oman | Palestine | Qatar | Saudi Arabia | Somalia | Sudan | Syria | Tunisia | United Arab Emirates | Yemen

Cooperation Council for the Arab States of the Gulf (GCC)
مجلس التعاون لدول الخليج العربية
GCC logo
Bahrain | Kuwait | Oman | Qatar | Saudi Arabia | United Arab Emirates

Countries in Asia
Sovereign states: Afghanistan | Armenia1 | Azerbaijan1 | Bahrain | Bangladesh | Bhutan | Brunei | Cambodia | People's Republic of China | Cyprus1 | East Timor | Egypt | Georgia1 | India | Indonesia | Iran | Iraq | Israel | Japan | Jordan | Kazakhstan1 | Kuwait | Kyrgyzstan | Laos | Lebanon | Malaysia | Maldives | Mongolia | Myanmar | Nepal | North Korea | Oman | Pakistan | Philippines | Qatar | Russia1 | Saudi Arabia | Singapore | South Korea | Sri Lanka | Syria | Republic of China (Taiwan)2 | Tajikistan | Thailand | Turkey1 | Turkmenistan | United Arab Emirates | Uzbekistan | Vietnam | Yemen
1. Usually assigned to Asia geographically, but nonetheless often thought of as European for cultural and historical reasons.
2. See political status of Taiwan
Special territories: Palestinian Territories ( Gaza Strip, West Bank; Israeli-controlled territories partially governed by the Palestinian Authority) | Kurdistan Region (autonomous region in Iraq)
Special entities: Hong Kong | Macau ( special administrative regions of the People's Republic of China)
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