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United Arab Emirates

Middle East, bordering the Gulf of Oman and the Persian Gulf, between Oman and Saudi Arabia

Country Fact Sheet
Capital Abu Dhabi
Surface 83,600 sq km
Currency Emirati dirham (AED)
GDP Purchasing power parity - $ 360.25 billion
GDP/Capita (PPP) - $48,800
Language Arabic (official), Persian, English, Hindi, Urdu
Religion Muslim 96% (Shi'a 16%), Christian, Hindu, and other 4%
Government

federal presidential elected monarchy

Time Zone GMT +4 hours hours GMT
Telecom Code +971
Airport

Abu Dhabi International Airport

Driving On right hand side of the road, license required
Electrical 220/240 volts
Political Climate Stable country
Population 7,890,924 people
History

The states that comprise the UAE were formerly known as the Trucial States, Trucial Coast, or Trucial Oman. The term trucial refers to the fact that the sheikhs ruling the seven constituent states were bound by truces concluded with Great Britain in 1820 and by an agreement made in 1892 accepting British protection. Before British intervention, the area was notorious for its pirates and was called the Pirate Coast. After World War II the British granted internal autonomy to the sheikhdoms. Discussion of federation began in 1968 when Britain announced its intended withdrawal from the Persian Gulf area by 1971.

Originally Bahrain and Qatar were to be part of the federation, but after three years of negotiations they chose to be independent. Ras al-Khaimah at first opted for independence but reversed its decision in 1972. After the 1973 rise in oil prices, the UAE was transformed from an impoverished region with many nomads to a sophisticated state with one of the highest per capita incomes in the world and a broad social welfare system. In 1981 the UAE joined the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC). The fall of the shah of Iran in 1979, the growth of Islamic fundamentalism, and the Iran-Iraq War threatened the stability of the UAE in the 1980s. In 1990, Iraq accused the UAE and Kuwait of overproduction of oil. The UAE participated with international coalition forces against Iraq during the Persian Gulf War (1991). Since the Gulf War the UAE has expanded its international contacts and diplomatic relations. A dispute erupted with Saudi Arabia in 1999 over relations with Iran, a traditional enemy; while Saudi Arabia appeared willing to seek improved ties, the emirates still regarded Iran as a foe. Sheikh Zaid ibn Sultan al-Nahayan, the ruler of Abu Dhabi, was president of the UAE from the founding of the federation until his death in 2004, when his son and heir, Sheikh Khalifa ibn Zaid Al Nahayan, was elected to succeed him.

Local Business & Service Providers
Accommodation
» Shangri-La
Automotive services
» Nova Car Hire
Business travel
» Abu Dhabi Travel Bureau
Corporate incentives
Financial services
» Emirates Bank Group
Financial Technology
» Advanced Technology Investment Company
Intellectual Property
» CSP Middle East
Legal and fiduciary
» Diaz, Reus & Targ, LLP
Lifestyle
» Beach Rotana
Technology
Local Radio
Local Weather Forecast
» BBC Weather
» Reuters
Government Agencies
» Central Bank of the United Arab Emirates
» Federal Government
» Federal National Council
» Ministry of Finance and Industry
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