United Arab Emirates

United Arab Emirates
Abu Dhabi
Arabic
UAE dirham (AED)
+971

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The United Arab Emirates is a country situated in the southeast of the Arabian Peninsula in Southwest Asia on the Persian Gulf, bordering Oman and Saudi Arabia and sharing sea borders with Iraq, Kuwait, Bahrain, Qatar and Iran.

Termed emirates because they are ruled by emirs, they are Abu Dhabi, Ajman, Dubai, Fujairah, Ras al-Khaimah, Sharjah and Umm al-Quwain. The capital is Abu Dhabi, which is also the country's center of political, industrial and cultural activities.

Before 1971, the UAE was known as the Trucial States or Trucial Oman, in reference to a 19th-century truce between the United Kingdom and several Arab Sheikhs. The name Pirate Coast was also used in reference to the area's emirates from the 18th to the early 20th century.

The UAE's political system, based on its 1971 Constitution, is composed of several intricately connected governing bodies. Islam is the official religion, and Arabic is the official language.

Its oil reserves are ranked as the world's sixth-largest and the UAE possesses one of the most-developed economies in West Asia. It is the thirty-fifth-largest economy at market exchange rates, and has a high per capita gross domestic product (GDP), with a nominal per capita GDP of US$47,407 as per the International Monetary Fund (IMF). It is 15th in purchasing power per capita and has a relatively high Human Development Index for the Asian continent, ranking thirty-second globally. The UAE is classified as a high-income developing economy by the IMF.

Although the UAE has a constitution and a president, it is neither a constitutional monarchy nor a republic. It is a federation of seven monarchies, whose rulers retain absolute power within their emirates. The emirs chose one of their number to be the president of the federation, but this does not alter the monarchical character of the government of the 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.

The UAE is a founding member of the Cooperation Council for the Arab States of the Gulf, and a member state of the Arab League. It is also a member of the United Nations, the Organisation of Islamic Cooperation, OPEC, and the World Trade Organization.