United Arab Emirates


United Arab Emirates
an independent federation in E Arabia, formed in 1971, now comprising seven emirates on the S coast (formerly, Pirate Coast or Trucial Coast) of the Persian Gulf, formerly under British protection: Abu Dhabi, Dubai, Sharjah, Ajman, Umm al-Qaiwain, Ras al-Khaimah (joined 1972), and Fujairah. 2,262,309; ab. 32,300 sq. mi. (83,657 sq. km). Cap.: Abu Dhabi. Abbr.: U.A.E. Formerly, Trucial Oman, Trucial Sheikdoms, Trucial States.

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United Arab Emirates

Introduction United Arab Emirates -
Background: The Trucial States of the Persian Gulf coast granted the UK control of their defense and foreign affairs in 19th century treaties. In 1971, six of these states - Abu Zaby, 'Ajman, Al Fujayrah, Ash Shariqah, Dubayy, and Umm al Qaywayn - merged to form the United Arab Emirates (UAE). They were joined in 1972 by Ra's al Khaymah. The UAE's per capita GDP is not far below those of leading West European nations. Its generosity with oil revenues and its moderate foreign policy stance have allowed the UAE to play a vital role in the affairs of the region. Geography United Arab Emirates
Location: Middle East, bordering the Gulf of Oman and the Persian Gulf, between Oman and Saudi Arabia
Geographic coordinates: 24 00 N, 54 00 E
Map references: Middle East
Area: total: 82,880 sq km land: 82,880 sq km water: 0 sq km
Area - comparative: slightly smaller than Maine
Land boundaries: total: 867 km border countries: Oman 410 km, Saudi Arabia 457 km
Coastline: 1,318 km
Maritime claims: contiguous zone: 24 NM territorial sea: 12 NM continental shelf: 200 NM or to the edge of the continental margin exclusive economic zone: 200 NM
Climate: desert; cooler in eastern mountains
Terrain: flat, barren coastal plain merging into rolling sand dunes of vast desert wasteland; mountains in east
Elevation extremes: lowest point: Persian Gulf 0 m highest point: Jabal Yibir 1,527 m
Natural resources: petroleum, natural gas
Land use: arable land: 0.48% permanent crops: 0.49% other: 99.03% (1998 est.)
Irrigated land: 720 sq km (1998 est.)
Natural hazards: frequent sand and dust storms Environment - current issues: lack of natural freshwater resources compensated by desalination plants; desertification; beach pollution from oil spills Environment - international party to: Biodiversity, Climate
agreements: Change, Desertification, Endangered Species, Hazardous Wastes, Marine Dumping, Ozone Layer Protection signed, but not ratified: Law of the Sea
Geography - note: strategic location along southern approaches to Strait of Hormuz, a vital transit point for world crude oil People United Arab Emirates -
Population: 2,445,989 note: includes 1,576,472 non- nationals (July 2002 est.)
Age structure: 0-14 years: 27.7% (male 345,077; female 331,545) 15-64 years: 69.7% (male 1,069,443; female 635,275) 65 years and over: 2.6% (male 45,989; female 18,660) (2002 est.)
Population growth rate: 1.58% (2002 est.)
Birth rate: 18.3 births/1,000 population (2002 est.)
Death rate: 3.9 deaths/1,000 population (2002 est.)
Net migration rate: 1.41 migrant(s)/1,000 population (2002 est.)
Sex ratio: at birth: 1.05 male(s)/female under 15 years: 1.04 male(s)/female 15-64 years: 1.68 male(s)/female 65 years and over: 2.46 male(s)/ female total population: 1.48 male(s)/ female (2002 est.)
Infant mortality rate: 16.12 deaths/1,000 live births (2002 est.) Life expectancy at birth: total population: 74.52 years female: 77.1 years (2002 est.) male: 72.06 years
Total fertility rate: 3.16 children born/woman (2002 est.) HIV/AIDS - adult prevalence rate: 0.18% (1999 est.) HIV/AIDS - people living with HIV/ NA
AIDS:
HIV/AIDS - deaths: NA
Nationality: noun: Emirati(s) adjective: Emirati
Ethnic groups: Emirati 19%, other Arab and Iranian 23%, South Asian 50%, other expatriates (includes Westerners and East Asians) 8% (1982) note: less than 20% are UAE citizens (1982)
Religions: Muslim 96% (Shi'a 16%), Christian, Hindu, and other 4%
Languages: Arabic (official), Persian, English, Hindi, Urdu
Literacy: definition: age 15 and over can read and write total population: 79.2% male: 78.9% female: 79.8% (1995 est.) Government United Arab Emirates -
Country name: conventional long form: United Arab Emirates conventional short form: none local long form: Al Imarat al Arabiyah al Muttahidah abbreviation: UAE former: Trucial Oman, Trucial States local short form: none
Government type: federation with specified powers delegated to the UAE federal government and other powers reserved to member emirates
Capital: Abu Dhabi Administrative divisions: 7 emirates (imarat, singular - imarah); Abu Zaby (Abu Dhabi), 'Ajman, Al Fujayrah, Ash Shariqah (Sharjah), Dubayy (Dubai), Ra's al Khaymah, Umm al Qaywayn
Independence: 2 December 1971 (from UK)
National holiday: Independence Day, 2 December (1971)
Constitution: 2 December 1971 (made permanent in 1996)
Legal system: federal court system introduced in 1971; all emirates except Dubayy (Dubai) and Ra's al Khaymah have joined the federal system; all emirates have secular and Islamic law for civil, criminal, and high courts
Suffrage: none
Executive branch: chief of state: President ZAYID bin Sultan Al Nuhayyan (since 2 December 1971), ruler of Abu Zaby (Abu Dhabi) (since 6 August 1966) and Vice President MAKTUM bin Rashid al- Maktum (since 8 October 1990), ruler of Dubayy (Dubai) note: there is also a Federal Supreme Council (FSC) composed of the seven emirate rulers; the FSC is the highest constitutional authority in the UAE; establishes general policies and sanctions federal legislation; meets four times a year; Abu Zaby (Abu Dhabi) and Dubayy (Dubai) rulers have effective veto power head of government: Prime Minister MAKTUM bin Rashid al-Maktum (since 8 October 1990), ruler of Dubayy (Dubai); Deputy Prime Minister SULTAN bin Zayid Al Nuhayyan (since 20 November 1990) cabinet: Council of Ministers appointed by the president elections: president and vice president elected by the FSC (a group of seven electors) for five- year terms; election last held 2 December 2001 (next to be held NA 2006); prime minister and deputy prime minister appointed by the president election results: ZAYID bin Sultan Al Nuhayyan reelected president; percent of FSC vote - NA%, but believed to be unanimous; MAKTUM bin Rashid al-Maktum elected vice president; percent of FSC vote - NA%, but believed to be unanimous
Legislative branch: unicameral Federal National Council or Majlis al-Ittihad al-Watani (40 seats; members appointed by the rulers of the constituent states to serve two-year terms) elections: none note: reviews legislation, but cannot change or veto
Judicial branch: Union Supreme Court (judges are appointed by the president) Political parties and leaders: none Political pressure groups and NA
leaders: International organization ABEDA, AFESD, AL, AMF, CAEU, CCC,
participation: ESCWA, FAO, G-77, GCC, IAEA, IBRD, ICAO, ICRM, IDA, IDB, IFAD, IFC, IFRCS, IHO, ILO, IMF, IMO, Intelsat, Interpol, IOC, ISO, ITU, NAM, OAPEC, OIC, OPCW, OPEC, UN, UNCTAD, UNESCO, UNIDO, UPU, WHO, WIPO, WMO, WTrO Diplomatic representation in the US: chief of mission: Ambassador Asri Said Ahmad al-DHAHIRI FAX: [1] (202) 243-2432 telephone: [1] (202) 243-2400 chancery: 3522 International Court NW, Washington, DC 20037 Diplomatic representation from the chief of mission: Ambassador
US: Marcelle M. WAHBA (since 4 Oct. 2001) embassy: Al-Sudan Street, Abu Dhabi mailing address: P. O. Box 4009, Abu Dhabi; American Embassy Abu Dhabi, Department of State, Washington, DC 20521-6010 (pouch); note - work week is Saturday through Wednesday telephone: [971] (2) 4436691 FAX: [971] (2) 4435441 consulate(s) general: Dubai
Flag description: three equal horizontal bands of green (top), white, and black with a wider vertical red band on the hoist side Economy United Arab Emirates
Economy - overview: The UAE has an open economy with a high per capita income and a sizable annual trade surplus. Its wealth is based on oil and gas output (about 33% of GDP), and the fortunes of the economy fluctuate with the prices of those commodities. 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. At present levels of production, oil and gas reserves should last for more than 100 years. The government has increased spending on job creation and infrastructure expansion and is opening up its utilities to greater private sector involvement.
GDP: purchasing power parity - $51 billion (2001 est.)
GDP - real growth rate: 5.6% (2001 est.)
GDP - per capita: purchasing power parity - $21,100 (2001 est.) GDP - composition by sector: agriculture: 3% industry: 46% services: 51% (2000 est.) Population below poverty line: NA% Household income or consumption by lowest 10%: NA%
percentage share: highest 10%: NA% Inflation rate (consumer prices): 4.5% (2000 est.)
Labor force: 1.6 million (2000 est.) note: 73.9% of the population in the 15-64 age group is non-national (July 2002 est.) Labor force - by occupation: services 78%, industry 15%, agriculture 7% (2000 est.)
Unemployment rate: NA%
Budget: revenues: $20 billion expenditures: $22 billion, including capital expenditures of $NA (2000 est.)
Industries: petroleum, fishing, petrochemicals, construction materials, some boat building, handicrafts, pearling Industrial production growth rate: 4% (2000) Electricity - production: 38.7 billion kWh (2000) Electricity - production by source: fossil fuel: 100% hydro: 0% other: 0% (2000) nuclear: 0% Electricity - consumption: 35.991 billion kWh (2000)
Electricity - exports: 0 kWh (2000)
Electricity - imports: 0 kWh (2000)
Agriculture - products: dates, vegetables, watermelons; poultry, eggs, dairy products; fish
Exports: $47.6 billion (f.o.b., 2000 est.)
Exports - commodities: crude oil 45%, natural gas, reexports, dried fish, dates
Exports - partners: Japan 30%, India 7%, Singapore 6%, South Korea 4%, Oman, Iran (1999)
Imports: $28.6 billion (f.o.b., 2000 est.)
Imports - commodities: machinery and transport equipment, chemicals, food
Imports - partners: Japan 9%, UK 8%, US 8%, Italy 6%, Germany, South Korea (1999)
Debt - external: $12.6 billion (2001 est.)
Economic aid - donor: $NA
Currency: Emirati dirham (AED)
Currency code: AED
Exchange rates: Emirati dirhams per US dollar - central bank mid-point rate: 3.6725 (since 1997), 3.6710 (1995-96)
Fiscal year: calendar year Communications United Arab Emirates - Telephones - main lines in use: 915,223 (1998) Telephones - mobile cellular: 1 million (1999)
Telephone system: general assessment: modern system of microwave radio relay and coaxial cable; key centers are Abu Dhabi and Dubai domestic: microwave radio relay and coaxial cable international: satellite earth stations - 3 Intelsat (1 Atlantic Ocean and 2 Indian Ocean) and 1 Arabsat; submarine cables to Qatar, Bahrain, India, and Pakistan; tropospheric scatter to Bahrain; microwave radio relay to Saudi Arabia Radio broadcast stations: AM 13, FM 7, shortwave 2 (1998)
Radios: 820,000 (1997) Television broadcast stations: 15 (1997)
Televisions: 310,000 (1997)
Internet country code: .ae Internet Service Providers (ISPs): 1 (2000)
Internet users: 735,000 (2001) Transportation United Arab Emirates -
Railways: 0 km
Highways: total: 4,835 km paved: 4,835 km unpaved: 0 km (1998 est.)
Waterways: none
Pipelines: crude oil 830 km; natural gas, including natural gas liquids, 870 km
Ports and harbors: 'Ajman, Al Fujayrah, Das Island, Khawr Fakkan, Mina' Jabal 'Ali, Mina' Khalid, Mina' Rashid, Mina' Saqr, Mina' Zayid, Umm al Qaywayn
Merchant marine: total: 56 ships (1,000 GRT or over) totaling 833,401 GRT/1,251,015 DWT ships by type: cargo 13, chemical tanker 3, container 7, liquefied gas 1, livestock carrier 1, petroleum tanker 25, roll on/roll off 6 note: includes some foreign-owned ships registered here as a flag of convenience: Greece 2, Italy 1, Kuwait 2 (2002 est.)
Airports: 38 (2001) Airports - with paved runways: total: 19 22 over 3,047 m: 8 8 2,438 to 3,047 m: 3 3 914 to 1,523 m: 2 3 under 914 m: 4 4 (2001) 1,524 to 2,437 m: 2 4 Airports - with unpaved runways: total: 19 19 under 914 m: 5 5 (2001) over 3,047 m: 1 1 2,438 to 3,047 m: 1 1 914 to 1,523 m: 9 9 1,524 to 2,437 m: 3 3
Heliports: 2 (2001) Military United Arab Emirates -
Military branches: Army, Navy (including Marines and Coast Guard), Air Force, Air Defense, paramilitary forces (includes Federal Police Force) Military manpower - military age: 18 years of age (2002 est.) Military manpower - availability: males age 15-49: 773,938 note: includes non-nationals (2002 est.) Military manpower - fit for military males age 15-49: 419,851 (2002 est.)
service: Military manpower - reaching males: 25,482 (2002 est.)
military age annually: Military expenditures - dollar $1.6 billion (FY00)
figure: Military expenditures - percent of 3.1% (FY00)
GDP: Transnational Issues United Arab Emirates - Disputes - international: Oman signed boundary treaty with the UAE in 1999, but complete UAE-Oman boundary line is not expected until the end of 2002; undefined segments remain with Ra's al-Khaymah and Ash Shariqah (Sharjah) emirates, including the Musandam Peninsula, where an administrative boundary substitutes for an international boundary; because details of 1974 and 1977 treaties have not been made public, the exact location of the Saudi Arabia-UAE boundary is unknown and status is considered de facto; UAE seeks United Arab League and other international support against Iran's occupation of Greater Tunb Island (called Tunb al Kubra in Arabic by UAE and Jazireh-ye Tonb- e Bozorg in Persian by Iran) and Lesser Tunb Island (called Tunb as Sughra in Arabic by UAE and Jazireh- ye Tonb-e Kuchek in Persian by Iran) and attempts to occupy completely a jointly administered island in the Persian Gulf (called Abu Musa in Arabic by UAE and Jazireh-ye Abu Musa in Persian by Iran)
Illicit drugs: The UAE is a drug transshipment point for traffickers given its proximity to southwest Asian drug producing countries; the UAE's position as a major financial center makes it vulnerable to money laundering; anti-money-laundering legislation was signed into law by the president on 25 January 2002

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▪ 2009

Area:
83,600 sq km (32,280 sq mi)
Population
(2008 est.): 4,660,000, of whom about 900,000 are citizens
Capital:
Abu Dhabi
Chief of state:
President Sheikh Khalifah ibn Zayid Al Nahyan
Head of government:
Prime Minister Sheikh Muhammad ibn Rashid al-Maktum

      In response to the global recession and declining oil prices, economic growth for the United Arab Emirates (U.A.E.) slowed to an estimated 6.6% in 2008. The stock market declined, but panic was averted by an injection of $6.8 billion into local banks. The U.A.E. economic minister acknowledged that 2009 would be a “testing year” for the local economy, which was based largely on oil and tourism revenue.

      Economic turmoil notwithstanding, the U.A.E. invested heavily in its infrastructure and signed a deal with France to develop civilian nuclear technology. The $7 billion loan to Iraq was forgiven in its entirety in an effort to build international confidence in the Iraqi government. The Emirati envoy to the UN pledged an “unlimited financial contribution” to ease the suffering of the Palestinians.

      The U.A.E. released its first human rights report to the UN Human Rights Council. The report described the U.A.E. as “proud” of its record but identified areas in need of improvement, including women's rights, human trafficking, and workers' rights. The U.A.E. had been criticized for the harsh working conditions experienced by immigrant labourers, who engaged in mass protests in 2008. More than 3,000 Indian immigrant labourers were detained after the protests. Fair Trials International issued a highly publicized report warning tourists about the U.A.E. drug policy that resulted in multiyear sentences for several tourists who were found with traces of contraband on their persons.

Rumee Ahmed

▪ 2008

Area:
83,600 sq km (32,280 sq mi)
Population
(2007 est.): 4,444,000, of whom fewer than 900,000 are citizens
Capital:
Abu Dhabi
Chief of state:
President Sheikh Khalifah ibn Zayid Al Nahyan
Head of government:
Prime Minister Sheikh Muhammad ibn Rashid al-Maktum

      The United Arab Emirates (U.A.E.) unveiled its National Development Strategy in 2007, recognizing the need to develop an infrastructure that was not based on oil revenues. In September Dubai became the largest shareholder in the London Stock Exchange, with 28% ownership, and acquired a 20% stake in the Nasdaq stock market index. Dubai also announced an initial public offering (IPO) of its port-operating company DP World, which at $4.96 billion was the largest IPO in the Middle East. Abu Dhabi struck a deal with Boeing to become a major supplier of high-tech aerospace components. Despite rising inflation, construction continued to boom, symbolized by the Burj Dubai skyscraper, which in September became the world's largest free-standing building. (See Sidebar (Gulf States' Construction Boom ).)

      Prime Minister Muhammad ibn Rashid al-Maktum founded the Muhammad ibn Rashid al-Maktum Foundation for the purpose of education investment and knowledge development in the Arab world. He endowed the institute with a $10 billion grant, one of the largest charitable donations in history, with the first initiative being the construction of a think tank named the Knowledge Complex.

      May marked the first visit by an Iranian head of state to the U.A.E. since its founding in 1971. The countries had been at odds over three islands near the Strait of Hormuz, which were claimed simultaneously by Iran and two U.A.E. skeikhdoms. Though future talks were agreed to, none materialized in 2007. The U.A.E. worked extensively with the UN in 2007 to meet the UN Millennium Development Goals and to produce an annual report gauging the state of education and knowledge in the Arab world.

Rumee Ahmed

▪ 2007

Area:
83,600 sq km (32,280 sq mi)
Population
(2006 est.): 4,214,000, of whom about 850,000 are citizens
Capital:
Abu Dhabi
Chief of state:
President Sheikh Khalifah ibn Zayid Al Nahyan
Head of government:
Prime Minister Sheikh Maktum ibn Rashid al-Maktum and, from January 6, Sheikh Muhammad ibn Rashid al-Maktum

 The year 2006 began on a sombre note in the United Arab Emirates as the country mourned the loss on January 4 of its prime minister, Sheikh Maktum ibn Rashid al-Maktum (Maktum, Sheikh Maktum ibn Rashid al- ). (See Obituaries.) Much attention during the rest of the year was focused on the country's first elections, on December 16, in which half of the 40-member advisory Federal National Council were chosen by a representative Electoral Commission. Following labour demonstrations in mid-March, the government moved quickly to enact legislation that would allow construction workers—most of whom were noncitizens from Asian countries—to unionize and pursue collective bargaining. In an effort to reduce reliance on foreign workers, laws were passed obliging U.A.E. companies to hire only citizens for managerial and secretarial positions.

      The bid of DP World, a state-owned Dubai-based marine terminal operation company, to acquire managerial control of some American port facilities heightened tensions with the United States and caused something of a political brouhaha for the U.S. administration. DP World was not allowed to manage American ports directly, and an American “entity” was to be formed to do so.

      The economy of the U.A.E. grew 11.5% in 2006, but the IMF warned that growth would slow dramatically in 2007. The stock market fell by 30% but was checked by government bailouts.

Rumee Ahmed

▪ 2006

Area:
83,600 sq km (32,280 sq mi)
Population
(2005 est.): 4,690,000, of whom about 800,000 are citizens
Capital:
Abu Dhabi
Chief of state:
President Sheikh Khalifah ibn Zayid Al Nahyan
Head of government:
Prime Minister Sheikh Maktum ibn Rashid al-Maktum

      In 2005 the United Arab Emirates witnessed a smooth transition of power from Sheikh Zayed ibn Sultan Al Nahyan, who died in 2004, to his eldest son, Sheikh Khalifah ibn Zayid Al Nahyan. International observers were concerned that instability would result in this oil-rich country during the first presidential succession in its history, but the transition was relatively uneventful. Some intellectuals used the opportunity to renew a call for the Federal National Council, an appointed body that advises the ruling sheikhs, to be democratized. As a result, the president announced that half of the council would be selected by a limited election at a future date. The government reiterated its stance on promoting a moderate form of Islam and rooting out radical elements in the country. This position was underscored in August when Maulana Fazlur Rahman, the hard-line leader of Pakistan's Jamiat Ulema-i-Islam party, was refused entry into the country while on holiday.

      The U.A.E.'s economy continued to blossom, with an expected growth rate of 10% in 2005, and real GDP was expected to grow 6.7%. Though the majority of national wealth was derived from oil, the tourist industry was also booming. Earlier in the year, developers in Dubai unveiled the Dubai waterfront project, which would be the largest waterfront development in the world. The U.A.E. relied mainly on foreign labour (only 20% of the population were nationals), and, amid heavy criticism, reforms were enacted to ensure workers' rights. These included a ban on working outdoors during the hottest hours of the day and the return of child camel jockeys to their home countries.

Rumee Ahmed

▪ 2005

Area:
83,600 sq km (32,280 sq mi)
Population
(2004 est.): 4,298,000, of whom about 750,000 are citizens
Capital:
Abu Dhabi
Chief of state:
Presidents Sheikh Zayid ibn Sultan Al Nahyan, Sheikh Maktum ibn Rashid al-Maktum (acting) from November 2, and, from November 3, Sheikh Khalifah ibn Zayid Al Nahyan
Head of government:
Prime Minister Sheikh Maktum ibn Rashid al-Maktum

      In November 2004 Sheikh Zayid ibn Sultan Al Nahyan (see Obituaries), the ruler of Abu Dhabi since 1966 and the president of the United Arab Emirates since it was founded in 1971, passed away. He was universally loved throughout the country and respected throughout the region and internationally; his passing marked a milestone in the country's history. His eldest son, Sheikh Khalifah ibn Zayid, crown prince of Abu Dhabi, immediately became ruler of that emirate, and another son, Sheikh Muhammad ibn Zayid, became its crown prince. Sheikh Khalifah was also elected president of the U.A.E.; he thus held the same two positions that his father had. The transition went very smoothly

      In 2004 the U.A.E. continued to enjoy a remarkably strong economy. It maintained a high per capita income level, over $18,200 at the beginning of 2004, the second highest per capita income in the Middle East, after Qatar, and one of the highest in the world. The main cause was a $12.1% growth in GDP in 2003 to $80 billion. During 2004 the economy grew at a rate of 7%.

      The U.A.E. economy benefited from high oil prices, and significantly, it suffered very little from the Iraq war and regional tension; in fact, it benefited from Iraq trade after the war. The London-based Business Monitor International ranked the U.A.E. as the top long-term performer in the Middle East.

      The high per capita income was especially striking because it was calculated on the basis of the total population, including noncitizen guest workers, who accounted for more than three-quarters of the total population and who substantially increased their numbers in the U.A.E. in 2004. Citizens of South Asian countries and Iran made up 40% of the total. In 2003 the population grew at 7.6%, one of the highest rates in the world.

William A. Rugh

▪ 2004

Area:
83,600 sq km (32,280 sq mi)
Population
(2003 est.): 3,818,000, of which about 1,600,000 are citizens
Capital:
Abu Dhabi
Chief of state:
President Sheikh Zayid ibn Sultan Al Nahyan
Head of government:
Prime Minister Sheikh Maktum ibn Rashid al-Maktum

      The economy of the United Arab Emirates showed signs of even greater strength in 2003. GDP grew an estimated 4.6%, compared with 1.8% in 2002. A major reason for the growth was strong oil prices, which reached levels substantially higher than in recent years. Since oil accounted for 60% of government revenues, high prices also benefited the national budget, and the government was able to continue to provide good subsidies and benefits, which had grown by 35% over the previous five years. With a native population of only 1.6 million, the more than $70 billion GDP supported a comfortable life for the country's citizens. The private sector also continued to grow and contributed about 47% of GDP. The companies and banks in the U.A.E. stock market showed gains. In addition, Dolphin Energy announced plans to build a pipeline to Oman designed to import Omani natural gas, a move that would extend the project's scope beyond Qatar.

      In 2003 the U.A.E. and Oman signed and ratified a comprehensive agreement to delimit their long common border. The agreement included resolution of the status of the Musandam Peninsula and the Madhah enclave, which belonged to Oman but were not contiguous to other Omani sovereign territory.

      Prior to the U.S.-led war in Iraq, the U.A.E. called for Saddam Hussein to step down to avoid the use of force. Later the U.A.E. provided humanitarian assistance to the Iraqi people and urged that they be given control over their own lives as soon as possible. Reconciliation with Iran continued its slow pace.

William A. Rugh

▪ 2003

Area:
83,600 sq km (32,280 sq mi)
Population
(2002 est.): 3,550,000
Capital:
Abu Dhabi
Chief of state:
President Sheikh Zayid ibn Sultan Al Nahyan
Head of government:
Prime Minister Sheikh Maktum ibn Rashid al-Maktum

      Sheikh Hamdan ibn Zayid Al Nahyan, the United Arab Emirates (U.A.E.) minister of state for foreign affairs and son of the president, made an official visit to Tehran on May 26–27, 2002, seeking to ameliorate the tension that existed between his country and Iran. Relations had been tense for more than a decade, partly because of a dispute over control of three small islands in the Persian Gulf. This visit helped clear the air between the two Gulf neighbours. The islands dispute was not resolved, but it was not mentioned publicly during the visit. In June a 70-member delegation of Dubai businessmen visited Tehran to discuss increased U.A.E.-Iranian trade.

      The U.A.E. government worked closely with the United States to combat terrorism by taking steps in banking and law enforcement designed to help close channels that might be used by al-Qaeda and other international terrorists. The U.A.E. president, however, expressed opposition to U.S. use of force against Iraq, saying in an October 2002 interview that “war never solves a problem.” The government also expressed its dismay at Israeli incursions against Palestinians in the West Bank and called on the U.S. to help resolve the situation. The year saw informal boycotts of American products to protest U.S. support of Israel.

      In May 2002 the U.A.E. selected Occidental Petroleum and a French company as new partners in the huge Dolphin gas project, which would involve an international pipeline from Qatar to the U.A.E.

William A. Rugh

▪ 2002

Area:
83,600 sq km (32,280 sq mi)
Population
(2001 est.): 3,108,000
Capital:
Abu Dhabi
Chief of state:
President Sheikh Zaid ibn Sultan an-Nahayan
Head of government:
Prime Minister Sheikh Maktum ibn Rashid al-Maktum

      On March 13, 2001, the U.A.E. Offsets Group, a government agency, signed a $3.5 billion agreement with Qatar to develop natural gas from Qatar's North Field and import it by a 350-km (217-mi) undersea pipeline to Abu Dhabi and Dubai emirates. Though the American company Enron and the European firm TotalFinaElf were the original partners in this “Dolphin” project, Enron withdrew in May. Qatar's gas, which was expected to flow by 2004 or 2005, would meet important United Arab Emirates economic needs and help to solidify an already strong political relationship.

      Meanwhile, the U.A.E. became the number-one trader among Persian Gulf states, surpassing even Saudi Arabia, due primarily to a high level of reexports, notably textiles, electronics, and gold. One-quarter of U.A.E. imports were reexported, and Iran was a major customer. Among all Arab states, the U.A.E. became the number one importer and the number two exporter. In addition, it ranked second (behind Qatar) in per capita income. The U.A.E. also led the Arab world in Internet use.

      In July 2001 a high-level official U.A.E. delegation led by Minister of State for Foreign Affairs Sheikh Hamdan ibn Zayid, a son of the president, visited Tehran to congratulate Mohammad Khatami on his reelection as president of Iran. The visit was also symbolic politically—it was the first group of senior emissaries to arrive in Iran in nearly a decade. Though the U.A.E.-Iranian dispute over the islands of Abu Musa and the two Tunbs continued, the atmosphere and public rhetoric improved.

William A. Rugh

▪ 2001

Area:
83,600 sq km (32,280 sq mi)
Population
(2000 est.): 3,022,000
Capital:
Abu Dhabi
Chief of state:
President Sheikh Zaid ibn Sultan an-Nahayan
Head of government:
Prime Minister Sheikh Maktum ibn Rashid al-Maktum

      In March 2000 the United Arab Emirates (U.A.E.) signed an agreement with the American corporation Lockheed Martin to buy 80 F-16 fighter aircraft for $6.4 billion. This was the largest sale in 2000 for the U.S. of military equipment anywhere. Negotiations preceding this agreement had extended over many years. In May Russia announced that it would sell the U.A.E. $500 million worth of antiaircraft equipment.

      During the year the U.A.E. moved to implement the “Dolphin” project, an agreement with neighbouring Qatar to import natural gas from Qatar's North Field. The project called for construction of a major gas pipeline from Qatar to the U.A.E. and then on to Oman, and it was expected to cost between $8 billion and $10 billion.

      Since oil revenues contributed more than 25% of gross domestic product, the U.A.E. economy benefited significantly from the sharp increase in oil prices in 2000. By the year's end the economy was growing at a healthy 5.3%. Investments during the year increased oil-production capacity to three million barrels per day, but the U.A.E. complied with agreements within OPEC to produce slightly more than two million barrels per day.

William A. Rugh

▪ 2000

Area:
83,600 sq km (32,280 sq mi)
Population
(1999 est.): 2,826,000
Capital:
Abu Dhabi
Chief of state:
President Sheikh Zaid ibn Sultan an-Nahayan
Head of government:
Prime Minister Sheikh Maktum ibn Rashid al-Maktum

      The United Arab Emirates (UAE) economy remained strong in 1999. At the beginning of the year, when oil prices were sagging, it was doing better than most other oil-producing nations. When world oil prices rebounded by midyear, the UAE did even better. The country's gross domestic product was expected to exceed Dh 184 billion (Dh 1 = about $0.27), 20% higher than 1996. Significantly for a country so dependent on petroleum, non-oil GDP, which was only half of GDP in 1996, was expected to reach nearly Dh 140 billion, 76% of GDP, in 1999. This trend reflected the government's efforts to diversify the economy. Per capita GDP in 1999, at $17,150, remained among the world's highest.

      Iran was the UAE's primary foreign policy concern in 1999. Iranian Foreign Minister Kamal Kharazi visited Abu Dhabi and met with Pres. Sheikh Zaid, but relations remained strained over the disputed islands of Abu Musa and the two Tunbs. The Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) created a three-member commission composed of officials from Saudi Arabia, Oman, and Qatar to mediate the dispute, but it made no progress during the year. The UAE reiterated its call for direct talks on the islands or adjudication at the International Court of Justice in the Hague, but Iran objected. All GCC members supported the UAE position.

William A. Rugh

▪ 1999

      Area: 83,600 sq km (32,280 sq mi)

      Population (1998 est.): 2,744,000

      Capital: Abu Dhabi

      Chief of state: President Sheikh Zaid ibn Sultan an-Nahayan

      Head of government: Prime Minister Sheikh Maktum ibn Rashid al-Maktum

      Because of the United Arab Republics' (UAE's) substantial dependence on petroleum exports, its economy in 1998 felt the impact of declining world oil prices. The UAE reduced oil production in 1998 by nearly 10%, joining other producers in an effort to boost prices, but oil revenues were 25% lower than in 1997. The country's trade surplus was the lowest in a decade, and growth of gross domestic product (GDP) slowed. The federal budget issued in July 1998 projected a deficit much larger than in the previous year.

      The UAE, however, proved to be less affected by the oil market and the Asian economic slump than were many other countries. A major reason was that the nation's nonoil sector continued to expand, reaching 70% of GDP. The UAE's GDP per capita was highest in the region and ranked 14th in the world, higher than that of Sweden, Belgium, and The Netherlands. In May the crown prince met in Washington, D.C., with government leaders and announced his country's decision to purchase 80 American fighter aircraft. This was the UAE's largest military purchase, worth more than $6 billion. Earlier in the year the UAE had completed another aircraft purchase, worth more than $2 billion, from France.

WILLIAM A. RUGH

▪ 1998

      Area: 83,600 sq km (32,280 sq mi)

      Population (1997 est.): 2,580,000

      Capital: Abu Dhabi

      Chief of state: President Sheikh Zaid ibn Sultan an-Nahayan

      Head of government: Prime Minister Sheikh Maktum ibn Rashid al-Maktum

      The economy of the United Arab Emirates (UAE) continued its robust expansion in 1997. Gross domestic product (GDP) grew about 10% in 1996, the highest rate in the Middle East, and in 1997 it rose a substantial 4.4%. Significantly, two-thirds of the growth was from sources other than oil. The UAE's per capita income was highest in the region at $21,322. The country was a significant foreign donor, giving nearly 4% of its GDP to 13 international development organizations, including the International Monetary Fund and the World Bank.

      Despite the government's effort to reduce the number of resident foreigners, the country remained heavily dependent on foreign labour, which constituted more than 80% of the workforce. At the same time, the government invested substantially in education for its citizens, with enrollment at the university and the colleges of technology growing to 15,000; in addition, several thousand were studying abroad.

      Iran was the Emirates' primary foreign policy concern in 1997 even after the election to the Iranian presidency in May of Mohammad Khatami (see BIOGRAPHIES), who called for improved relations with Iran's neighbours. UAE officials protested Iranian military activities in the Persian Gulf, especially in regard to the ownership of three Gulf islands, which had been the subjects of disputes for many years. Most Arab governments supported the UAE in this confrontation.

WILLIAM A. RUGH

▪ 1997

      Consisting of Abu Dhabi, Ajman, Dubayy, al-Fujayrah, Ra`s al-Khaymah, ash-Shariqah, and Umm al-Qaywayn, the United Arab Emirates is a federation of seven largely autonomous emirates located on the eastern Arabian Peninsula. Area: 83,600 sq km (32,280 sq mi). Pop. (1996 est.): 2,290,000. Cap.: Abu Dhabi. Monetary unit: United Arab Emirates dirham, with (Oct. 11, 1996) an official rate of 3.67 dirhams to U.S. $1 (5.78 dirhams = £ 1 sterling). President in 1996, Sheikh Zaid ibn Sultan an-Nahayan; prime minister, Sheikh Maktum ibn Rashid al-Maktum.

      The United Arab Emirates (U.A.E.) economy continued to prosper in 1996, with gross domestic product growing about 6.5% to 155 billion dirhams by the year's end. Oil production rose to the OPEC quota ceiling of 2,161,000 bbl per day. The 1996 federal budget showed revenues of 4,730,000,000 dhirams and expenditures of 4,970,000,000.

      The U.A.E. authorities sought to reduce the number of resident foreigners (highest ratio of any country—1.9 million, compared with 400,000 citizens). In the spring they announced that all immigrants illegally in the country would be punished, but they granted an amnesty for any who departed or obtained work and residence permits between July 1 and September 1 (later extended to October 31). By November nearly 170,000 had left the country and another 50,000 had found legitimate jobs. (WILLIAM A. RUGH)

      This article updates United Arab Emirates, history of (United Arab Emirates).

▪ 1996

      Consisting of Abu Dhabi, Ajman, Dubayy, al-Fujayrah, Ra`s al-Khaymah, ash-Shariqah, and Umm al-Qaywayn, the United Arab Emirates is a federation of seven largely autonomous emirates located on the eastern Arabian Peninsula. Area: 83,600 sq km (32,280 sq mi). Pop. (1995 est.): 2,925,000. Cap.: Abu Dhabi. Monetary unit: United Arab Emirates dirham, with (Oct. 6, 1995) an official rate of 3.67 dirhams to U.S. $1 (5.81 dirhams = £ 1 sterling). President in 1995, Sheikh Zaid ibn Sultan an-Nahayan; prime minister, Sheikh Maktum ibn Rashid al-Maktum.

      In January 1995 the ruler of Dubayy, Sheikh Maktum ibn Rashid al-Maktum, appointed his younger brother, Sheikh Muhammad, as crown prince of Dubayy and Sheikh Muhammad's older brother, Sheikh Hamdan, as deputy ruler. Also in January, the Supreme Petroleum Council in Abu Dhabi approved a plan by the Abu Dhabi National Oil Company for a major expansion of the Ruwais Refinery that would increase its capacity to 400,000 bbl per day. In addition, a petrochemical plant (300,000 tons per year) was being considered in the same locale.

      The United Arab Emirates (U.A.E.) adopted a budget of $4.9 billion for 1995. Oil production continued at close to the quota of 2,161,000 bbl per day set by OPEC. U.A.E banks continued to show profits in 1995. On January 31 a Luxembourg court approved terms of a settlement in the Bank of Credit and Commerce International case whereby bank creditors would receive from Abu Dhabi the $1.8 billion settlement first agreed upon in 1994.

      No progress was achieved in the dispute with Iran over the islands of Greater and Lesser Tunbs and Abu Musa, which remained under Iranian occupation. Military ties with the U.S. continued to develop after the signing in July 1994 of a defense cooperation agreement. A defense agreement with France was signed in January 1995. Saudi Arabian plans to develop a major oil field near the U.A.E. border led to high-level discussions between the two nations. The Saudi-U.A.E. Border Agreement concluded in August 1974 was deposited with the United Nations. (JAMAL A. SA'D)

      This updates the article United Arab Emirates, history of (United Arab Emirates).

▪ 1995

      Consisting of Abu Dhabi, Ajman, Dubayy, al-Fujayrah, Ra`s al-Khaymah, ash-Shariqah, and Umm al-Qaywayn, the United Arab Emirates is a federation of seven largely autonomous emirates located on the eastern Arabian Peninsula. Area: 83,600 sq km (32,280 sq mi). Pop. (1994 est.): 2,125,000. Cap.: Abu Dhabi. Monetary unit: United Arab Emirates dirham, with (Oct. 7, 1994) a free rate of 3.67 dirhams to U.S. $1 (5.84 dirhams = £ 1 sterling). President in 1994, Sheikh Zaid ibn Sultan an-Nahayan; prime minister, Sheikh Maktum ibn Rashid al-Maktum.

      A call for dialogue between the United Arab Emirates and Iran over the future of Abu Musa and Greater and Lesser Tunb, islands located in the Persian Gulf between the two nations, was made by Egypt, Syria, and the other Gulf Cooperation Council states but to little avail. Iran appointed Hassan Rezai as the new governor of Abu Musa. In March Pres. Sheikh Zaid ibn Sultan an-Nahayan called for the matter to be settled by the International Court of Justice (ICJ). In December the government repeated its intention to refer the matter to the ICJ, but Iran still refused to negotiate.

      On February 19 the minister for petroleum and mineral resources, Youssef Omair ibn Youssef, formerly a banker, resigned in protest against the federal Oil Ministry's lack of authority over the constituent emirates. Emphasizing its independence in oil policy, Dubayy established Emirates National Oil Co., a new holding company to carry out hydrocarbons projects.

      An Abu Dhabi court sentenced former Bank of Credit and Commerce International (BCCI) founder Agha Hassan Abedi in his absence to eight years in prison on fraud charges in connection with the BCCI collapse. Creditors of the collapsed BCCI initially rejected a $1.8 billion settlement with Abu Dhabi but in November agreed in principle to the settlement.

      In mid-February Sheikh Zaid agreed on legislation to make a wide range of crimes that were formerly tried in civil courts punishable by Islamic law. Included were murder, manslaughter, assault causing bodily harm, theft, adultery, and drug trafficking. The decree applied to all emirates and emphasized the president's concern about the rise of Islamic fundamentalism. (JOHN WHELAN)

      This updates the article United Arab Emirates, history of (United Arab Emirates).

▪ 1994

      Consisting of Abu Dhabi, Ajman, Dubayy, al-Fujayrah, Ra`s al-Khaymah, ash-Shariqah, and Umm al-Qaywayn, the United Arab Emirates is a federation of seven largely autonomous emirates located on the eastern Arabian Peninsula. Area: 83,600 sq km (32,300 sq mi). Pop. (1993 est.): 1,986,000. Cap.: Abu Dhabi. Monetary unit: United Arab Emirates dirham, with (Oct. 4, 1993) a free rate of 3.69 dirhams to U.S. $1 (5.57 dirhams = £ 1 sterling). President in 1993, Sheikh Zaid ibn Sultan an-Nahayan; prime minister, Sheikh Maktum ibn Rashid al-Maktum.

      Diplomacy to settle the seizure by Iran in 1992 of Abu Musa and Greater and Lesser Tunb, three islands near the Strait of Hormuz, stumbled over the insistence by the United Arab Emirates (U.A.E.) that the dispute be submitted to international arbitration. The Iranian foreign minister visited the U.A.E. in May, and the two countries announced the resumption of talks.

      In January the appointed Federal National Council was reestablished by Pres. Sheikh Zaid ibn Sultan an-Nahayan and announced that plans to build a permanent federal capital on the Abu Dhabi-Dubayy border had been abandoned. In a meeting with Islamic scholars to mark the end of Ramadan (holy month of fasting), Pres. Sheikh Zaid issued a strong statement against religious extremism, indicating growing concern at the spread of Islamic fundamentalism.

      On October 9, 13 former officials of the failed Bank of Credit and Commerce International (BCCI) went on trial in Abu Dhabi on charges of forgery and false accounting. The Abu Dhabi ruling family, principal shareholder in BCCI, filed a $9 billion civil suit against the 13 in December.

      Dubayy tightened contract proposals for buyers of its crude oil after a contract with 31 buyers broke down in June, causing panic in the Dubayy oil market. On November 7 a major air show opened in Dubayy; it was attended by 450 companies from 33 countries. The U.S. reached agreement at the end of the year on quotas for the imports of textiles from the United Arab Emirates. (JOHN WHELAN)

      This updates the article United Arab Emirates, history of (United Arab Emirates).

* * *

Introduction
United Arab Emirates, flag of the  federation of seven emirates along the eastern coast of the Arabian Peninsula.

 The largest of these emirates, Abū Ẓaby (Abu Dhabi), which comprises more than three-fourths of the federation's total land area, is the centre of its oil industry and borders Saudi Arabia on the federation's southern and eastern borders. The port city of Dubai, located at the base of the mountainous Musandam Peninsula, is the capital of the emirate of Dubayy (Dubai) and is one of the region's most vital commercial and financial centres, housing hundreds of multinational corporations in a forest of skyscrapers. The smaller emirates of Al-Shāriqah (Shāriqah, Al-) (Sharjah), Ajmānʿ, Umm al-Qaywayn, and Raʾs al-Khaymah also occupy the peninsula, whose protrusion north toward Iran forms the Strait of Hormuz (Hormuz, Strait of) linking the Persian Gulf to the Gulf of Oman (Oman, Gulf of). The federation's seventh member, Al-Fujayrah (Fujayrah, Al-), faces the Gulf of Oman and is the only member of the union with no frontage along the Persian Gulf.

 Historically the domain of individual Arab clans and families, the region now comprising the emirates also has been influenced by Persian culture owing to its close proximity to Iran, and its porous maritime borders have for centuries invited migrants and traders from elsewhere. In the 18th century, Portugal and The Netherlands extended their holdings in the region but retreated with the growth of British naval power there; following a series of truces with Britain in the 19th century, the emirates united to form the Trucial States (also called Trucial Oman or the Trucial Sheikhdoms). The states gained autonomy following World War II (1939–45), when the trucial states of Bahrain and Qatar declared independent statehood. The rest were formally united in 1971, with the city of Abu Dhabi serving as the capital. The stability of the federation has since been tested by rivalries between the families governing the larger states of Abū Ẓaby and Dubayy, though external events such as the Persian Gulf War (1990–91) and an ongoing territorial dispute with Iran have served to strengthen the emirates' political cohesion.

      The emirates comprise a mixed environment of rocky desert, coastal plains and wetlands, and waterless mountains. The seashore is a haven for migratory waterfowl and draws birdwatchers from all over the world; the country's unspoiled beaches and opulent resorts also have drawn international travelers. Standing at a historic and geographic crossroads and made up of diverse nationalities and ethnic groups, the United Arab Emirates present a striking blend of ancient customs and modern technology, of cosmopolitanism and insularity, and of wealth and want. The rapid pace of modernization of the emirates prompted travel writer Jonathan Raban to note of the capital: “The condition of Abu Dhabi was so evidently mint that it would not have been surprising to see adhering to the buildings bits of straw and polystyrene from the crates in which they had been packed.”

 The United Arab Emirates is bordered by Qatar to the northwest, Saudi Arabia to the west and south, and Oman to the east and northeast. It is slightly smaller in area than Portugal. Since the early 1990s the emirates have been in a dispute with Iran over the ownership of three islands: Abū Mūsā and Greater and Lesser Tunb (Ṭunb al-Kubrā and Ṭunb al-Ṣughrā). In addition, the border with Saudi Arabia has never been defined, which was not an issue until Saudi Arabia began production at the Shaybah oil field in the border region in 1998.

Relief
      Nearly the entire country is desert, containing broad areas of sand. Some of the world's largest sand dunes are located east of ʿArādah in the oases of Al-Liwāʾ. Important oases are at Al-ʿAyn (Ayn, Al-ʿ) about 100 miles (160 km) east of Abu Dhabi. Along the eastern portion of the Musandam Peninsula, the northern extension of the Ḥajar Mountains (Ḥajar, al-) (also shared by Oman) offers the only other major relief feature; elevations rise to about 6,500 feet (2,000 metres) at their highest point. The Persian Gulf coast is broken by shoals and dotted with islands that offer shelter to small vessels. There are, however, no natural deepwater harbours; both Dubayy's Port Rāshid and the gigantic Port Jabal ʿAlī, 20 miles (32 km) southwest of Dubai city, are man-made, as are major ports in Abū Ẓaby, Al-Shāriqah, and Raʾs al-Khaymah. The coast of the Gulf of Oman (Oman, Gulf of) is more regular and has three natural harbours— Dibā, Khawr Fakkān, and Kalbā.

Drainage
      The United Arab Emirates has no perennial streams nor any regularly occurring bodies of surface water. Precipitation, what little falls, is drained from the mountains in the form of seasonal wadis that terminate in inland salt flats, or sabkhahs, whose drainage is frequently blocked by the country's constantly shifting dunes. In the far west the Maṭṭī Salt Flat extends southward into Saudi Arabia, and coastal sabkhahs, which are occasionally inundated by the waters of the Persian Gulf, lie in the areas around Abu Dhabi.

Climate
      The climate is hot and humid along the coast and is hotter still, but dry, in the interior. Rainfall averages only 4 to 6 inches (100 to 150 mm) annually, though it fluctuates considerably from year to year. The average January temperature is 64 °F (18 °C), while in July the temperature averages 91 °F (33 °C). Summertime highs can reach 115 °F (46 °C) on the coast and 120 °F (49 °C) or more in the desert. In midwinter and early summer, winds known as the shamāl (shamal) (Arabic: “norther”) blow from the north and northwest, bearing dust and sand.

Plant and animal life
 Because of the desert climate, vegetation is scanty and largely limited to the low shrubs that offer forage to nomadic herds; but millions of trees, notably mangroves (mangrove), have been planted in Abū Ẓaby and have provided habitats for various species. In the oases, date palms are raised together with alfalfa (lucerne). Fruits are grown, and the Al-ʿAyn oases east of Abu Dhabi are known for their mangoes. Animal life includes domesticated goats, sheep, and camels, together with cattle and poultry, which were introduced in more recent times. Wildlife consists of predators such as the caracal, sand cat (Felis margarita), and the Ruppell's (Vulpes ruppelli) and red foxes; larger animals such as the Arabian oryx and Arabian and Persian gazelles; smaller mammals such as the cape hare, lesser jerboa, and various types of gerbil; and a variety of snakes and lizards. The gulf waters harbour schools of mackerel, grouper, tuna, and porgies, as well as sharks and occasional whales. In the 1990s the government initiated a conservation and management program to preserve and protect desert animal and plant life.

Ethnic groups
      Only about one-fifth of the emirates' residents are citizens. The remainder are mostly foreign workers and their dependents, with South Asians constituting the largest of these groups. Arabs from countries other than the United Arab Emirates and Iranians account for another significant portion. Southeast Asians, including many Filipinos, have immigrated in increasing numbers to work in various capacities.

Languages and religion
      The official language of the United Arab Emirates is Arabic (Arabic language). Modern Standard Arabic is taught in schools, and most native Emiratis speak a dialect of Gulf Arabic that is generally similar to that spoken in surrounding countries. A number of languages are spoken among the expatriate community, including various dialects of Pashto, Hindi, Balochi, and Persian. English is also widely spoken.

 About three-fourths of the population is Muslim (Islāmic world), of which roughly four-fifths belong to the Sunni (Sunnite) branch of Islam; Shīʿite minorities exist in Dubayy and Al-Shāriqah. There are also small but growing numbers of Christians and Hindus in the country.

Settlement patterns and demographic trends
      The population of the United Arab Emirates is concentrated primarily in cities along both coasts, although the interior oasis settlement of Al-ʿAyn has grown into a major population centre as well. Several emirates have exclaves within other emirates.

      The federation's birth rate is one of the lowest among the Persian Gulf states, and the infant mortality rate has decreased substantially. Owing to the large number of foreign workers, more than two-thirds of the population is male. The country's death rate is well below the world average, and the average life expectancy is about 75 years. The major causes of death are cardiovascular disease, accidents and poisonings, and cancer.

Economy
      The federation's economy is dominated by the petroleum produced in the Abū Ẓaby and Dubayy emirates. The wealthiest of the emirates, Abū Ẓaby contains nearly one-tenth of the world's proven oil (petroleum) reserves and contributes more than half of the national budget.

Agriculture and fishing
      Agricultural production—centred largely in the emirates of Raʾs al-Khaymah and Al-Fujayrah, in the two exclaves of ʿAjmān, and at Al-ʿAyn—has expanded considerably through the increased use of wells and pumps to provide water for irrigation. However, agriculture contributes only a small fraction of gross domestic product (GDP) and employs less than one-tenth of the workforce. Dates are a major crop, as are tomatoes, cucumbers, and eggplants, and the United Arab Emirates is nearly self-sufficient in fruit and vegetable production. The country also produces enough eggs, poultry, fish, and dairy products to meet its own needs but must import most other foodstuffs, notably grains. The Arid Lands Research Centre at Al-ʿAyn experiments with raising crops in a desert environment. Most commercial fishing is concentrated in Umm al-Qaywayn, and the emirates have one of the largest fishing sectors in the Arab world.

Resources and power
      Oil was discovered in Abū Ẓaby in 1958, and the government of that emirate owns a controlling interest in all oil-producing companies in the federation through the Abu Dhabi National Oil Company (ADNOC). Petroleum production contributes about one-third GDP but employs only a tiny fraction of the workforce. The largest petroleum concessions are held by an ADNOC subsidiary, Abu Dhabi Marine Operating Company (ADMA-OPCO), which is partially owned by British, French, and Japanese interests. One of the main offshore fields is located in Umm al-Shāʾif. Al-Bunduq offshore field is shared with neighbouring Qatar but is operated by ADMA-OPCO. A Japanese consortium operates an offshore rig at Al-Mubarraz, and other offshore concessions are held by American companies. Onshore oil concessions are held by another ADNOC company, the Abu Dhabi Company for Onshore Oil Operations, which is likewise partially owned by American, French, Japanese, and British interests. Other concessions also are held by Japanese companies.

      Petroleum production in Dubayy began in 1969. There are offshore oil fields at Ḥaql Fatḥ, Fallah, and Rāshid. Dubayy owns a controlling interest in all oil produced in the emirate. Al-Shāriqah began producing oil in 1974; another field, predominantly yielding natural gas, was discovered six years later. In 1984 oil production began off the shore of Raʾs al-Khaymah, in the Persian Gulf. Dubayy produces about one-third of the country's total output of petroleum.

      The federation's natural gas reserves are among the world's largest, and most fields are found in Abū Ẓaby. In the late 1990s the United Arab Emirates began investing heavily to develop its natural gas sector, both for export and to fire domestic thermal power plants; at the beginning of the 21st century, however, crude petroleum exports continued to far outstrip exports of natural gas.

Manufacturing
      The emirates have attempted to diversify their economy to avoid complete dependence on oil, and manufacturing has played a significant part in that effort. A petrochemical industrial complex has been established at Al-Ruways (Ruways, Al-), 140 miles (225 km) southwest of Abu Dhabi city, with a petroleum refinery, a gas fractionation plant, and an ammonia and urea plant. Dubayy's revenues have been invested in projects such as a dry dock and a trade centre; expansion of its airport began in 2002, and additional hotels have been built, including the striking Burj al-ʿArab (Tower of the Arabs), which opened in the late 1990s. Construction on the city's Burj Dubai (“Dubai Tower”) continued in 2007, when the project, then still in progress, became both the world's tallest building and the tallest freestanding structure. Al-Shāriqah has built a cement plant, a plastic-pipe factory, and paint factories. Manufacturing accounts for about one-seventh of GDP and employs a comparable proportion of the workforce.

Finance
 The Central Bank of the United Arab Emirates was established in 1980, with Dubayy and Abū Ẓaby each depositing half of their revenues in the institution. The bank also issues the UAE dirham, the emirates' national currency. There are commercial, investment, development, foreign, and domestic banks as well as a bankers' association. In 1991 the worldwide operations of Abū Ẓaby's Bank of Credit and Commerce International (BCCI), partly owned by the ruling family, were closed down after corrupt practices were uncovered, and the emirate subsequently created the Abu Dhabi Free Zone Authority to develop a new financial centre. The emirates' first official stock exchange, the Dubai Financial Market (Sūq Dubayy al-Mālī), was opened in 2000, followed by the Dubai International Financial Exchange in 2005.

      Finance is an important component of the emirates' economy, and the country's liberal banking regulations have made it a popular destination for foreign funds, both open and clandestine. Dubai in particular has become a major world banking centre and a hub for unofficial financial institutions known as ḥawālahs (or hundīs), which specialize in transferring money internationally beyond state regulation. While such institutions are used primarily to transfer remittances, they also have been a way for terrorist (terrorism) organizations and criminal groups to move and launder illicit funds.

Trade
      Trade has long been important to Dubayy and Al-Shāriqah. Even before the discovery of oil, Dubayy's prosperity was assured by its role as the Persian Gulf's leading entrepôt. (It was known especially as a route for smuggling gold into India.) In 1995 the United Arab Emirates joined the World Trade Organization and since then has developed a number of free-trade zones, technology parks, and modern ports in order to attract trade. The large free-trade zone of Port Jabal ʿAlī was developed during the 1980s and has done much to attract foreign manufacturing industries interested in producing goods for export.

      Exports are dominated by petroleum and natural gas. Imports consist primarily of machinery and transport equipment, gold, precious stones and foods. Major trading partners include Japan, western European countries, South Korea, and China. A large amount of trade is in reexports to neighbouring gulf countries.

Services
 The service sector, including public administration, defense, tourism, and construction, employs roughly two-fifths of the workforce and accounts for some one-fifth of GDP. Tourism has played an increasing role in the economy since the late 1990s. In order to develop its tourism sector, the government has encouraged hotel, resort, and restaurant construction and airport expansion.

Labour and taxation
  Expatriate workers constitute about nine-tenths of the labour force, and more in some private sector areas. Conditions for these workers often can be harsh, and at the beginning of the 21st century, the state did not allow workers to organize. Like other gulf states that depend heavily on foreign workers, the emirates have attempted to reduce the number of foreign employees—in a program known as Emiratization—by providing incentives for businesses to hire Emirati nationals. There are no personal taxes in the United Arab Emirates, and corporate taxes are only levied on oil companies and foreign banks. The bulk of government revenue is generated from nontax incomes, largely from the sale of petroleum products. In the early 21st century the expatriate labour issue persisted despite landmark developments. New laws were instituted that ban work during the heat of the midday hours in summer and that prohibit the use of children (largely expatriate) as jockeys in camel races. In addition, a number of strikes and protests in 2005 by unpaid expatriate labourers against a major construction and development company were resolved in favour of the workers. Early in 2006, the government announced the drafting of a new law permitting the formation of unions and wage bargaining; later that year, however, it instead passed a law permitting the deportation of striking workers, and worker organization remained illegal.

Transportation and telecommunications
 An excellent road system, developed in the late 1960s and '70s, carries motor vehicles throughout the country and links it to its neighbours. The addition of a tunnel to the bridges connecting Dubai city and the nearby commercial centre of Dayrah facilitates the movement of traffic across the small saltwater inlet that separates them. The cities of Abu Dhabi, Dubai, Sharjah, Raʾs al-Khaymah, and Al-Fujayrah are served by international airports; a sixth airport at Al-ʿAyn was completed in the mid-1990s. The airport at Dubai is one of the busiest in the Middle East.

      The federation has a number of large and modern ports, including the facilities at Dubayy's Port Rāshid, which is serviced by a vast shipyard, and Port Jabal ʿAlī, situated in one of the largest man-made harbours in the world and one of the busiest ports in the gulf. Of the smaller harbours on the Gulf of Oman, Al-Shāriqah has a modest port north of the city. At the beginning of the 21st century, the country had no rail system; however, a contract was established with a Japanese corporation in 2005 for the construction of light-rail service in the city of Dubai, and a number of additional projects, including monorail service in Abu Dhabi and linkages to the Saudi rail networks, were proposed in the following years.

      The state-controlled Emirates Telecommunications Corporation, known as Etisalat (Ittiṣālāt), is a major telecommunications provider in the country. Radio, television, telephone, and cellular telephone service is prevalent and widely used. In 2000 Etisalat began providing Internet service, and the emirates soon had one of the largest subscriber bases per capita in the Middle East. In 2005 a second licensed operator, Emirates Integrated Telecommunications Company (du), began providing telephone and high-speed Internet service, and in 2006 they reached an agreement with Etisalat to link their networks.

Government and society

Constitutional framework
      The highest governmental authority is the Supreme Council of Rulers, which is composed of the quasi-hereditary rulers of the seven emirates. The president and vice president of the federation are elected for five-year terms by the Supreme Council from among its members. The president appoints a prime minister and a cabinet. The unicameral legislature, the Federal National Council, is an advisory body made up of 40 members appointed by the individual emirates for two-year terms. A provisional constitution was ratified in 1971 and was made permanent in 1996 by the Supreme Council.

Local government
      The United Arab Emirates has a federal system of government, and any powers not assigned to the federal government by the constitution devolve to the constituent emirates. Generally, the distribution of power within the federal system is similar to those in other such systems—for example, the federation government administers foreign policy, determines broad economic policy, and runs the social welfare system—and a significant amount of power is exercised at the individual emirate level, notably in Abū Ẓaby and Dubayy.

Justice
      The constitution calls for a legal code based on Sharīʿah (Islamic law). In practice, the judiciary blends Western and Islamic legal principles. At the federal level the judicial branch consists of the Union Supreme Court and several courts of first instance: the former deals with emirate-federal or inter-emirate disputes and crimes against the state, and the latter cover administrative, commercial, and civil disputes between individuals and the federal government. Other legal matters are left to local judicial bodies.

Political process
      Until the beginning of the 21st century, there were no political parties in the emirates, and no elections were held. In late 2006 a limited number of participants were permitted to vote in the first-ever elections. An electoral college of about 7,000 (less than 1 percent of the population) was eligible to participate in the selection of half of the membership of the advisory Federal National Council; the other half was to remain designated by appointment. On the whole, leadership in each emirate falls to that emirate's most politically prominent tribe (an agnatic lineage group composed of a number of related families), and the paramount leader, the emir, is selected by the notables of the ruling tribe from among their number—this is usually, but not always, a son of the previous emir. Each tribe, however, has its own leader, or sheikh, and a certain degree of political pluralism is necessary to maintain the ruling family's position. This is largely facilitated by the institution called the majlis, the council meeting. During the majlis the leader hears grievances, mediates disputes, and disperses largesse, and, in theory, anyone under the leader's rule must be granted access to the majlis.

Security
      The emirates' defense forces were merged in 1976, but the forces in Dubayy and Abū Ẓaby have retained some independence. The Supreme Council has made the right to raise armed forces a power of the national government. In 2006 the Supreme National Security Council, which included the president, prime minister, and chief of staff of the armed forces, among others, was formed to deal with the emirates' security needs. The number of uniformed military personnel is high for a country the size of the emirates, as is total military spending per capita. Most personnel are in the army, but the emirates maintain a small navy and air force, and a large number of expatriates serve in the military.

Health and welfare
      Hospital services are free to nationals, and medical services are concentrated in Dubayy and Abū Ẓaby, which have numerous hospitals, child-welfare clinics, and other health facilities. In the late 1990s the emirates began privatizing health care, which led to a significant rise in the number of hospitals and physicians. Government spending on health care has also increased.

Housing
      A considerable proportion of government spending, at both the federal and local levels, is devoted to constructing and financing housing and to developing civil infrastructure such as power, water, and waste removal. The federation government makes housing available to citizens through direct low-interest loans, subsidies on rental units, and grants of housing at no charge, and thousands of Emiratis have taken advantage of these programs.

Education
      Education in the emirates is free and mandatory at the primary level for all children from ages 6 to 12. Secondary education is not compulsory. There are a number of fine institutions of higher education in the emirates, and both boys and girls attend public school. Female students far outnumber males at the United Arab Emirates University, which opened at Al-ʿAyn in 1977, and Zayed University (1998) provides women with technical education. At the beginning of the 21st century, more than three-fourths of the population was literate, and the female literacy rate exceeded that for men.

Cultural life
      The cultural traditions of the United Arab Emirates are rooted in Islam and resonate with the wider Arab world, especially with the neighbouring states of the Persian Gulf. The federation has experienced the impact of Islamic resurgence, though Islam in the emirates is generally less austere than in Saudi Arabia. Tribal identities in the United Arab Emirates remain fairly strong, despite urbanization and the presence of a large expatriate community, and the family is still considered the strongest and most cohesive social unit.

Daily life and social customs
      In several ways, change is apparent in the federation's cultural life. Changes in attitudes toward marriage and the employment of women are discernible. Some women are now given more choice in a marriage partner, and they have gained greater access to education and some types of professional work. New forms of entertainment, ranging from football (soccer) matches to DVD players, have affected taste and behaviour.

      Although few Emiratis retain the lifeways of their forebears—practicing a nomadic lifestyle or plying the Persian Gulf in search of fish and pearls—many traditional modes of living continue. The major Islamic holidays, including the two ʿīds (festivals), Īd al-Fiṭrʿ and Īd al-Aḍḥāʿ, are observed among the Muslim majority, and traditional dress is still the norm. For women, traditional attire consists of a light chemise known as a dirʿ, which is often worn beneath a more ornate dress (thawb). Beneath the dress a sirwāl, a type of loose trouser, is worn. Outside the home or in the presence of strangers, women still cover themselves with a dark cloak known as an ʿabāyah and cover their heads with a scarf called a shāl, which may also serve as a veil (ḥijāb or burquʿ). Fabrics are often delicate, colourful, and highly embroidered, and Emirati women wear a variety of fine gold and silver jewelry.

      The traditional garb for men consists of a long, simple, ankle-length garment known as a dishdashah (or thawb). Usually made of white cotton, the dishdashah may also be of a heavier material and may be made in a variety of colours. The standard head covering is the ghuṭrah, a light scarf (usually white or white and red checkered, also known as a kaffiyeh) held in place by a black cord of camel hair known as an ʿiqāl. Colour, style, and material of head-wear may vary among groups.

      Emirati cuisine reflects the variety of cultural influences that the country has experienced over the centuries. Hummus, fūl (spiced bean paste), falafel, and shāwurmah (shwarma; broiled meat served on flat bread) are dishes standard to the Arab world, whereas the influence of Iranian cuisine can be seen in the Emirati preference for rice as a staple and ingredients such as saffron, cardamom, and rose water as flavouring in desserts. As in all countries of the region, lamb and chicken are the preferred meats, and fresh fruits—including dates, figs, lemons, and limes—vegetables, and unleavened bread (khubz) are daily fare. The preferred drink is coffee, served in the popular fashion—hot, strong, and sweet.

The arts
      As is true of other countries of the Arabian Peninsula, traditional arts such as pottery, weaving, and metalworking occupy a prominent place in cultural life. The manufacture of handicrafts is an economic mainstay for smaller villages, providing goods to sell in the souks (open-air markets) that lie at the heart of small towns and large cities alike. Traditional storytelling remains a much-admired art form, and Emirati culture, like Arab culture on the whole, esteems poetry, whether it is classical, contemporary, or the Bedouin vernacular form called nabaṭī. Traditional music, such as the ḥudāʾ—sung originally by caravanners while on the trail—is enjoyed alongside popular music from abroad, and traditional dances such as the ʿayyālah (often called ʿarḍah), a type of sword dance, are performed on special occasions.

      The Ministry of Information and Culture sponsors a number of events annually, including plays and music festivals, and helps support the numerous folklore associations in the emirates. The Sharjah Theatre Festival brings together talent from all seven emirates. Annual international book fairs in Sharjah and Abu Dhabi cities are highly regarded, and film festivals in the emirates are gaining in popularity and reputation. The Dubai Air Show has become a major regional event.

Cultural institutions
      Dubai Museum is located in al-Fahīdī Fort and features displays on Bedouin life, local history, dances, and musical instruments. The fort is also home to a military museum. Al-ʿAyn is the site of a museum devoted to Bedouin culture and the emirates' pre-oil history. Sharjah city features a noted natural history museum. Dubai city is growing as a centre for regional film, television, and music production.

Sports and recreation
      Sports are popular in the United Arab Emirates and are strongly supported by the government. The Ministry of Youth and Sports oversees and encourages the many groups, clubs, and associations that provide sports-related activities. Football (soccer) is the most-watched spectator sport, and horse racing also enjoys widespread popularity. The federation is also a major centre for camel racing, a traditional sport that became increasingly popular late in the 20th century, and for falconry, once an important means of hunting. Dubayy hosts many international sporting events, most notably for golf, tennis, rugby, and boat racing. The country made its Olympic debut at the 1984 Summer Games.

Media and publishing
      The news media are concentrated in Abū Ẓaby, Dubayy, and Al-Shāriqah. A number of daily newspapers are published, in both Arabic and English. Radio and television programs are broadcast daily from Abū Ẓaby, Dubayy, Al-Shāriqah, and Raʾs al-Khaymah, in those same languages.

History
      This discussion focuses on the United Arab Emirates since the 19th century. For a treatment of earlier periods and of the country in its regional context, see Arabia, history of.

      In the late 18th and early 19th centuries, the dominant tribal faction was the Āl Qawāsim (singular: Qāsimī), whose ships controlled the maritime commerce (notably fishing and pearling) concentrated in the lower Persian Gulf and in much of the Indian Ocean. Attacks on British (British Empire) and Indian ships led to a British naval attack in 1819 that defeated the Qāsimī forces, and the British became dominant in the region.

      The Āl Qawāsim thus lost power and influence in the region, and the Banū Yās tribal confederation of Abū Ẓaby (Abu Dhabi) became dominant. The Banū Yās were centred on the Al-ʿAyn and Al-Liwāʾ oases of Abū Ẓaby, and their strength was land-based. Under the leadership of the Āl Nahyān (members of the Āl Bū Falāḥ tribe), the Banū Yās have been the most powerful element in the region since the mid-19th century. The principal sheikhs along the coast signed a series of agreements during that century—a general treaty of peace in 1820, the perpetual maritime truce in 1853 (which gave the Trucial Coast its name), and exclusive agreements in 1892 restricting their foreign relations to British discretion—and the sheikhdoms became known as the Trucial States.

      A council of the Trucial States began to meet semiannually in 1952 to discuss administrative issues. In January 1968, following the announcement by the British government that its forces would be withdrawn from the Persian Gulf by late 1971, Trucial Oman and the sheikhdoms of Qatar and Bahrain initiated plans to form a confederation. After three years of negotiations, however, Qatar and Bahrain decided to become independent sovereign states, and the former Trucial States, excluding Raʾs al-Khaymah, announced the formation of the United Arab Emirates in December 1971. Raʾs al-Khaymah joined the federation in February 1972.

The struggle for centralization
 Abū Ẓaby initiated a movement toward centralization in December 1973, when several of its former cabinet members took positions with the federal government. In May 1976 the seven emirates agreed to merge their armed forces, and in November of that year a provision was added to the constitution that gave the federal government the right to form an army and purchase weapons. Conflicts regarding centralization within the government in 1978 prompted Dubayy and Raʾs al-Khaymah to refuse to submit their forces to federal command, and Dubayy began purchasing weapons independently. A proposal to form a federal budget, merge revenues, and eliminate internal boundaries was rejected by Dubayy and Raʾs al-Khaymah, in spite of strong domestic support. Dubayy ended its opposition, however, when its ruler, Sheikh Rāshid ibn Saʿīd al-Maktūm (Maktūm, Rāshid ibn Saʿīd, Sheikh Āl), was offered the premiership of the federal government; he took office in July 1979. Sheikh Zāyid ibn Sulṭān al-Nahyān (Nahyān, Sheikh Zāyid ibn Sulṭān Āl) of Abū Ẓaby served as president of the United Arab Emirates from 1971 to his death in 2004, when he was succeeded by his son Sheikh Khalifa ibn Zāyid al-Nahyān as ruler of Abū Ẓaby and president of the emirates. Sheikh Rāshid (Maktūm, Rāshid ibn Saʿīd, Sheikh Āl) of Dubayy died in 1990, and his positions as ruler of Dubayy and vice president and prime minister of the United Arab Emirates were assumed, successively, by his sons Sheikh Maktūm ibn Rāshid al-Maktūm (1990–2006) and, since 2006, Sheikh Muhammad ibn Rāshid al-Maktūm.

      In 2006 the United Arab Emirates held its first elections. A very limited electoral college was permitted to vote for the selection of half of the membership of the advisory Federal National Council, the other half of which would remain designated by appointment.

Foreign relations
      The regime of Ruhollah Khomeini (Khomeini, Ruhollah) in Iran and the subsequent Iran-Iraq War (1980–88) created problems for the United Arab Emirates. The resurgence of Islamic fundamentalism posed a double threat to the federation's stability by generating unrest among the Iranian Shīʿites living in the emirates and providing inspiration to the growing numbers of young activist Sunnis, who found the existing political order unsupportive and uncommitted to upholding Islamic values.

      Fighting during the Iran-Iraq War broke out within a few miles of the emirates' coast when Iran and Iraq began to attack tankers in the Persian Gulf. The intensity of such threats moved the emirates to join with Oman, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, Bahrain, and Kuwait to form the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) in 1981. The council was designed to strengthen the security of its members and to promote economic cooperation. The United Arab Emirates joined Saudi Arabia and the other GCC states in condemning Iraq's invasion of Kuwait in 1990. It provided facilities for Western military forces and contributed troops for the liberation of Kuwait in early 1991. The emirates also became a member of both the United Nations and the Arab League in 1991.

      The emirates, backed by fellow GCC members, objected vigorously when in 1992 Iran strengthened its control over the disputed islands of Abū Mūsa and the Tunbs (Ṭunb al-Kubrā and Ṭunb al-Ṣughrā), both seized by Iran in 1971. Iran continued to engage in development activities on the islands throughout the decade, including the establishment of an airport on Abū Mūsa and a power station on Ṭunb al-Kubrā in 1996, further straining relations between the two countries; by 2006 no conclusive resolution to these disputes had been reached. The emirates responded by moving closer to the Western powers while maintaining a confrontational stance toward Iran.

      In the late 1990s the federation was one of only three countries—along with Pakistan and Saudi Arabia—to recognize the Taliban regime of Afghanistan. The emirates broke relations with that group in 2001, however, when the Taliban refused to extradite Islamic militant Osama bin Laden (bin Laden, Osama), accused of organizing the attacks on the World Trade Center in New York City and on the Pentagon outside of Washington, D.C., on September 11.

      In early 2006 a fierce debate emerged over the move by state-owned Dubai Ports World (DP World) to take over management of a number of U.S. ports through its acquisition of the British firm that had previously run the ports. Citing security fears, the U.S. Congress threatened to block the deal, which was supported by Pres. George W. Bush. Though political confrontation was averted when DP World committed to divesting of the ports shortly thereafter, the incident provoked strong international debate. In 2007 state-backed Dubai Aerospace Enterprises was also forced to back out of its proposal to purchase a majority stake in the Auckland International Airport in New Zealand; the deal, supported by airport board officials, was faced with overwhelming local council and public opposition.

J.E. Peterson Jill Ann Crystal Ed.

Additional Reading
Comparative coverage of the states in the Persian Gulf region is provided by Michael Herb, All in the Family: Absolutism, Revolution, and Democracy in the Middle Eastern Monarchies (1999); F. Gregory Gause, III, Oil Monarchies: Domestic and Security Challenges in the Arab Gulf States (1994); John Bulloch, The Persian Gulf Unveiled (also published as The Gulf, 1984); and Alvin J. Cottrell (ed.), The Persian Gulf States: A General Survey (1980). Discussions of early history include Juan R.I. Cole, “Rival Empires of Trade and Imami Shiʿism in Eastern Arabia, 1300–1800,” International Journal of Middle East Studies, 19:177–203 (May 1987); Ahmad Mustafa Abu-Hakima, History of Eastern Arabia, 1750–1800: The Rise and Development of Bahrain and Kuwait (1965); and J.B. Kelly, Britain and the Persian Gulf, 1795–1880 (1968). Works on the United Arab Emirates include Frank A. Clements (compiler), United Arab Emirates, rev. ed. (1998); Werner Forman and Michael Asher, Phoenix Rising: The United Arab Emirates, Past, Present & Future (1996); Malcolm C. Peck, The United Arab Emirates: A Venture in Unity (1986); and Ali Mohammed Khalifa, The United Arab Emirates: Unity in Fragmentation (1979). Linda Usra Soffan, The Women of the United Arab Emirates (1980), discusses changes in the status of women. See also Ragaei El Mallakh, The Economic Development of the United Arab Emirates (1981).Historical works include Abdullah Omran Taryam, The Establishment of the United Arab Emirates, 1950–85 (1987); Sulṭān Muḥammad Al-Qāsimī, The Myth of Arab Piracy in the Gulf, 2nd ed. (1988); Frauke Heard-Bey, From Trucial States to United Arab Emirates: A Society in Transition, new ed. (1996); Muhammad Morsy Abdullah, The United Arab Emirates: A Modern History (1978); Rosemarie Said Zahlan, The Origins of the United Arab Emirates (1978); and Clarence C. Mann, Abu Dhabi: Birth of an Oil Shaikhdom, 2nd ed. (1969).Jill Ann Crystal

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  • United Arab Emirates — country in E Arabia, on the Persian Gulf, consisting of seven Arab emirates (formerly called TRUCIAL STATES): 32,300 sq mi (83,657 sq km); pop. 1,622,000; cap. Abu Dhabi …   English World dictionary

  • United Arab Emirates —   [ju naɪtɪd ærəb e mɪərəts, englisch], Vereinigte Arabische Emirate …   Universal-Lexikon

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  • United Arab Emirates — noun a federation of seven Arab emirates on the eastern Arabian peninsula; achieved independence from the United Kingdom in 1971; rich in oil reserves • Instance Hypernyms: ↑Asian country, ↑Asian nation • Member Holonyms: ↑Arab League,… …   Useful english dictionary

  • United Arab Emirates — noun A country in the Middle East. Official name: The United Arab Emirates; abbreviation: UAE, the Emirates …   Wiktionary

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