|United Arab Emirates ( UAE )||Introduction||Back to Top|
United Arab Emirates (UAE), federation of seven independent states lying along the east-central coast of the Arabian Peninsula, formerly called the Trucial States (from the Perpetual Maritime Truce signed with Great Britain in 1853), and constituting, with Bahrain, Kuwait, and Qatar, the Persian Gulf States. The states making up the UAE are: Abu Dhabi, 'Ajmân, Dubai, Al Fujayrah, Ra's al Khaymah, Sharjah (or Ash Shâriqah), and Umm al-Qaiwain. The states, occupying a vaguely defined area formerly known as the Pirate Coast, as well as 80 km (50 mi) of coast on the Gulf of Oman, are bordered on the north by Qatar and the Persian Gulf, on the east by the Gulf of Oman, and on the south and west by Saudi Arabia. The area of the UAE is 77,700 sq km (30,000 sq mi).Official Name- United Arab Emirates
|United Arab Emirates ( UAE )||Provinces||Back to Top|
7 emirates (imarat, singular - imarah); Abu Zaby (Abu Dhabi), 'Ajman, Al Fujayrah, Ash Shariqah (Sharjah), Dubayy (Dubai), Ra's al Khaymah, Umm al Qaywayn
|United Arab Emirates ( UAE )||People||Back to Top|
The UAE had an estimated population of 2,407,460 in 2001, with a density of 29 persons per sq km (75 per sq mi). Some 85 percent of the country’s population is urban.
The population of the United Arab Emirates is concentrated primarily in cities along both coasts, although the interior oasis settlement of Al-'Ayn has grown into a major population centre as well. Several emirates have enclaves within other emirates. Less than one-fifth of the emirates' residents are citizens. The remainder are mostly male foreign workers and their dependents, with South Asians, mainly Indians and Pakistanis, constituting nearly half of the population. Arabs from countries other than the United Arab Emirates, notably Egypt, account for more than one-tenth and Iranians nearly one-fifth of the population. Southeast Asians, including many Filipinos, have immigrated in increasing numbers to work in various capacities.
|United Arab Emirates ( UAE )||History||Back to Top|
Archaeological research indicates the presence of an advanced trading culture in the early 3rd millennium bc in what is now the UAE. The small trading states that emerged along the Persian Gulf coast were later overwhelmed by Persian empires—the Achaemenid Empire from the 6th to the 4th centuries bc and the Sassanian Empire from the 3rd to the 7th centuries ad. These empires took over and controlled the extensive maritime trade that the small states had already carried as far as China. In the early centuries ad Arab tribes flocked to the region, first along the southern coast of the Arabian Peninsula, then from the north, helping to make it receptive to the religion of Islam before the death of the prophet Muhammad.
The Al-Qawasim thus lost power and influence in the region, and the Banu Yas tribal confederation of Abu Dhabi became dominant. The Banu Yas were centred on the Al-'Ayn and Al-Liwa' oases of Abu Dhabi, and their strength was land-based. Under the leadership of the Al Nahyan (members of the Al Bu Falah tribe), the Banu Yas 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.
its birth on December 2, 1971, the UAE faced challenges that caused many to predict that the new federation would fail. There were border disputes with Saudi Arabia and Oman, rivalries among the emirates were strong, and Iran seized the island of Abu Musá, Tunb al Kubrá (Greater Tunb), and Tunb as Sughrá (Lesser Tunb) in the Persian Gulf, all of which had been claimed by the UAE. Threats to regional stability since then have included the 1979 Iranian Islamic Revolution, the Iran-Iraq War (1980-1988), and Iraq’s invasion of Kuwait in 1990. The UAE has survived these dangers and prospered largely because its president, Sheikh Zayed.
|United Arab Emirates ( UAE )||Culture||Back to Top|
The cultural traditions of the United Arab Emirates are rooted in Islam and identify with the wider Arab world, but strong cultural ties are maintained with the neighbouring Persian Gulf states. Tribal identities remain fairly strong, despite urbanization, and the family is still considered the strongest and most cohesive social unit. The United Arab Emirates has experienced the impact of Islamic resurgence, though Islam in the emirates is generally less austere than in Saudi Arabia. Camel racing remains a popular sport.
Traditional social rituals remain important, especially the Eid al-Fitr and the Eid al-Adha, the festivals that mark the end of Ramadan and the conclusion of the hajj on the Islamic calendar. On special occasions Emiris perform traditional dances to musical accompaniment. The commitment to preserving traditional arts and culture is evident both at the popular level and in the political leadership. Each emirate devotes considerable resources to maintaining museums and libraries. Throughout the year, the Abu Dhabi Cultural Foundation sponsors major events on artistic, social, and other themes that are designed to place before audiences both Arab and other cultural fare.
change is apparent in the nation's cultural life. Changes in attitudes toward marriage and employment of women are discernible. Some women are now given more opportunity for choice in a marriage partner, and education and some types of professional work have become more available to women. New forms of entertainment, ranging from football (soccer) matches to videotape recorders, have affected taste and behaviour.
|United Arab Emirates ( UAE )||Life||Back to Top|
The culture and society of the UAE are a blend of traditional and modern elements. The religion of Islam and the heritage of a traditional, tribal society form the basis of a stable and essentially conservative social structure. There is, however, a decidedly tolerant and cosmopolitan atmosphere—most notable in the emirate of Dubai—that gives resident non-Emiris opportunities to enjoy their own cultural and religious organizations. For most older women the home remains the sphere of activity; younger women, benefiting from their access to modern education, are playing an ever-wider role in society.
|United Arab Emirates ( UAE )||Land||Back to Top|
Entire country is desert, containing broad patches of sand. Salt flats lie in the coastal areas around Abu Dhabi city and in the far west, the latter constituting the Matti Salt Flat that extends southward into Saudi Arabia. Some of the world's largest sand dunes are located east of 'Aradah in the oases of Al-Liwa'. The largest oases are at Al-'Ayn about 100 miles (160 km) east of Abu Dhabi. Along the eastern portion of the Musandam Peninsula, the northern extension of the Al-Hajar Mountains (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 Rashid and the gigantic Port Jabal 'Ali are man-made.
|Turkey||Plants and Animal||Back to Top|
wild boar, which are seldom hunted or killed by Muslims (the great majority of the population), remain abundant in the forests. Wolf, fox, wildcat, hyena, jackal, deer, bear, marten, and mountain goat inhabit more remote areas. The camel, water buffalo, and Angora goat have been domesticated. In addition to numerous local species of birds, including the wild goose, partridge, and quail, migrations of birds of prey—lesser spotted eagles, buzzards, hawks, kestrels, and falcons—pass down the Bosporus. Trout are abundant in the mountain streams, and bonito, mackerel, and bluefish are plentiful in the Turkish Straits. Anchovies are caught in the Black Sea.
|United Arab Emirates ( UAE )||Economy||Back to Top|
1960s the UAE has progressed from a largely subsistence economy to a developed one that provides one of the world’s highest standards of living. The main engine for the extraordinary growth and development of the economy has been the oil sector, although non-oil trade has played a significant role and all the emirates have begun to diversify their economies. The 1998 gross domestic product (GDP) was $47.2 billion. The total workforce of the UAE was estimated at 1,393,425 in 1999, with 65 percent working in services. A unique feature of the UAE’s economy is its dependence on foreign labor. More than 90 percent of the workforce is made up of expatriates.
Oil was first discovered in Abu Dhabi in 1958. The government of Abu Dhabi owns a controlling interest in all oil-producing companies in the emirate. The largest concessions are held by 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 ash-Sha'if. 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 the Abu Dhabi Company for Onshore Oil Operations (ADCO), which is partially owned by American, French, Japanese, and British interests. Other concessions also are held by Japanese companies.
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. Despite higher oil revenues in 1999-2000, the government has not drawn back from the economic reforms implemented during the 1998 oil price depression. The government has increased spending on job creation and infrastructure expansion and is opening up its utilities to greater private-sector involvement.
|United Arab Emirates ( UAE )||Communications||Back to Top|
modern system consisting 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
|United Arab Emirates ( UAE )||Languages||Back to Top|
Arabic is the official language of the UAE. English is also widely spoken, as are Hindi, Urdu, and Persian. Islam is the official religion of the country and all Emiris and a majority of the expatriates are Muslims. The constitution guarantees religious freedom and there are some Christian churches in the UAE.
|United Arab Emirates ( UAE )||Politics||Back to Top|
|United Arab Emirates ( UAE )||Government||Back to Top|
The highest governmental authority is the Supreme Council of Rulers, which is composed of the hereditary rulers of the seven emirates. However, a significant amount of power is exercised at the individual emirate level, notably in Abu Dhabi and Dubayy. The president and vice president of the union 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. There are no political parties in the emirates.
|United Arab Emirates ( UAE )||Legal||Back to Top|
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) 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 note: there is also a Federal Supreme Council (FSC) which is composed of the seven emirate rulers; the council is the highest constitutional authority in the UAE; establishes general policies and sanctions federal legislation, Abu Zaby (Abu Dhabi) and Dubayy (Dubai) rulers have effective veto power; meets four times a year elections: president and vice president elected by the FSC (a group of seven electors) for five-year terms; election last held NA October 1996 (next to be held NA October 2001); 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)
|United Arab Emirates ( UAE )||organization||Back to Top|
ABEDA, AFESD, AL, AMF, CAEU, CCC, ESCWA, FAO, G-77, GCC, IAEA, IBRD, ICAO, ICRM, IDA, IDB, IFAD, IFC, IFRCS, IHO, ILO, IMF, IMO, Inmarsat, Intelsat, Interpol, IOC, ISO, ITU, NAM, OAPEC, OIC, OPCW, OPEC, UN, UNCTAD, UNESCO, UNIDO, UPU, WHO, WIPO, WMO, WTrO
|United Arab Emirates ( UAE )||Education||Back to Top|
Primary and secondary education is free to UAE nationals and primary education is compulsory between the ages of 6 and 12. Most teachers, at all levels, are from other Arab countries. In 2001 adult literacy rates were estimated to be 91 percent. This represents a dramatic increase since the introduction of universal public education under the UAE’s 1971 constitution.
|United Arab Emirates ( UAE )||Defence||Back to Top|
Military branches: Army, Navy, Air Force, Air Defense, paramilitary (includes Federal Police Force)
Military manpower - military age: 18 years of age
Military manpower - availability: males age 15-49: 778,842
Military manpower - fit for military service: males age 15-49: 420,484 (2001 est.)
Military manpower - reaching military age annually: males: 25,482 (2001 est.)
|United Arab Emirates ( UAE )||International Disputes||Back to Top|
location and status of boundary with Saudi Arabia is not final, de facto boundary reflects 1974 agreement; boundary with Oman has not been bilaterally defined; northern section in the Musandam Peninsula is an administrative boundary; claims two islands in the Persian Gulf occupied by Iran: Lesser Tunb (called Tunb as Sughra in Arabic by UAE and Jazireh-ye Tonb-e Kuchek in Persian by Iran) and Greater Tunb (called Tunb al Kubra in Arabic by UAE and Jazireh-ye Tonb-e Bozorg in Persian by Iran); claims island in the Persian Gulf jointly administered with Iran (called Abu Musa in Arabic by UAE and Jazireh-ye Abu Musa in Persian by Iran) - over which Iran has taken steps to exert unilateral control since 1992, including access restrictions and a military build-up on the island; the UAE has garnered significant diplomatic support in the region in protesting these Iranian actions.
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