The United Arab Emirates, sometimes simply called the Emirates or the UAE, is a country located in the southeast end of the Arabian Peninsula on the Persian Gulf, bordering Oman to the east and Saudi Arabia to the south, as well as sharing sea borders with Qatar and Iran. In 2013, the UAE's total population was 9.2 million, of which 1.4 million are Emirati citizens and 7.8 million are expatriates.
Established in December 1971, the country is a federation of seven emirates. The constituent emirates are Abu Dhabi (which serves as the capital), Ajman, Dubai, Fujairah, Ras al-Khaimah, Sharjah, and Umm al-Quwain. Each emirate is governed by an absolute monarch who jointly form the Federal Supreme Council. One of the monarchs is selected as the President of the United Arab Emirates. Islam is the official religion of the UAE, and Arabic is the official language, although English is widely used.
The UAE's oil reserves are the fourth-largest in the world, while its natural gas reserves are the world's seventeenth-largest. The late Sheikh Zayed, ruler of Abu Dhabi and the first President of the UAE, oversaw the development of the Emirates and steered oil revenues into healthcare, education and infrastructure. The UAE's economy is the most diversified in the Gulf Cooperation Council, with its most populous city, Dubai in particular developing into a global hub for tourism, retail, and finance. Nevertheless, the country remains extremely reliant on petroleum and natural gas; more than 85% of the economy was based on the oil exports in 2009, while oil exports accounted for 77% of the state budget in 2011.
The UAE has been criticized for its human rights record, including the role of Sharia law in its legal system. The UAE's rising international profile have led some analysts to identify it as a regional and middle power.
How places in United Arab Emirates are organized
All places in United Arab Emirates
Further information on historical place organization in United Arab Emirates