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About UAE

7 Emirates

sovereign state

The United Arab Emirates (UAE) was declared a sovereign state on the 2nd of December, 1971, after the British relinquished control. The UAE is made up of 7 Emirates, which are Abu Dhabi, Dubai, Ajman, Sharjah, Ras Al Khaimah, Umm Al Quwain, and Fujairah, with Abu Dhabi chosen as the capital.

Neighboring states of the Persian Gulf.

growing expat community

The UAE federal authorities include the UAE Supreme Council, which is the highest constitutional authority in the country and comprises the rulers of the seven Emirates, the President of the UAE, Vice-President, Prime Minister, the Federal National Council, and the Federal Judiciary.

The UAE is located in the eastern part of the Arabian Peninsula, which extends along part of the Gulf of Oman and the southern coast of the Persian Gulf. To the west and south of the country is Saudi Arabia, to the north is Qatar, and to the east is Oman. The country covers nearly 82,880 km2, and Abu Dhabi accounts for over 87 percent of the total land area.

History

The area was initially inhabited by seafarers who later converted to Islam in the 7th century. However, over several years, a dissident sect called the Carmathians, established a powerful sheikdom, and conquered Mecca. With the disintegration of the sheikdom, its people became pirates.

The pirates threatened the Muscat and Oman Sultanate in the early 19th century, which provoked British intervention who enforced a partial truce in 1820 and a permanent truce in 1853. Thus the old Pirate Coast was renamed the Trucial Coast. The nine Trucial states were protected by the British, although, they were not administered as a colony.

In 1971, the British withdrew from the Persian Gulf, and the Trucial states became a federation called the United Arab Emirates (UAE). However, Bahrain and Oman, two of the Trucial states refused to join the federation, which made the number of states seven. A military defense agreement was signed with the U.S. in 1994 and another with one France in 1995.

Climate

The United Arab Emirates has a hot and humid climate along the coast and even hotter and dry in the interior. Rainfall averages 4 to 6 inches annually, although this varies from one year to another. The average January temperature is 18 °C (64 °F), while in July, the average temperature is 33 °C (91 °F).

In summer, the temperature can reach as high as 46 °C (115 °F) on the coast and over 49 °C (120 °F) or more in the desert. Winds known as the shamal in midwinter and early summer blow from the north and northwest, bearing sand and dust.

People and Culture

The UAE boasts a tolerant and endearing local population, who are highly committed to their age-old customs and traditions. This local population forms one-ninth of the Emirates residents. The rest are mostly expatriates and their dependents, of which South Asians form the largest.

A significant portion also includes Arabs from other countries besides the United Arab Emirates and Iranians. In recent times, many Southeast Asians, which include Filipinos have immigrated to the UAE in large numbers looking for various work opportunities.

The major part of the population is concentrated mostly in cities along both coasts, although the Al- ‘Ayn interior oasis settlement has grown into a major population center as well.

The cultural traditions of the UAE is firmly rooted in Islam and resonates with the wider Arab world, especially with neighboring states of the Persian Gulf. The country has been greatly impacted by Islamic resurgence, although Islam in the Emirates is not as strict as in Saudi Arabia. Despite urbanization and a growing expat community, the tribal identities in the United Arab Emirates have remained fairly strong.

Economy

The UAE’s economy is a petroleum dominated economy, which is mostly produced by the Abu Dhabi Emirate. It contains one of the largest concentrations of the world’s proven oil reserves, which contributes greatly to the national budget.

However, the economy of the Emirate of Dubai is more business-based that is oil-based, which is the reason it serves as the commercial and financial hub for the country and leads the country in economic diversification.

Agricultural production is largely based in the Raʾs al-Khaymah and Al-Fujayrah Emirates. However, that does not contribute much to the gross domestic product and employs less than one-tenth of the workforce.

Attractions

Burj Khalifa

The Burj Khalifa is one of the most famous buildings in the United Arab Emirates and holds the title of the world’s tallest building. Not only does it hold this title, but it is also the tallest freestanding structure in the world, the highest observation deck in the world and elevator traveling the longest distance in the world. It’s panoramic views across the Emirate of Dubai and beyond is a sightseeing highlight for most tourists visiting.

Jebel Jais

Jebel Jais is the highest peak in the United Arab Emirates and is located in the Emirate of Ras Al-Khaimah. In previous, it was difficult to access, but thanks to the switchback road that twists and turns all the way up the mountainside, it has become easier to access in recent years.  

Louvre Abu Dhabi

The Louvre is the UAE’s newest and most spectacular museum. It takes visitors through a journey of human history with objects that were sourced from every corner of the world and from different ages demonstrate how cultures are intertwined. This fascinating museum has it all, from early history to the great empirical ages and modern art. The ultra-modern architecture is a sight to behold.

The Beaches

With such an extensive shoreline, it’s not surprising that the UAE has so many great beaches. Some of these include the city beaches along the Dubai coast contrasted with the high rise towers in the background, the golden sand beaches along the island-littered coastline of Abu Dhabi, from Ajman to the Emirate of Fujairah.

The choices are innumerable. Also, there are private patches of sand available on many luxury hotels in Dubai and Abu Dhabi, which can be used by non-guests for a day fee. Many of the resort locales offer water-sports like diving, jet-skiing, snorkeling and stand up paddleboarding.

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