The United Arab Emirates (UAE; Arabic: الإمارات العربية المتحدة or the Emirates (Arabic: الإمارات al-, is a country in Western Asia. It is located at the eastern end of the Arabian Peninsula, and shares borders with Oman and Saudi Arabia, while having maritime borders in the Persian Gulf with Qatar and Iran. Abu Dhabi is the nation’s capital, while Dubai, the most populous city, is an international hub.
The United Arab Emirates is an elective monarchy formed from a federation of seven emirates, consisting of Abu Dhabi (where the federal capital, Abu Dhabi, is located), Ajman, Dubai, Fujairah, Ras Al Khaimah, Sharjah and Umm Al Quwain. Each emirate is governed by a Sheikh and, together, they form the Federal Supreme Council; one of them serves as President of the United Arab Emirates. In 2013, the country had a population of 9.2 million, of which 1.4 million were Emirati citizens and 7.8 million were expatriates. As of 2020, the United Arab Emirates has an estimated population of roughly 9.9 million.
Islam is the official religion and Arabic is the official language. The United Arab Emirates’ oil and natural gas reserves are the world’s sixth and seventh-largest, respectively. Zayed bin Sultan Al Nahyan, ruler of Abu Dhabi and the country’s first president, oversaw the development of the Emirates by investing oil revenues into healthcare, education, and infrastructure.The United Arab Emirates has the most diversified economy among the members of the Gulf Cooperation Council. In the 21st century, the country has become less reliant on oil and gas, and is economically focusing on tourism and business. The government does not levy income tax, although there is a corporate tax in place and a 5% value-added tax was established in 2018.
The UAE has broad diplomatic and commercial relations with most countries and members of the United Nations. It plays a significant role in OPEC, and is one of the founding members of the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC). The UAE is a member of the United Nations and several of its specialized agencies (ICAO, ILO, UPU, WHO, WIPO), as well as the World Bank, IMF, Arab League, Organisation of Islamic Cooperation (OIC), and the Non-Aligned Movement. Also, it is an observer in the Organisation Internationale de la Francophonie. Most countries have diplomatic missions in the capital Abu Dhabi with most consulates being in UAE’s largest city, Dubai.
Emirati foreign relations are motivated to a large extent by identity and relationship to the Arab world. The United Arab Emirate has strong ties with Bahrain, China, Egypt, France, India, Jordan, Pakistan Russia, Saudi Arabia and the United States.
Following the British withdrawal from the UAE in 1971 and the establishment of the UAE as a state, the UAE disputed rights to three islands in the Persian Gulf against Iran, namely Abu Musa, Greater Tunb, and Lesser Tunb. The UAE tried to bring the matter to the International Court of Justice, but Iran dismissed the notion. Pakistan was the first country to formally recognize the UAE upon its formation. The UAE alongside multiple Middle Eastern and African countries cut diplomatic ties with Qatar in June 2017 . Ties were restored in January 2021. The UAE recognized Israel in August 2020, reaching a historic Israel–United Arab Emirates peace agreement and leading towards full normalization of relations between the two countries.