The United Arab Emirates (UAE) is a federal state consisting of the seven emirates of Abu Dhabi, Dubai, Sharjah, Ajmān, Umm al-Quwain, Fujairah and Ras al-Khaimah. Most parts of the UAE’s territory consist of desert areas, but some inland areas have fertile soil where date palm grows naturally. Coastal areas are hot and humid while inland areas have a desert climate.


In ancient times, the UAE’s coast was known as a trading hub between East and West. After the 17th century, British influence in the region grew through the Indian trade and a period of conflict thereafter ended with a cease-fire agreement with the leaders of the northern emirates in 1853. In 1968, Britain retreated from areas east of the Suez, and the six emirates took the opportunity to form the UAE in February 1971, with Ras al-Khaimah joining in the following year.


The UAE is governed by the Federal Supreme Council made up of the seven emirates where decisions are reached by a majority vote. The late Sheikh Zayed bin Sultan Al Nahyan was the UAE's first president and the nation's founding leader until his death on November 2, 2004. On the following day the Federal Supreme Council elected his son, His Highness Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan, as his successor.


The economy of the UAE is based on ample oil revenues allowing the country to improve its social infrastructure including access to water, electricity and education as well as promote corporate development and Emiratization. The UAE plans to reduce its dependence on oil through investing in the development of trade, transportation and tourism.

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