The United Arab Emirates, or simply the Emirates, is a Western Asian nation. It is situated at the eastern extremity of the Arabian Peninsula and has borders with Oman and Saudi Arabia, as well as marine borders with Qatar and Iran in the Persian Gulf. The capital is Abu Dhabi, while the most populated city, Dubai, is an international center.
The United Arab Emirates is a federation of seven emirates, including Abu Dhabi (the capital), Ajman, Dubai, Fujairah, Ras Al Khaimah, Sharjah, and Umm Al Quwain. Each emirate is led by an Emir, who together comprise the Federal Supreme Council. The Federal Supreme Council elects a president and a prime minister from among its members. In reality, Abu Dhabi's emir functions as president, while Dubai's ruler serves as prime minister. The nation has a population of 9.2 million in 2013, including 1.4 million Emirati citizens and 7.8 million expats. The population of the United Arab Emirates is expected to be 9.9 million by 2020.
The UAE has been inhabited for more than 125,000 years. Many civilizations, including Mesopotamia, Persia, and India, used it as a commercial crossroads.
The official religion is Islam, and the official language is Arabic. The United Arab Emirates has the world's sixth and seventh biggest oil and natural gas reserves, respectively. The ruler of Abu Dhabi and the country's first president, Zayed bin Sultan Al Nahyan, led the growth of the Emirates by spending oil money in healthcare, education, and infrastructure. Among the Gulf Cooperation Council members, the United Arab Emirates has the most diverse economy. In the twenty-first century, the nation has grown less dependent on oil and gas and has shifted its economic emphasis to tourism and business. The government does not charge income tax, although there is a business tax and a 5% value-added tax was implemented in 2018.
Human rights groups such as Amnesty International, Freedom House, and Human Rights Watch have described the country's human rights situation as generally deplorable, with citizens criticizing the regime imprisoned and tortured, families harassed by the state security apparatus, and cases of forced disappearances. Individual liberties such as assembly, association, press, speech, and religion are also severely restricted.
The UAE is regarded as a medium power. It is a member of the Arab League, the Organization of Islamic Cooperation, OPEC, the Non-Aligned Movement, and the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC).