The United Arab Emirates (UAE), or simply the Emirates, is a country in Western Asia (in the Middle East). 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 Arabian 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 formed from a federation of seven emirates, consisting of Abu Dhabi (the capital), Ajman, Dubai, Fujairah, Ras Al Khaimah, Sharjah and Umm Al Quwain. As of 2020, the United Arab Emirates has an estimated population of roughly 9.9 million.
The area which is today the United Arab Emirates has been inhabited for over 125,000 years. It has been the crossroads of trading for many civilizations, including Mesopotamia, Persia, and India. 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.
As impressive as economic growth has been in the UAE, the total population has increased from just around 550,000 in 1975 to close to 10 million in 2020. The UAE offers businesses a strong enabling environment: stable political and macroeconomic conditions, a future-oriented Government, good general infrastructure and ICT infrastructure. Moreover, the country has made continuous and important improvements to its regulatory environment and is ranked as the 26th best nation in the world for doing business by the Doing Business 2017 Report published by the World Bank Group. The UAE are in the top ranks of several other global indices, such as the World Economic Forum’s (WEF) Global Competitiveness Index (GCI), the World Happiness Report (WHR) and 33rd in the Global Innovation Index in 2021.
The UAE has the most advanced and developed infrastructure in the region. Since the 1980s, the UAE has been spending billions of dollars on infrastructure. These developments are particularly evident in the emirates of Abu Dhabi and Dubai.
Emirates Airline, one of the world’s largest airlines is based in Dubai. Etihad Airways, second largest airline in UAE based in Abu Dhabi. Dubai International Airport became the busiest airport in the world by international passenger traffic in 2014, overtaking London Heathrow.
Emirati culture is based on Arabian culture and has been influenced by the cultures of Persia. Arabian and Arabian inspired architecture is part of the expression of the local Emirati identity. Arabian influence on Emirati culture is noticeably visible in traditional Emirati architecture and folk arts. The United Arab Emirates has a diverse society. It is ethnically diverse. The five most populous nationalities in the emirates of Dubai, Sharjah, and Ajman are Indian (25%), Pakistani (12%), Emirati (9%), Bangladeshi (7%), and Filipino (5%). Immigrants from Europe, Australia, Northern America and Latin America make up 500,000 of the population. More than 100,000 British nationals live in the country. The rest of the population are from other Arab states.