United Arab Emirates State Facts
|THE CAPITAL||Abu Dhabi|
|STATE STRUCTURE||Federation of absolute monarchies|
|INTERNAL DIVISION||The state structure of the United Arab Emirates is a unique combination of republican and monarchical systems. The UAE is a federal monarchical state, consisting of seven emirates: Abu Dhabi, Dubai, Sharjah, Ras Al Khaimah, Fujairah, Umm Al Qaiwain and Ajman, each of which is an absolute monarchy. The state is headed by the Emir of Abu Dhabi, the government is headed by the Emir of Dubai.|
|OFFICIAL LANGUAGE||Arabic language|
|NATIONAL COMPOSITION||Ethnic Arabs make up only a third of the entire population of the UAE, and the indigenous people make up only 11%. The rest are from Pakistan, India, Bangladesh, Sri Lanka, Nepal and other South Asian countries and the Philippines who immigrated to the UAE as temporary workers. 85% of those living in the country are not citizens of the UAE. Arab immigrants are represented mainly by Arabs from other Arab countries with a low standard of living (Yemen, Iraq, Egypt, Sudan).|
|TIMEZONE||UTC +4 / Moscow time +1|
The flag of the United Arab Emirates was adopted on December 2, 1971. The flag is made in pan-Arab colors: red, green, white and black, symbolizing Arab unity.
The emblem of the United Arab Emirates depicts a yellow falcon – a symbol of autocracy in the country, most of which is desert. The tail unit symbolizes the seven emirates – seven feathers.
Until 2008, on the chest of a falcon in a red circle (a symbol of courage and independence in the struggle for freedom), a wooden schooner “dhow” smoothly glided over the blue sea waves. It was on such ships that Arab divers for pearls and warlike pirates went out to sea.
At the moment, instead of “dow” on the chest of the falcon is a shield with the colors of the national flag of the UAE.
El-Imarat el-Arabiya el-Muttahid – this is the Arabic name of this country of the Persian Gulf, uniting 7 kingdoms: Dubai, Abu Dhabi, Ajman, Sharjah, Ras al-Khaimah, Fujairah, Umm al-Qaiwain. The Middle Eastern state is located in the northeast of the Arabian Peninsula, Qatar, Saudi Arabia and Oman have a common border with it.
Rub al Khali, one of the largest, hottest and dryest deserts in the world, occupies most of the territory of the United Arab Emirates (UAE). In the eastern part of the country, the Hajar Mountains are located, their height reaches 1500 meters above sea level. Between them and the Gulf of Oman stretches the green valley of Al-Batin.
The Emirates are located in a zone of tropical desert climate, in which sandstorms are a fairly frequent phenomenon. Here in winter the temperature reaches +23 degrees, in summer up to +50, and rains are rare and occur from November to May.
The nature of the country is not very diverse, but adapted to such harsh conditions. Date and coconut palms, acacia, grapes and lemon trees grow in oases. The animal world is represented by the Arabian leopard and oryx (gemsbok, one of the species of saber-horned antelopes), one-humped camel and wild goats.
The Arabian oryx was originally distributed from the Sinai Peninsula to the Arabian Peninsula, but mindless hunting for fun led to their extinction in 1972. To revive the species, a worldwide program was adopted – animals were bred from several individuals from zoos and private ownership. In 1982, the first Arabian oryx were introduced to Oman, then to Jordan, Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates, Israel and Bahrain. In 2012, 500 individuals were released into the wild in Abu Dhabi.
The history of the country is divided into two periods: pre-Islamic, which the locals themselves call “jahiliya” (“primitiveness”, “ignorance”) and Islamic. The first inhabitants of the territory of the modern Arab Emirates were nomadic tribes who hunted, fished, mined pearls and bred camels.
Since ancient times, camels have become an integral part of the life of nomadic Arabs. On the “ships of the desert” they moved along the hot sands of the deserts, they made clothes from the wool of animals, the meat was used for food, the litter served as fuel for the fire.
In the 7th century, when large settlements already existed on the lands of the Emirates – Dubai, Fujairah, Sharjah and others – Islam came here along with the power of the Arab Caliphate.
In 1820, under pressure from the powerful East India Company, seven rulers signed the “General Treaty”, which led to the division of Oman (it included the modern United Arab Emirates) into three parts – the Imamate of Oman, the Sultanate of Muscat and the Principality of the Pirate Coast. Subsequently, they began to be called Treaty Oman. The protectorate of Britain lasted here until 1971.
Interesting fact: In the XVIII century, the inhabitants of the Arab principalities, who were mainly engaged in trade, began to come into conflict with the East India Company, whose fleet completely monopolized the cargo transportation in the Persian Gulf. As a result, the British began to call the Arab merchants pirates, and the coastal lands Pirate Coast.
The next chapter in the history of the country began on December 2, 1971 with a meeting of six Arab sheikhs in Abu Dhabi. It was then that a decision was made to create a federation that united all territories and resources. A year later, it included the seventh emirate – Ras al-Khaimah.
Only 11% of the UAE’s population are indigenous. They work in government agencies and hold senior positions in financial firms. The remaining 89% are specialists and workers who come to the Emirates from neighboring Arab states, countries of South Asia and North Africa.
An interesting fact: Upon marriage, UAE citizens receive land or money as a gift from the state for its purchase and an interest-free loan for building a house. The loan can be repaid from the country’s budget after the birth of the third child.
Local children go to school from 6 to 15 years old and it is compulsory for everyone. For indigenous people, education is free. In the system of higher educational institutions – public and private universities. Only citizens of the UAE can study in free public ones, and foreign students can study in private ones. The latter live in special towns built at the expense of different countries. Now the UAE has campuses in the UK, USA, France, Spain and Germany.
The country’s medicine is also represented by public and private clinics, and for the indigenous people of the United Arab Emirates, medical care is paid by the state. In recent years, medical tourism has begun to develop in the country. The most popular areas are cardiac surgery and cardiology, orthopedics and oncology.
Since 1984, UAE athletes have been participating in the Summer Olympics. In the Emirates, as in all Arab countries, local sports are very popular – camel racing and falconry. In the emirate of Fujairah, you can watch bullfights – fighting animals grapple with horns and butt until the weaker one runs away.
Emirates cuisine is traditional for other countries of the Middle East. There are a lot of spices, spices and no pork. Popular local dishes are lamb with raisins and chicken with honey. A popular dessert is delicious Turkish delight, halva and dates.
As a souvenir from the UAE, you can bring jewelry, copper coffee pots, stone and wooden figures of camels.
Public transport in the country is a taxi, including a pink female taxi, which only ladies can use and work on it as drivers. For independent movement around the country, you can rent a car. To do this, you need to have an international driver’s license. If not, you can rent a car with a driver.
The UAE is a great country for beach lovers and for those who are always ready to increase the level of adrenaline in their blood – they will be interested in high-speed jeep safari in the Rub al-Khali desert. In the emirate of Ras al-Khaimah, you can take part in a mountain safari, and those who cannot imagine their life without the sky should go to Umm el-Kaiwan – there is a famous flying club where you can try your hand at paragliding, parachuting, as well as learn how to pilot a light aircraft. A paradise for fishermen and divers will be the emirate of Fujairah.
One of the amazing sights of the country is located in Dubai, the world’s largest artificial island, Palm Jumeirah. In shape, it resembles a giant palm tree, on which hotels and expensive villas are “hung”.
Interesting fact: The construction of the island took 94 million cubic meters of sand and 5.5 million cubic meters of stone and not a single drop of concrete or steel reinforcement.
Another recognizable landmark of Dubai is the Burj Al Arab Hotel, better known as the “Sail”.
In the capital of the country – Abu Dhabi – you can visit the Sheikh Zayed Mosque, one of the six largest in the world. Everyone is allowed to enter it. The mosque got its name in honor of Sheikh Zayed ibn Sultan al-Nahyan, the first president of the country.
Holidays in the country are divided into secular and religious. Among the secular – the New Year – January 1, the Day of accession to the throne of Sheikh Zayed bin Sultan al-Nahyan – August 6, the Establishment Day of the United Arab Emirates – December 12.