The United Arab Emirates is a federal state in the Middle East,
consisting of seven emirates, each of which is a state - an absolute
monarchy: Abu Dhabi, Ajman, Dubai, Ras al-Khaimah, Umm al-Qaiwain,
Fujairah and Sharjah. Some of the listed emirates fall under the
definition of a dwarf state.
The state is headed by the President of the United Arab Emirates, who is the Emir of the largest emirate of Abu Dhabi. The capital of the United Arab Emirates is also the eponymous capital of this emirate.
Such a key role of the emirate of Abu Dhabi, the largest and richest of the emirates, is largely due to the fact that the administrative structure of the UAE is based on the right of each emirate to dispose of hydrocarbon reserves on its territory. Thus, in fact, in accordance with oil reserves, the influence of certain emirates in determining the general policy of the country is distributed. For example, the Emir of Dubai is the head of the government of the UAE.
The UAE is located in the southwestern part of Asia, the eastern part of the Arabian Peninsula. It borders on Saudi Arabia in the west and south, with Oman in the southeast and northeast (Omani semi-enclave Musandam Governorate and its full enclave, Musandama Madha Vilayet). It is washed by the waters of the Persian and Oman Gulfs.
The population of the UAE for 2020 is 10,207,863 people, the vast majority of which (up to 70%) are workers from South and Southeast Asia. The indigenous population is mainly represented by Sunni Muslims.
The country has large oil reserves, the export of which made up a significant part of GDP (56.4% in 1980, 41.1% in 1995) and due to the diversification of the economy, the share of the oil and gas industry in GDP by 2009-2013 remained below 40%.
Islam locals. During this period, the cities of Dubai, Sharjah,
Fujairah arose. As the Caliphate weakened, the sheikhs received more and
more autonomy. In the 10th-11th centuries, the eastern part of the
Arabian Peninsula was part of the Karmatian state, and after its
collapse fell under the influence of Oman.
At the end of the 15th century, European influence arose in the region. Portugal was the first of the Western powers to gain a foothold on the peninsula, establishing control over Bahrain and Julfar, as well as over the Strait of Hormuz. Since the 18th century, the population of the coastal Arab principalities, engaged mainly in trade, has been drawn into the struggle with Great Britain, whose ships monopolized cargo transportation between the ports of the Persian Gulf and deprived the inhabitants of the main source of livelihood. This led to ongoing conflicts between the East India Company and the local Arab population, which the British called the pirates, and the area of the principalities - the "Pirate Coast".
The East India Company constantly sent military expeditions to the Persian Gulf and in 1820 forced the emirs and sheikhs of seven Arab principalities to sign the "General Treaty", which marked the beginning of English domination in this territory and the final division of Oman into three parts - the Imamat of Oman, the Sultanate of Muscat and " Pirate coast. Since 1853, these principalities were collectively called "Treaty Oman".
English military bases were established on the territory of the principalities. Political power was exercised by an English political agent. However, the establishment of the English protectorate did not lead to the destruction of the traditional patriarchal system for the region. The locals continued to hold on to ancient traditions. They could not offer serious resistance to the colonialists, due to their small numbers and constant civil strife between different tribes.
The dominant tribe in these territories was and is the Bani-yaz tribe, which originally inhabited the fertile oases of Liwa and El Ain. In 1833, one of the Baniyaz tribes, the Maktum family, migrated from the oases and settled in Dubai, declaring the city's independence. So the Maktoum dynasty was founded, which rules the emirate of Dubai to this day.
In the early 1920s, a struggle for independence unfolded in Trucial Oman, reaching a particular scale in Sharjah and Ras al-Khaimah. At the same time, a turning point in the history of the Emirates and the entire Middle East took place - the richest oil reserves were discovered in the Persian Gulf.
In 1922, the British established control over the right of sheikhs to grant concessions for exploration and production of oil, but there was no oil production in Trucial Oman, and the pearl trade brought the main income to the principalities. With the start of oil production in the 1950s, foreign investment began to flow into the region, and income from the oil trade made it possible to significantly raise the standard of living of the local population. But the principalities remained under the British protectorate, which was opposed in 1964 by the League of Arab States, which declared the right of the Arab peoples to full independence. In 1968, after the announcement of the decision of the British government on the intention to withdraw British troops from the areas located east of the Suez Canal, including from the states of the Persian Gulf, by the end of 1971, the principalities signed an agreement on the formation of the Federation of Arab Principalities of the Persian Gulf. This federation was supposed to include Bahrain and Qatar, but later they formed independent states.
On December 2, 1971, six of the seven emirates of Trucial Oman announced the creation of a federation called the United Arab Emirates. The seventh emirate, Ras Al Khaimah, joined on February 10, 1972.
The granting of independence coincided with a sharp rise in prices for oil and oil products, caused by the tough energy policy of Saudi Arabia, which made it easier for the new state to take independent steps in the field of economy and foreign policy. Thanks to oil revenues and skillful investment in the development of industry, agriculture, the formation of numerous free economic zones, the Emirates were able to achieve relative economic prosperity in the shortest possible time. Significant development was received by the spheres of tourism and finance.
The United Arab Emirates occupy a territory in the northeastern
part of the Arabian Peninsula, washed by the Persian Gulf. On land,
the United Arab Emirates borders Saudi Arabia to the south and west,
and Oman to the east. The northern coast is opposite Iran across the
Persian Gulf, while Qatar is only 50 km to the northwest. Together,
these emirates occupy an area about the same size as Portugal. The
emirate of Abu Dhabi accounts for 85% of the area of all the United
Arab Emirates; and the smallest of the emirates - Ajman - only 250
Most of the territory of the United Arab Emirates is occupied by the desert (Rub al-Khali) - one of the largest areas in the world covered with sand. There are salt deposits in the coastal regions of the United Arab Emirates. The mountainous relief is characteristic of the northern and eastern regions of the country. Representatives of the fauna are the Arabian leopard and the Arabian oryx returned to nature, more often you can see one-humped camels and wild goats. During the spring and autumn migrations of birds flying from Central Asia and East Africa, one can observe their large concentrations in the north of the country. Outside the mountainous regions in the emirates of Fujairah and Ras al-Khaimah, much of the vegetation is the result of the government's greening program in the country: even the date palm groves in the Buraimi oasis on the country's eastern border have been imported from municipal parks.
The climate of the country is very hot and dry (tropical desert). There are often sandstorms. The average maximum in the shade during the summer months is approximately 40-45°C, but often reaches 50°C. Winter temperature: 20-23 °C during the day, colder at night, but frosts are extremely rare. Precipitation is irregular, mainly from November to May, the annual rate is about 100 mm.
Despite the unfavorable desert climate for flora, the world's largest flower park is open in Dubai.
According to the CIA World Factbook, the population of the UAE, as of July 2021, was 9,856,612 people. The United Nations estimated the country's total population as of mid-2019 to be 9,771,000; Immigrants make up 87.9% of the country's total population. According to an estimate for 2015, 11.6% of the population of the UAE are Emirati, South Asians - 59.4% (including 38.2% Indians, 9.5% Bangladeshis, 9.4% Pakistanis, 2.3% - citizens other countries of South Asia), Egyptians - 10.2%, Filipinos - 6.1%, citizens of other countries - 12.8%.
The official language is Arabic, but English, Hindi, Malayalam, Urdu, Pashto, Tagalog and Persian are also widely used. Urban population - 87.3% (2021).
88% of the population of the Emirates is concentrated in cities. The largest and fastest growing city is Dubai with a population of over 2.5 million. Other major cities are Abu Dhabi (the capital), Sharjah, Al Ain and Fujairah. The total fertility rate for 2021 is 1.65 births per woman. Literacy - 93.8%; men - 93.1%, women - 95.8% (2015). About 14.45% of the population is under the age of 15 years, 83.65% - from 15 to 65 years old, 1.9% - over 65 years old. In 2021, the birth rate was estimated at 10.87 per 1000 of the population, the death rate - 1.51 per 1000, immigration - -3.18 per 1000, the population growth was 0.62%. Infant mortality - 5.25 per 1000 newborns. The life expectancy of the population, as of 2021, is 79.37 years (for men - 78.04 years, and for women - 80.78 years). The average age of the population, as of 2020, is 38.4 years (men - 40.4 years, women - 31.5 years). 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). There are immigrants from the countries of East and Central Africa, mainly from Somalia, Ethiopia, Tanzania and Eritrea.
Emirates population according to censuses and latest official estimates.
Almost all citizens of the UAE are Muslims, 85% of which are Sunnis
and 15% are Shiites. According to the migration services of the
Emirates, approximately 55% of immigrants are also Muslims, 25% are
Hindus, 10% are Christians, and 5% are Buddhists. The other 5% are Sikh
and Baha'i minorities. According to a study by the Ministry of Planning,
out of a total of 4.1 million people living in the UAE, including
foreigners, three-quarters are Muslims.
Dubai is the only emirate that has a gurdwara and a mandir. There are churches in every emirate. In 2011, the first Orthodox church complex in the history of Christianity was built on the territory of the United Arab Emirates - St. Philip the Apostle in Sharjah (Russian Orthodox Church).
Arabic is the official language of the UAE. English, Hindi, Urdu, Farsi and Tagalog are also spoken in the country.
Due to the large influx of Russian-speaking tourists in Dubai, a huge number of signs and announcements in Russian have appeared, and in tourist centers, hotels and shops, many speak Russian.
90% of the country's workforce are immigrants from India, Pakistan and Bangladesh. Political stability, modern infrastructure and economically favorable situation in the country attract both high-skilled migrants and low-skilled ones.
To maintain economic growth and a high standard of living in the country, in 1971 the government introduced a temporary program for visiting workers, called the "Kafala Sponsorship System" (hereinafter - Kafala), which allowed foreign citizens and companies to hire migrants for work.