The United Arab Emirates, sometimes simply called the Emirates or the UAE, is a country located in the southeast end of the Arabian Peninsula on thePersian Gulf, bordering Oman to the east and Saudi Arabia to the south, as well as sharing sea borders with Qatar and Iran. In 2013, UAE's total population was 9.2 million; 1.4 million Emirati citizens and 7.8 million expatriates.
Established on 2 December 1971, the country is a federation of seven emirates (equivalent to principalities). Each emirate is governed by a hereditary emir who jointly form the Federal Supreme Council, the highest legislative and executive body in the country. One of the emirs is selected as the President of the United Arab Emirates. The constituent emirates are Abu Dhabi, Ajman, Dubai, Fujairah, Ras al-Khaimah, Sharjah, and Umm al-Quwain. The capital is Abu Dhabi, which is one of the two centers of commercial and cultural activities, together with Dubai. Islam is the official religion of the UAE, and Arabic is the official language.
In 1962, Abu Dhabi became the first of the emirates to begin exporting oil. The late Sheikh Zayed, ruler of Abu Dhabi and the first president of the UAE, oversaw the development of the Emirates and steered oil revenues into healthcare, education andinfrastructure. Today, Emirates oil reserves is ranked as the seventh-largest in the world, along with the world's seventeenthlargest natural gas reserves. Emirates has a high income economy, which ranks as the world's nineteenth highest in terms of GDP per capita (nominal), and also enjoys a sizable annual trade surplus. Its most populous city, Dubai, has emerged as a global city and a business gateway for West Asia and Africa.