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Hotels in United Arab Emirates (UAE)

Country profile: United Arab Emirates

Map of United Arab Emirates

The United Arab Emirates (UAE) is a federation of seven states formed in 1971 by the then Trucial States after independence from Britain.

Although each state - Abu Dhabi, Dubai, Ajman, Fujairah, Ras al Khaimah, Sharjah and Umm al Qaiwain - maintains a large degree of independence, the UAE is governed by a Supreme Council of Rulers made up of the seven emirs, who appoint the prime minister and the cabinet.



Before the discovery of oil in the 1950s, the UAE's economy was dependent on fishing and a declining pearling industry. But since 1962, when Abu Dhabi became the first of the emirates to begin exporting oil, the country's society and economy have been transformed.

The ruler of Abu Dhabi, Sheikh Zayed, president of the UAE since its inception, was quick to seize on the potential of the oil industry, ensuring the development of all the emirates by reinvesting oil revenues back into healthcare, education and national infrastructure. The oil industry has also led to a large influx of foreign workers who now make up approximately three quarters of the population.

The UAE is one of the most liberal countries in the Gulf, with other cultures and beliefs generally tolerated.



Population: 3 million (UN, 2003) Capital: Abu Dhabi Major language: Arabic Major religion: Islam Life expectancy: 73 years (men), 77 years (women) (UN) Monetary unit: 1 Dirham = 100 fils Main exports: Oil, gas GNI per capita: US $19,550 (World Bank 1998) Internet domain: .ae International dialling code: +971



President, ruler of Abu Dhabi: Sheikh Zayed Bin-Sultan Al Nahyan

UAE president

Sheikh Zayed

Sheikh Zayed succeeded his brother as ruler of Abu Dhabi in 1966 and, because of his strong leadership and commitment to forming the federation, he was elected as the first president of the United Arab Emirates in 1971.

He has been reelected every five years since 1971. He has instilled the values of religious tolerance and equality, especially for women, into his policies, which have greatly enhanced the stability of the UAE.

  • Vice-president, prime minister, ruler of Dubai: Sheikh Maktum Bin-Rashid Al Maktum
  • Ruler of Ajman: Sheikh Humaid Bin-Rashid al-Nuaimi
  • Ruler of Fujairah: Sheikh Hamad Bin-Muhammad Bin-Hamad al-Sharqi
  • Ruler of Ras al Khaimah: Sheikh Saqr Bin-Muhammad al-Qasimi
  • Ruler of Sharjah: Sheikh Sultan Bin-Muhammad al-Qasimi
  • Ruler of Umm al Qaiwain: Sheikh Rashid Bin-Ahmad al-Mualla



    Dubai aspires to be a regional and international centre for television and media services, alongside Egypt and Lebanon. An Electronic Commerce and Media Zone Authority was created in 2000 to attract regional and international media outlets.

    Dubai Media City and its counterparts offer two key advantages: lower costs and freedom of speech.

    Major media organisations - including Reuters and Sony - and publishers, artists and writers have moved in. Established satellite broadcaster MBC decided to relocate to Dubai Media City from London.

    Other influential pan-Arab satellite TV stations based in the UAE include Abu Dhabi TV which mounted extensive coverage of the US-led military campaign in Iraq in 2003.

    The constitution of the UAE provides for freedom of speech but there is strong regulatory and political control of media content.

    A 1988 law requires that publications be licensed and outlines acceptable subjects of reporting. Foreign publications are censored before distribution. Journalists tend to practise self-censorship when reporting on such matters as government policy and ruling families.

    Internet use in the UAE is extensive; by 2008 there were more than one million users.

    The press

  • Al-Bayan
  • Gulf News
  • Khaleej Times


  • Emirates Dubai TV - pan-Arab broadcaster
  • Abu Dhabi TV - pan-Arab broadcaster
  • Ajman TV
  • Sharjah TV
  • MBC - Dubai-based pan-Arab broadcaster
  • Al-Arabiya - news channel operated by MBC


  • Abu Dhabi Radio
  • Radio Asia - commercial, broadcasts in Hindi, Urdu and Malayalam
  • Ras al Khaimah Radio
  • Al-Arabya FM - commercial
  • Free FM - English-language
  • City FM - programmes in English and Urdu

    News agency

  • Emirates News Agency (WAM) - official

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