United Arab Emirates is a collection of seven states that are autonomous. The collection of states are known as Khaykhdoms and are made up of Abu Dhabi, Ajman, Dubai, Fujairah, Ras al-Khaimah, Sharjah, and Umm al-Quwain. The states are situated on the eastern portion of Arabian Peninsula, south-west of the Asian continent, commonly called the Middle East. Its neighboring countries include Saudi Arabia to the west and south, Oman to the east and Qatar to the north.
Eighty percent of the UAE is desert despite that it is a country of varying landscapes with breath-taking dunes to rich oases, steep rocky mountains and fertile plains. It is the fastest growing tourist destinations and offers its visitors sun, sea, sand, sports, top class hotels and huge malls with all the designer brands imaginable. Its restaurants provide food from around the world and yet manage to maintain a traditional culture and a safe environment. On any given day, every continent and social class is represented on any street corner of Dubai or Abu Dhabi. With such diversity, language is one of the unifying factors, with almost everyone speaking some form of English.
The landscape is composed of enormous stretches of desert sands. However, technology and modernization have helped to build some agriculture in the inner areas of the desert. The coastal areas are mostly salt-plains and hence not fit for cultivation. Frequent dust and sand storms, at times reducing visibility to a mere two or three feet, are a natural hazard that has to be dealt with.
The country holds on to its strong and dominating Islamic culture, where all aspects of life are influenced by tenets of Islam. Music consists of Bedouin folk with roots in the traditional Persian Gulf, and Khaleeji. The Abu Dhabi Cultural Foundation has the mandate of maintaining and enhancing the cultural characteristics of the nation. Another unique tradition that continues to entertain foreign tourists and local alike are the Camel races.
National name: Al-Imarat al-‘Arabiyah al-Muttahidah
Capital: Abu Dhabi
Government: Federation of seven emirates, formally the Trucial States
Languages: Arabic (official), Persian, English, Hindi, Urdu
Ethnicity/race: Emiri, other Arab and Iranian, & South Asian
Religions: Islam, Christian, Hindu
Dialling Code: +971