United Arab Emirates

United Arab Emirates

The United Arab Emirates (UAE), or simply the Emirates, is a federal absolute monarchy at the southeast end of the Arabian Peninsula. It is one of the world’s largest exporters of oil and is home to Emirates, a state-owned airline which boasts the world’s largest fleet of A380s.

Quick Facts

Population: 9.701 million
Ethnic Groups: Emirati (11.6%), South Asian (59.4%), Egyptian (10.2%), Philippine (6.1%), Other (12.8%)
Languages: Arabic (Official), Persian, English, Hindi, Urdu
Religions: Muslim (Official) (76%), Christian (9%), Other (Primarily Hindu and Buddhist) (15%)
Capital: Abu Dhabi
CIA: The World Factbook — Last Updated December 26, 2019

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In one generation, the United Arab Emirates transformed from poverty and an economy dependent on fishing, into a tourist destination and playground for the rich. Oil wealth has funded massive spending on development, and almost all Emirians today live in very modern homes. Islam is the state religion, and although there is a relatively high amount of religious freedom compared to other Arab states, attempting to convert a Muslim to another religion is illegal. Almost everybody born in the United Arab Emirates is a Muslim, and most foreign workers are Muslims as well. All Muslims are required to follow Islamic law (for example, they are not allowed to consume alcohol), but non-Muslims are exempt from some aspects of Islamic law. The government is authoritarian, and foreign publications are censored.