The United Arab Emirates is a federation of seven emirates located on the eastern coast of the Arabian Peninsula; these emirates are Abu Dhabi, Dubai, Sharjah, Ajman, Umm al-Qaiwain, Fujairah and Ras al-Khaimah. The territory of the Emirates is bounded on the north by Qatar and the Persian Gulf, on the east by the Gulf of Oman and the State of the same name, on the south and west by Saudi Arabia.
The UAE area is 83,600 km² (or the equivalent of Austria, France: 547,030 km²). The seven emirates are Abu Dhabi (Abu Dhabi), Ajman, Sharjah (Sharjah), Dubai (Dubai), Fujairah, Ras al-Khaimah and Umm al-Qaawain (Um al Kwain) .
The emirates are distributed unequally according to the states: Abu Dhabi, with 67,600 sq. Km, is five times larger than the six other united emirates. Dubai, the second largest emirate, has only 3840 square kilometers, while the smallest, Ajman, covers only 250 square kilometers. In addition, the emirate of Sharjah, Ajman, Ras al-Khaimah and Fujairah are territorially fragmented.
The city of Abu Dhabi, the capital of the emirates with 500,000 inhabitants, houses the federal government and implements foreign policy, defense and education of the seven emirates.
It is the only federation in the Arab world. Each emirate is governed by an emir whose power is hereditary and absolute. The seven emirs form the Supreme Council, which constitutes the highest authority of the federal government. The Council elects a chairman and a vice-chairman from among its members.
The UAE is one of the richest areas in the world with the highest per capita income. Their economy is entirely based on the exploitation of hydrocarbons.
In some journalistic circles, the abbreviated form "emirates" (with a tiny initial) is sometimes used. In this case, the name is used to designate all the states of the Arabian Peninsula: the UAE, but also Kuwait, Qatar, Bahrain and even the Sultanate of Oman.
The official language of the UAE is classical Arabic, which also serves as the lingua franca for all Arabic speakers. All other ethnic groups use English as their lingua franca. No particular mother tongue is dominant in the emirates, not even a variety of Arabic, but all Arabic speakers constitute a kind of majority of language, culture and religion. Nearly 60% of the population speaks one of many varieties of Arabic: Gulf Arab, Shihh Arabic, Saudi Arabian, Omani, Egyptian, Jordanian, Palestinian, Lebanese, Syrian, Sudanese, Yemeni, Iraqi. All varieties of Arabic belong to the Semitic group of the Hamito-Semitic (or Afro-Asiatic) family.
The Federation of the Arab Emirates
The federation of the United Arab Emirates was formed on 2 December 1971. Article 7 of the Constitution (still in force) provided that Arabic was the official language of the Union, but English remained economic life and the media. Article 17 of the Constitution states that education is fundamental to the progress of society and must be compulsory and free at the primary and other levels (secondary and university level), and uniforms, books, equipment and transportation were declared equally free.Some children attended religious schools called madrassawhere they were taught in classical Arabic in reading the Koran.
The UAE exploited the hydrocarbons whose revenues increased until the mid-eighties. The United Arab Emirates became one of the richest countries in the world, but also one of the most coveted. The country remains at the mercy of border conflicts, particularly with Iran, which in 1992 annexed three islands, located in the Strait of Hormuz, hitherto co-administered with Sharjah and, to a lesser extent, with Saudi Arabia. In 1981, the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) brought together Saudi Arabia, Bahrain, the United Arab Emirates, Kuwait, Oman and Qatar, accounting for 44% of the world's oil reserves. He advocated the common defense and economic integration of these countries into a free trade area.
In 1996, the head of the Federal Government of the Emirates refused to receive the Iranian Prime Minister because of their dispute, while maintaining economic relations. The country has often sought the protection of more powerful states, in a regional framework, integrating in 1981, in particular, the Gulf Cooperation Council, then by signing defense and cooperation agreements with Western powers: France, which sold 436 Leclerc tanks to the Abu Dhabi government in 1993, Britain (defense agreements of 28 November 1996) and the United States. Beginning in 1997, distancing himself from Western countries, Sheikh Zayed, President of the Federation, boycotted the Economic Conference for the Middle East and the Middle East.
The importance of the Gulf countries is mainly due to their enormous energy resources: they hold 53% of the world's known oil reserves and generate more than a third of the world's daily production. Saudi Arabia ranks first with reserves of 261 billion barrels, followed by the United Arab Emirates (98 billion) and Kuwait (96.5 billion). Oil exploitation also required the employment of foreign workers. Although most of them come from Arabic-speaking countries, others come from Western countries and some Asian states (India, Pakistan, Afghanistan, etc.). The UAE has thus become a multilingual and multiethnic country, with Arabic and Islamic dominance.
On January 4, 2010, Dubai's Khalifa Tower was inaugurated - in honor of Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed Al-Nahyanedu, the head of state of the United Arab Emirates, of which Dubai is a member - now the highest skyscraper of the world, with its 828 meters and 160 habitable floors. This tower seems representative of the current globalization. It was built in Arab soil by a mainly Indian and Pakistani labor, from an American design, inspired by the work of an architect and engineer from Bangladesh (Fazlur Khan). It is difficult to find a monument more representative of a certain modernity.
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