in the Arabian Peninsula (white)
The United Arab Emirates (/
The territory of the present United Arab Emirates dates back to 6000 BC during the Neolithic Age and the Bronze Age. Prior to Islamisation of the Arabian Peninsula to the 16th century, Umm al-Nar cultures dominated the area before it was conquered by the Portuguese, Dutch and the British Empires. Under British rule, seven emirates had ruled by the Trucial Coast under Persian Gulf Residency of India until 1947 as a protectorate. Facing pressure from the British government in 1968, the Trucial States was dissolved and six of seven emirates had formed the United Arab Emirates on 2 December 1971, with Ras al-Khaimah joined the federation in 1972.
Islam is the official religion and Arabic is the official language of the UAE. The UAE's oil reserves are the seventh-largest in the world while its natural gas reserves are the world's seventeenth-largest. 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 and infrastructure. The UAE's economy is the most diversified in the Gulf Cooperation Council, while its most populous city of Dubai is an important global city and an international aviation hub. Nevertheless, the country is much less reliant on oil and gas than in previous years and is economically focusing on tourism and business.
The UAE's rising international profile has led some analysts to identify it as a regional and middle power. It is a member of the United Nations, the Arab League, the Organisation of Islamic Cooperation, OPEC, the Non-Aligned Movement and the Gulf Cooperation Council.