The United Arab Emirates , sometimes simply called the Emirates or the UAE, is a country located in the southeast end of the Arabian Peninsula on the Persian Gulf, bordering Oman to the east and Saudi Arabia to the south, as well as sharing sea borders with Qatar and Iran. In 2013, the UAE's total population was 9.2 million; 1.4 million Emirati citizens and 7.8 million expatriates.
Established on 2 December 1971, the country is a federation of seven emirates (equivalent to principalities). Each emirate is governed by a hereditary Ruler who jointly form the Federal Supreme Council, the highest legislative and executive body in the country. One of the Rulers is selected as the President of the United Arab Emirates. The constituent emirates are Abu Dhabi, Ajman, Dubai, Fujairah, Ras al-Khaimah, Sharjah, and Umm al-Quwain. Abu Dhabi is the capital of UAE. Islam is the official religion of the UAE, and Arabic is the official language. Sharia Law is a significant source of the UAE's legislation.
In 1962, Abu Dhabi became the first of the emirates to begin exporting oil. The late 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. Today, the UAE's oil reserves are ranked as the seventh-largest in the world, along with the world's seventeenth largest natural gas reserves. Its most populous city, Dubai, has emerged as a business hub and a global city.