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United Arab Emirates Overview

Tourism

The United Arab Emirates, one of the world's fastest growing tourist destinations, has all the right ingredients for an unforgettable holiday, sun, sand, sea, sports, unbeatable shopping, top-class hotels and restaurants, an intriguing traditional culture, and a safe and welcoming environment.

This country is a unification of seven self-governing sheik-ruled emirates: Abu Dhabi, Ajman, Dubai, Fujairah, Ras al-Khaimah, Sharjah and Umm al-Qaiwain. UAE has always been a favorite tourist destination in the Middle East for both business and leisure travelers.Due to traditional Arab hospitality, crime free environment and highly developed infrastructure UAE has become a favorite for businessman who wants to organize international conferences. Leisure travelers choose UAE as a favorite tourist destination because they are flooded with lots of options for activities that can range from power boat races to sand skiing. Of late UAE has also become a much sought after venue for sports events. The Dubai Classic Golf tournament, polo and cricket competitions are regularly held in the country and it has also made UAE tourism flourish. The best time to visit the UAE is from October up until May. In October the weather may still be quite hot (up to 35C), blue skies are the norm and the evenings are warm. At this stage the tourist season is well under way.

Capital:
Abu Dhabi

Flag:
The flag of the United Arab Emirates was adopted on December 2, 1971.

It contains the Pan-Arab colors red, green, white and black, which symbolize Arabian unity.

Individual colours have the following meanings:

    * Green: Fertility
    * White: Neutrality
    * Black: Oil wealth
    * Red: Unity

National Anthem:
The United Arab Emirates' national anthem was created in 1996. The anthem's lyrics and music was decided through a competition won by Aref Al Sheikh Abdullah Al Hassan.

Population:
2,262,309 in 1997

International dialing code:
+971

Country Code:
971 - country code for United Arab Emirates

Language:
Arabic

Currency:
UAE Dirham (AED)

History:

Ancient History of the UAE
According to archeological evidences found in various parts of the country, the human settlement in UAE had existed as early as 5000 BC.  According to recent findings in Abu Dhabi, Agriculture in the region started with the cultivation of creals and date palm around 3000 BC. Archeological evidence also suggest that the whole area remained closely assocaited with the Magan civilization untill 2000 BC, when the desertification of the region led to the end of the civilization itself.

Medieval History of the UAE
The area came under the influence of the Sassanian Empire during the 3rd century AD, followed by the Umayyads who intorduced Islam in the region in the 7th century AD. The early Islamic history of UAE, from the 7th to 14th centuries AD, is not documented well. Portuguese were first Europeans who arrived in the region in the early 17th century AD, followed by the Biritish. In the late 18th and early 19th centuries Al-Qawasim tribes dominated the region, and controlled the maritime commerce in the lower Persian Gulf and in much of the Indian Ocean. British and Indian Ships were regularly attacked by the pirates, leading to British naval attack in 1819 and defeat of the Qasimis, which led to the dominance of Banu Yas tribal confederation in the region. The principal sheikhdoms along the gulf coast signed a partial truce with Britain in 1820 and the maritime truce in 1853, which came to be known as Trucial Coast. In 1892, these sheikhdoms became Trucial States accepting British protection.

Modern History of the UAE
After World War II, Britain granted internal autonomy to the Trucial States and a council of the Trucial States was formed in 1952. Following the by the British government that its forces would be withdrawn from the Persian Gulf by late 1971, discussion of federation began in January 1968. The British withdrew from the Persian Gulf in 1971, and the Trucial States became a federation called the United Arab Emirates (UAE) on December 2, 1971. Sheikh Zayed Bin Sultan Al Nahyan became the President of the UAE and Sheikh Rashid bin Saeed Al Maktoum, emir of Dubai, became the UAE Vice President and Prime Minister. In 1981 the UAE joined the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC). The UAE also participated with international coalition forces against Iraq during the Gulf War in 1991.

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