Search this website:

This web page location:

home page  >   Middle East  >   United Arab Emirates (UAE)

Middle East

United Arab Emirates (UAE)

coastal settlement, Trucial States, al Khaymah, Gulf of Oman, Arabian Peninsula

Deeper web pages:

>  Land and Resources

>  People

>  Economy

>  Government

>  History

United Arab Emirates (UAE), federation of seven independent states located in the southeastern corner of the Arabian Peninsula, part of the Middle East region. Once known as the Trucial States, the UAE became an independent country in 1971.

Each emirate (small state ruled by a hereditary chief called an emir) is centered on a coastal settlement and named for that settlement. The seven member emirates are Abu Dhabi (also known as Abu Zaby), ‘Ajman, Dubai, Al Fujayrah, Ra’s al Khaymah, Ash Shariqah, and Umm al Qaywayn. The city of Abu Dhabi is the federal capital, and Dubai is the largest city in the country.

The UAE is a desert country about the size of South Carolina. The nation is bordered by the Persian Gulf to the north, Saudi Arabia to the south and west, and Oman and the Gulf of Oman to the east.

Before the discovery of petroleum in the 1950s, the UAE was a group of largely undeveloped states under the protection of the British government. The oil industry brought rapid growth and modernization to the area, which helped the emirates break away from the control of the United Kingdom in the early 1970s. The bulk of the country’s oil is found in Abu Dhabi, making it the wealthiest and most powerful of the seven emirates. With a stable economy buoyed by the oil industry, the UAE boasts one of the highest standards of living in the world.


Arabian history

Glubb, John. A Short History of the Arab Peoples. Hippocrene, 1988. Concise introductory history from pre-Islamic times to the present; includes maps.

Goldschmidt, Arthur. A Concise History of the Middle East. 6th. ed. Westview, 1998. Introductory college-level text.

Hitti, Philip K. The Arabs: A Short History. Regnery, 1996. Author is a leading historian of the Arabic-speaking peoples.

Hourani, Albert Habib. A History of the Arab Peoples. Warner, 1992. Comprehensive and definitive history of social, economic, political, and cultural life in the Middle East, from the prophet Muhammad to the 20th century.

Lewis, Bernard W. The Middle East: A Brief History of the Last 2,000 Years. Touchstone, 1997. Draws on many sources, including the work of archaeologists and scholars, to chronologically trace the political, economical, social, and cultural development of the Middle East.

Mansfield, Peter. The Arabs. 3rd ed. Penguin, 1992. Informed journalist's introduction to the history of the modern Arab world.

Robinson, Francis, ed. The Cambridge Illustrated History of the Islamic World. Cambridge University Press, 1996. Emphasizes Islamic economy, society, knowledge, art, and architecture.

Who's Who in the Arab World. 13th ed. Publitec, 1996. Up-to-date biographical source.

United Arab Emirates

Asher, Michael. Phoenix Rising: The United Arab Emirates, Past, Present and Future. Harvill, 1996. A study of the United Arab Emirates and how they became wealthy after years of poverty.

Butt, Gerald. The Arabs: Myth and Reality. Tauris, 1997. In-depth study of the Arab condition.

Field, Michael. Inside the Arab World. Harvard University Press, 1995. Thorough presentation of modern Arab affairs, including oil, wars, peace talks, and terrorists.

Metz, Helen Chapin, ed. Persian Gulf States: Country Studies. 3rd ed. Library of Congress, 1994. Concise overview of the geography, history, politics, economics, and culture of the Persian Gulf states, including separate sections on the United Arab Emirates.

Vine, Peter, ed. UAE in Focus: A Photographic History of the United Arab Emirates. Trident, 1999. Featuring images of Abu Dhabi, Dubai, Sharjah, Fujairah, Ras al Khaimah, Ajman, and Umm al Qaiwain.

Zahlan, Rosemarie Said, and Roger Owen. The Making of the Modern Gulf States: Kuwait, Bahrain, Qatar, the United Arab Emirates and Oman. Routledge, 1989, 1999. Comprehensive discussion of the creation of the Persian Gulf states.


Peck, Malcolm C., A.B., A.M., M.A., M.A.L.D., Ph.D. Program Officer, Meridian International Center. Author of Historical Dictionary of the Gulf Arab States and The United Arab Emirates: A Venture in Unity.

Microsoft ® Encarta ® 2009. © 1993-2008 Microsoft Corporation.

Article key phrases:

coastal settlement, Trucial States, al Khaymah, Gulf of Oman, Arabian Peninsula, Ajman, British government, Middle East region, oil industry, independent country, rapid growth, Abu Dhabi, modernization, largest city, emirates, United Arab Emirates, Dubai, UAE, Saudi Arabia, control, United Kingdom, world, west, nation, east, country, bulk, area, federation, protection, group

Search this website: