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The Trucial States of the Persian Gulf coast granted the UK control of their defense and foreign affairs in 19th century treaties. In 1971, six of these states - Abu Zaby, 'Ajman, Al Fujayrah, Ash Shariqah, Dubayy, and Umm al Qaywayn - merged to form the United Arab Emirates (UAE). They were joined in 1972 by Ra's al Khaymah. The UAE's per capita GDP is on par with those of leading West European nations. Its generosity with oil revenues and its moderate foreign policy stance have allowed the UAE to play a vital role in the affairs of the region. For more than three decades, oil and global finance drove the UAE's economy. However, in 2008-09, the confluence of falling oil prices, collapsing real estate prices, and the international banking crisis hit the UAE especially hard. In March 2011, about 100 Emirati activists and intellectuals posted on the Internet and sent to the government a petition calling for greater political reform, including the establishment of a parliament with full legislative powers and the further expansion of the electorate and the rights of the Federal National Council (FNC), the UAE's quasi-legislature. In an effort to stem further unrest, the government announced a multi-year, $1.6-billion infrastructure investment plan for the poorer northern Emirates. In late September 2011, an FNC election - in which voting was expanded from 6,600 voters to about 12 percent of the Emirati population - was held for half of the FNC seats. The other half are appointed by the rulers of the Emirates.


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Government

Country name
Conventional long form United Arab Emirates
Conventional short form None
Local long form
Al Imarat al Arabiyah al Muttahidah
Local short form None
Former Trucial Oman, Trucial States
Abbreviation UAE

Government type
Federation with specified powers delegated to the UAE federal government and other powers reserved to member emirates

Capital
Name Abu Dhabi
Geographic coordinates 24 28 N, 54 22 E
Time difference
UTC+4 (9 hours ahead of Washington, DC during Standard Time)

Administrative divisions
7 emirates (imarat, singular - imarah); Abu Zaby (Abu Dhabi), 'Ajman, Al Fujayrah, Ash Shariqah (Sharjah), Dubayy (Dubai), Ra's al Khaymah, Umm al Qaywayn (Quwain)

Independence
2 December 1971 (from the UK)

Constitution
2 December 1971; made permanent in 1996

Legal system
Mixed legal system of Islamic law and civil law

International law organization participation
Has not submitted an ICJ jurisdiction declaration; non-party state to the ICCt

Suffrage
None

Executive branch
Chief of state
President KHALIFA bin Zayid Al-Nuhayyan (since 3 November 2004), ruler of Abu Zaby (Abu Dhabi) (since 4 November 2004); Vice President and Prime Minister MUHAMMAD BIN RASHID Al-Maktum (since 5 January 2006)
Head of government
Prime Minister and Vice President MUHAMMAD bin Rashid Al-Maktum (since 5 January 2006); Deputy Prime Ministers SAIF bin Zayid Al-Nuhayyan (since 11 May 2009) and MANSUR bin Zayid Al-Nuhayyan (since 11 May 2009)
Cabinet
Council of Ministers appointed by the president
Note
There is also a Federal Supreme Council (FSC) composed of the seven emirate rulers; the FSC is the highest constitutional authority in the UAE; establishes general policies and sanctions federal legislation; meets four times a year; Abu Zaby (Abu Dhabi) and Dubayy (Dubai) rulers have effective veto power
Elections
President and vice president elected by the FSC for five-year terms (no term limits) from among the seven FSC members; election last held 3 November 2009 upon the death of the UAE's Founding Father and first President ZAYID bin Sultan Al Nuhayyan (next election NA); prime minister and deputy prime minister appointed by the president
Election results
KHALIFA bin Zayid Al-Nuhayyan elected president by a unanimous vote of the FSC; MUHAMMAD BIN RASHID Al-Maktum unanimously affirmed vice president after the 2006 death of his brother Sheikh MAKTUM bin Rashid Al-Maktum

Legislative branch
Unicameral Federal National Council (FNC) or Majlis al-Ittihad al-Watani (40 seats; 20 members appointed by the rulers of the constituent states, 20 members elected to serve four-year terms);
Elections
Last held on 24 September 2011 (next to be held in 2015); note - the electoral college was expanded from 6,689 voters in the December 2006 election to 129,274 in the September 2011 election; elections for candidates rather than party lists; 469 candidates including 85 women ran for 20 contested FNC seats
Election results
Elected seats by emirate - Abu Dhabi 4, Dubai 4, Sharjah 3, Ras al-Khaimah 3, Ajman 2, Fujairah 2, Umm al-Quwain 2; note - number of appointed seats for each emirate are same as elected seats

Judicial branch
Union Supreme Court (judges are appointed by the president)

Political parties and leaders
None; political parties are not allowed

Political pressure groups and leaders
NA

International organization participation
ABEDA, AFESD, AMF, CAEU, CICA, FAO, G-77, GCC, IAEA, IBRD, ICAO, ICC, ICRM, IDA, IDB, IFAD, IFC, IFRCS, IHO, ILO, IMF, IMO, IMSO, Interpol, IOC, IPU, ISO, ITSO, ITU, LAS, MIGA, NAM, OAPEC, OIC, OIF (observer), OPCW, OPEC, PCA, UN, UNCTAD, UNESCO, UNIDO, UPU, WCO, WHO, WIPO, WMO, WTO

Diplomatic representation in the us
Chief of mission
Ambassador Yusif bin Mani bin Said al-UTAYBA
Chancery
3522 International Court NW, Suite 400, Washington, DC 20008
Telephone [1] (202) 243-2400
FAX [1] (202) 243-2432

Diplomatic representation from the us
Chief of mission Ambassador Michael H. CORBIN
Embassy
Embassies District, Plot 38 Sector W59-02, Street No. 4, Abu Dhabi
Mailing address P. O. Box 4009, Abu Dhabi
Telephone [971] (2) 414-2200
FAX [971] (2) 414-2603
Consulate(s) general Dubai

Flag description
Three equal horizontal bands of green (top), white, and black with a wider vertical red band on the hoist side; the flag incorporates all four Pan-Arab colors, which in this case represent fertility (green), neutrality (white), petroleum resources (black), and unity (red); red was the traditional color incorporated into all flags of the emirates before their unification

National symbol(s)
Golden falcon

National anthem
Name
"Nashid al-watani al-imarati" (National Anthem of the UAE)
Lyrics/music
AREF Al Sheikh Abdullah Al Hassan/Mohamad Abdel WAHAB
Note
Music adopted 1971, lyrics adopted 1996; Mohamad Abdel WAHAB also composed the music for the anthem of Tunisia


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  United Arab Emirates (Abu Dhabi):


  GPS points from United Arab Emirates (Abu Dhabi)

Abu Huraybah Abu Zaby

Ad Dhaiya Abu Zaby

Tawi Hulayw Ajman

Al-qatarah Abu Zaby

Makasib Abu Zaby

Jabal Halah Ra's Al Khaymah

Jurayrah Abu Zaby

Ghuwayliyat Abu Zaby




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