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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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Military

Military branches
United Arab Emirates Armed Forces: Land Forces, Navy, Air Force and Air Defense, Border and Coast Guard Directorate (BCGD) (2009)

Military service age and obligation
18 years of age for voluntary military service; 18 years of age for officers and women; no conscription; 16-22 years of age for candidates for the UAE Naval College (2009)

Manpower available for military service
Males age 16-49
2,676,928 (includes non-nationals)
Females age 16-49 981,649 (2010 est.)

Manpower fit for military service
Males age 16-49 2,229,366
Females age 16-49 842,759 (2010 est.)

Manpower reaching militarily significant age annually
Male 27,439
Female 24,419 (2010 est.)

Military expenditures World Ranking: 40
3.1% of GDP (2005 est.)


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  United Arab Emirates (Abu Dhabi):


  GPS points from United Arab Emirates (Abu Dhabi)

Isteiha Abu Zaby

Muhdathah Ash Shariqah

Ramlat Ar Ruhayl United Arab Emirates (general)


Qarn Yafur Abu Zaby

Furfar Al Fujayrah

`umm Al-nar Abu Zaby

Djebel Dhanna Abu Zaby




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