Country Fast Facts: United Arab Emirates

United Arab Emirates

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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.

On November 2, 2004, the UAE's first and only president, Sheikh Zayed bin Sultan Al Nahyan, died. His eldest son Khalifa bin Zayed al Nahyan succeeded him as Ruler of Abu Dhabi.

In accordance with the Constitution, the UAE's Supreme Council of Rulers elected Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan as UAE Federal President.

Mohammad bin Zayed Al Nahyan succeeded Khalifa as Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi.

Source: CIA World Fact Book