The United Arab Emirates /juːˌnaɪtɨd ˌærəb ˈɛmɪrɨts/ (Arabic: دولة الإمارات العربية المتحدة Dawlat al-ʾImārāt al-ʿArabiyyah al-Muttaḥidah), sometimes simply called the Emirates or the UAE, is a country located in the southeast end of the Arabian Peninsula on the Persian Gulf, bordering Oman to the east and Saudi Arabia to the south, as well as sharing sea borders with Qatar, Iran and Pakistan.
Established on 2 December 1971, the country is a federation of seven emirates (equivalent to principalities). Each emirate is governed by a hereditary emir who jointly form the Federal Supreme Council which is the highest legislative and executive body in the country. One of the emirs is selected as the President of the United Arab Emirates. The constituent emirates are Abu Dhabi, Ajman, Dubai, Fujairah, Ras al-Khaimah, Sharjah, and Umm al-Quwain. The capital is Abu Dhabi, which is one of the two centers of commercial and cultural activities, together with Dubai. Islam is the official religion of the UAE, and Arabic is the official language.
In 1962, Abu Dhabi became the first of the emirates to begin exporting oil. The late Sheikh Zayed, ruler of Abu Dhabi and the first president of the UAE, oversaw the development of the Emirates and steered oil revenues into healthcare, education and infrastructure. Today, Emirates oil reserves are ranked as the seventh-largest in the world, along with world's seventeenth largest natural gas reserves. Emirates has a developed high income economy which enjoys a sizable annual trade surplus while ranks as the world's nineteenth highest in terms of GDP per capita (nominal). Its most populous city of Dubai has emerged as a global city and a business gateway for the Middle East and Africa.