The United Arab Emirates follows the pace and meets the needs of progress with a modern administrative structure while at the same time preserving its Islamic principles and maintaining the ancestral traditions of its Arab heritage.
A Modern State with Ancient Roots
Established on the 2nd of December 1971, the United Arab Emirates is a federation that includes seven emirates: Abu Dhabi, Dubai, Sharjah, Ras al-Khaimah, Fujairah, Umm al-Qaiwain and Ajman. The Federation’s system of government consists of Supreme Council; a cabinet, or Council of Ministers; a parliamentary body (the Federal National Council); and an independent judiciary, the highest instance of which is the Federal Supreme Court. The Supreme Council the highest authority in the UAE, comprises the Rulers of the seven emirates and is chaired by His Highness Shaikh Zayed Bin Sultan Al Nahyan, president of the United Arab Emirates and ruler of the Abu Dhabi emirate.

Abu Dhabi is the capital of a country, which extends over 83,600 km (including around 200 islands) in a strategic geographical location on the northeastern tip of the Arabian Peninsula. Lying between latitudes 22 and 26.5 North, and longitudes 51 and 56.5 East, the United Arab Emirates is bordered by the Arabian Gulf to the north, by the Gulf of Oman and the Sultanate of Oman to the east, the Sultanate of Oman and Saudi Arabia to the south, and by Qatar and Saudi Arabia to west. UAE enjoys warm and sunny days from November to March, with a temperature around 26 C during the day and around 15 C at night. From June to August the climate tends to be hot (up to 49) and humid.

The indigenous people of the UAE are Arabs whose ancestors arrived in the area more than 2000 years ago. The national currency is the Arab Emirates Dirham (Dh or AED). The exchange rate to the U.S. dollar is approximately 0.28 U.S. dollar (Dh3.671=$1.00). The Emirates follow a single time system, which is four hours ahead of GMT (GMT +4hours). Arabic is the official language of the state, but English is widely spoken.

Since it’s establishment in 1971, the united Arab emirates has attracted international attention, not only because of its strategic location at the mouth of the Arabian Gulf and it’s important oil reserves, but also due to it’s unparallel program of economic, social and cultural development.

Faithful to its Arab traditional and it’s Islamic religion on the national level, UAE also plays and important role in promoting Arab Islamic development and solidarity on the international scene. A founding member of the Arab Gulf Co-operation Council (AGCC), UAE also belongs to the Arab League, the Organization of the Islamic Conference, the Non-aligned Movement, and the United Nations (which it joined on 9 December 1971).

A State where Tolerance is the Norm
Islam is the official religion of the State, and Arab Islamic culture predominates in the U.A.E. Yet tolerance toward the large expatriate communities is the norm, and communities of other religious beliefs practice their religions freely within the U.A.E’s cosmopolitan society.
A Focus on Education
Over the course of the 30 years (three decades) since the Federation was established, the UAE has seen its population rise more than ten fold, reaching 2,377,453 by 1995. It has also undergone an impressive process of modernization that has captured the attention of the world. What is even more impressive is the social commitment of this nation. UAE considers the essential wealth of any nation to be its people. Hence, the dedication of the Federation is to promote the welfare of its members. Nothing is more critical to that effort than the provision of a quality of education that will empower members of the society to contribute to the building of a great society.

The UAE, therefore, puts the emphasis on developing education at all levels. Kindergarten, elementary, intermediate and secondary schools were established in urban and rural areas. UAE has witnessed the establishment of several institution of higher education. These include UAE University in Al-Ain, as well as specialized professional colleges such as the Higher colleges of Technology, Ajman University College, Dubai Islamic College and Dubai Medical Science College. Further education is also available through a number of technical colleges, such as the Dubai Aviation College, the Emirates Banking Training Institute, and the Career Development Center of the Abu Dhabi National Oil Company. The United Arab Emirates has now seen the establishment of the several new institutions of higher learning in Sharjah: The University of Sharjah, Higher Colleges and The American University if Sharjah. The particular priority attached to education and the location of educational facilities throughout the country was enhanced with the introduction of legislation making education compulsory until the completion of the intermediate stage. Furthermore, the UAE government has developed an overseas scholarship programme for students who are interested in pursuing their studies at the graduate level.

Health and Social Care: Advanced Medical Services.
Healthcare has been a primary priority of the UAE government. The health services have undergone a very rapid expansion and offer high quality care. The extensive medical services in the state include modern hospitals provided with state-of-the-art equipment and highly qualified specialists. U.A.E has a growing number of hospitals, largest among which are the Mafraq General Hospital in Abu Dhabi, the Tawam and Al-Jimi hospitals in Al-Ain, and the New Dubai, the Zabeel East (Al Was) and the Rashid Central Hospital in Dubai. There are also general hospitals in Sharjah, Ras al-Khaimah and Fujairah, as well as health centers throughout the country. Excellent government facilities are available in addition to the several state of art the private hospitals. Furthermore, with the assistance of the United Nations the U.A.E government is also engaged in encouraging health education.
A Tourist’s Haven
While preserving their cherished culture and tradition, the people of U.A.E are hospitable and glad to share their traditions with visitors from overseas. The United Arab Emirates presents a variety of contrasting landscapes that ranged from rugged rocky mountains to low-level salt flats and sand dunes. The U.A.E traces its heritage back well before the birth of Christ, as may be seen at a number of significant archaeological sites. Museums display artifacts from various excavation sites, ancient Arabic manuscripts and royal treasure.

The country offers a unique opportunity for journeys of learning in such museums as the Sharjah National Museum and Desert Park and the Sharjah Science Museum. Other interesting activities consist of visiting the beautiful souks or bazaar, old and new; old forts; local fishing harbors or yards where traditional wooden vessels are built; or admiring the variety or majestic mosques. King Faisal Mosque, one of the country’s biggest mosques, and the Bidaya Mosque, the oldest mosque in the Emirates, are but two examples of the broad variety of mosques that display the magnificent Arabic and Islamic architecture in its most elegant and impressive style.

Sports and Leisure
U.A.E has fostered a tremendous expansion of its recreational and sports facilities. It offers a wide variety of sports activities that include football, cricket, desert golf (quite a unique experience), as well as horse and camel racing. It also has an abundance of water sports, chief among which are windsurfing, scuba diving and fishing. Zayed Sports City, one of the largest sport cities in the Arab World, is an example of the impressive facilities U.A.E offers in this particular area. U.A.E membership in the Olympic Games Committee in 1980 and the participation of the national football team in the World Cup finals in 1990 reflect the extent of the considerable interest attached to such activities.

Other recreational and outdoor attractions consist of safaris into the heart of the desert with its Bedouin settlements, its oasis farms that stand in the midst of massive golden sand dunes, as well as its memorable sunsets. Excursions through the rugged rocky mountains with fresh water streams are available as well as camel riding or even sand surfing. All are activities that offer the opportunity of experiencing a true feeling of Arabia.

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