Above: How Powerful Is The United Arab Emirates? How Wealthy Is The United Arab Emirates?
With a strong defense system and an abundance of oil, the United Arab Emirates has become a global force. So, how powerful is the country? The United Arab Emirates confirms no income tax yet for its citizens, but VAT taxes might be coming soon.
The United Arab Emirates
The United Arab Emirates, sometimes simply called the Emirates or the UAE, is a country located at 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 and Iran. In 2013, the United Arab Emirates had a total population of 9.2 million people, of which 1.4 million were Emirati citizens and 7.8 million were expatriates.
Established in December 1971, the country is a federation of seven emirates. The constituent emirates are Abu Dhabi (which serves as the capital), Ajman, Dubai, Fujairah, Ras al-Khaimah, Sharjah, and Umm al-Quwain. Each emirate is governed by an absolute monarch; together, they jointly form the Federal Supreme Council. One of the monarchs is selected as the President of the United Arab Emirates. Islam is the official religion of the United Arab Emirates, and Arabic is the official language, although English is widely spoken and is the language of business and education, especially in Abu Dhabi and Dubai.
The oil reserves of the United Arab Emirates are the seventh largest in the world, while its natural gas reserves are the world’s 17th largest. The late Sheikh Zayed, ruler of Abu Dhabi and the first President of the United Arab Emirates, oversaw the development of the Emirates and steered oil revenues into healthcare, education, and infrastructure. The economy of the United Arab Emirates is the most diversified in the Gulf Cooperation Council, with its most populous city of Dubai emerging into a global city and international aviation hub. Nevertheless, the country remains extremely reliant on its export of petroleum and natural gas.
The United Arab Emirates has been criticized for its human rights record, including the role of Sharia law in its legal system. The rising international profile of the United Arab Emirates has led some analysts to identify it as a regional and middle power.