10 Interesting Facts About the United Arab Emirates
The small Gulf nation has created the world’s first government ministry for artificial intelligence.
The United Arab Emirates, or UAE, is located on the southeast end of the Arabian Peninsula. The country, wedged between Oman and Saudi Arabia, has rocky desert, wetlands, waterless mountains and coastlines that stretch along the Gulf of Oman and the Persian Gulf.
Prior to the discovery of oil in the mid-20th century, the UAE’s economy was based primarily on fishing and a pearl industry. When oil exports began in the 1960s, the country’s economy rapidly transformed. Today, the UAE’s per capita gross domestic product is on par with those of leading Western European nations.
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The following are 10 interesting facts about the United Arab Emirates.
1. The UAE is comprised of seven different emirates: Abu Dhabi, Dubai, Sharjah, Ras al-Khaimah, Ajman, Umm al-Quwain and Fujairah. Each emirate has different cultures and traditions.
2. The country’s form of government is an absolute monarchy. Each emirate of the UAE is ruled by a separate royal family, but the emir of Abu Dhabi is the country’s president and head of state, while the emir of Dubai serves as the nation’s prime minister.
3. There are no permanent rivers in the UAE.
4. The falcon is the UAE’s national symbol while the Arabian oryx, a medium-sized antelope, is the country’s national animal.
5. The UAE created the world’s first government ministry for artificial intelligence, according to the World Economic Forum.
6. Dubai has the world’s longest driverless metro system, with more than 46 miles of track.
7. The world’s tallest building is the Burj Khalifa in Dubai, according to the Guinness Book of World Records. The skyscraper is 828 meters (2,717 feet) high.
8. It’s always wise for people visiting a country to familiarize themselves with the local laws. People have been prosecuted and jailed in Dubai for public displays of affection.
9. The UAE’s population has one of the greatest shares of expatriates. By U.S. government accounts, Emiratis account for less than 12% of the nation’s population. Other estimates rank the UAE only behind fellow Gulf nation Qatar for the highest percentage of expats comprising the population.
10. Despite recent reforms, the UAE continues to receive criticism from rights organizationsfor the treatment of the country’s migrant and domestic workers.