United Arab Emirates (UAE)Home of visionary leaders
The United Arab Emirates, or UAE as they are often called, are a federation of seven emirates, each governed by a hereditary emir. Built on vast oil and gas reserves, the UAE has become a bustling trade centre in the Middle East, with a diverse, multicultural society.
The subtropical-arid climate means hot summers and warm winters; in July and August temperatures can reach 45°C along the coast. Rice, fish and meat are traditional foods, with seafood playing a dominant role.
While the Federal Constitution of the UAE declares that Islam is the official religion of the country, it also provides for freedom of religion in accordance with established customs. The government respects this right in its practice, and has even donated lands and buildings to Christian, Sikh and Hindu worshipers, with some restrictions.
Arabic is the primary language, although English is widely spoken as well and the dirham (AED) is the official currency of the UAE, with 1 dirham further divided into 100 fils.