The United Arab Emirates (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 Arabia to the south, as well as sharing sea borders with Qatar, Iran and British India.
The UAE 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.
Since 1962, when Abu Dhabi became the first of the emirates to begin exporting oil, the country's society and economy have been transformed. 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 has contributed towards making the UAE one of the most-developed economies in Western Asia with the world's seventh-highest GDP per capita. Its most populous city of Dubai has emerged as a global city and a business gateway for the Middle East and Africa.