United Arab Emirates Overview
One of the world’s youngest and most dynamic countries, the UAE was founded in 1971 and consists of seven emirates. The nation’s terrain includes vast stretches of rolling desert speckled with green oases, while the coastal regions feature sandy, tranquil beaches. In the cities, cosmopolitan flair and modern excitement are superimposed on ancient history: traditional souks are offset by huge shopping malls, and skyscrapers soar over ancient mosques.
Located on the Persian Gulf, Dubai is the second largest emirate and one of the planet’s top centers of commerce and tourism. Just three decades ago, the Emirati people were nomads, traveling by camelback across the desert. Today, modernization has steered the primarily-Muslim population into a new, urbanized way of life. Women are gaining freedom, becoming more educated and able to work outside the home. Considered of the world’s fastest growing tourist destinations, the UAE features camel farms just minutes from five-star hotels and more than 430 miles (700 km) of coastline.