Country Governance

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POGAR > Countries > UAE In Brief

Basic Information

Country Flag:
Country Map: N/A
Country Name: United Arab Emirates (Al Imarat al Arabiyah al Muttahidah)
Name of Capital City: Abu Dhabi
Date of Independence: The United Arab Emirates gained independence on December 2, 1971 from Britain.

Administrative Divisions

Regions, Provinces or Governorates: 7 Emirates (imarat): Abu Dhabi (Abu Zaby), 'Ajman, Al Fujayrah, Sharjah (Ash Shariqah), Dubai (Dubayy), Ra's al Khaymah, Umm al Qaywayn.
Country Area (sq km): 83600
Population (million): 4.4 (2007)
Population, annual growth rate (%) 1975-2005: 6.8
Population, estimated growth rate (%) 2005-2015: 2.5

Political System

Type of State: Federation of Emirates
Date of Constitution: An interim constitution was drafted in December 2, 1971, and made permanent on December 2, 1996.

Head of State

Type: The head of state is the President, who is chosen by the seven members of the Federal Supreme Council (FSC) to serve a five-year term.
Name of Current: Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed Al-Nahyan became head of state on November 8, 2004. He succeeded his father, Sheikh Zayid bin Sultan Al Nuhayyan, who died on November 2, 2004. Sheikh Mohammad bin Zayed Al-Nahyan was then appointed crown prince.

Executive Branch

About: The executive branch is comprised of the President, Vice President, and the Federal Supreme Council (FSC).
Name of Current: Sheikh Mohammad bin Rashid al-Maktum, the ruler of Dubai, was appointed as prime minister on January 5, 2006. The appointment followed his election by the Supreme Federal Council as deputy-head of state.

Legislative Branch

Type: Unicameral legislative branch
- Federal National Council [English][Arabic]


- See Also: United Arab Emirates - Election Calendar and Results

Human Development Indicators

Human development index (HDI): 0.815 (2010)
HDI rank (worldwide): 32 (2010)
Adult literacy rate (% aged 15 and older): 90 (2007)
Female secondary gross enrollment (%): 93.9 (2007)
Gross enrollment, tertiary level education (%): 23.2 (2003)
Life expectancy at birth (years): 11.489 (2010)
Poverty index (HP1-1) value (%): 7.7 (2007)
GDP per capita (PPP US$): 58005.799 (2010)
GDP per capita (PPP US$) rank minus HDI rank: -28 (2010)
* See more human development indicators on Arab Statistics (external link)

Judiciary Branch

Legal system and codification: Shari’a legal principles and has been influenced by Common Law, Egyptian legal traditions, Custom and tradition.
Administration: The UAE has a federal judiciary encompassing all the emirates except Dubai and Ras Al Khaimah.
Supreme Court: Federal Appeal Courts are located in each of the emirates. A Court of Cassation, located in Abu Dhabi, is the highest court of appeal and is empowered to adjudicate disputes between courts, determine the constitutionality of local and federal laws, investigate misconduct by high government officials, and hear offenses against the Federation.
Constitutional Court:
Shari'a or Personal Status: In civil matters, the lowest courts are the Courts of First Instance, located in each of the emirates. There are separate criminal and Shari’a courts.

Membership in International Organizations

United Nations (UN): December 9, 1971
International Monetary Fund (IMF): September 22, 1972
World Trade Organization (WTO): April 10, 1996
Rome Statute for the International Criminal Court (ICC): November 27, 2000
World Bank – International Bank for Reconstruction and Development (IBRD): September 22, 1972
World Bank – International Finance Corporation (IFC): September 30, 1977
World Bank – Multilateral Investment Guarantee Agency (MIGA): October 20, 1993
World Bank – International Centre for Settlement of Investment Disputes (ICSID): January 22, 1982

Ratification of International Conventions

- Human Rights Conventions
- International Labor Organization (ILO) Conventions
- UN Conventions against Corruption and Transnational Organized Crime
- Environment Treaties