The United Arab Emirates is an Arabian Peninsula nation settled mainly along the Persian Gulf that was formed from 7 sheikhdoms. Dubai is the site of ultramodern Burj Khalifa tower, enormous shopping centers and extravagant attractions, such as the indoor Ski Dubai. Abu Dhabi, the island capital, is home to Sheikh Zayed Grand Mosque, with crystal chandeliers and room for 41,000 worshipers.
Capital: Abu Dhabi
Dialing code: 971
ISO code: ARE
Currency: United Arab Emirates dirham
President: Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan
Prime minister: Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum
The UAE's oil reserves are the seventh-largest in the world, while its natural gas reserves are the world's seventeenth-largest. 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. The UAE's economy is the most diversified in the Gulf Cooperation Council, with its most populous city of Dubai emerging into a center for international trade and transport. Nevertheless, the country remains extremely reliant on its export of petroleum and natural gas.