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The United Arab Emirates (UAE) is a federation of seven states formed in 1971 by then Trucial States after the independence from Britain. Although each state - Abu Dhabi, Dubai, Ajman, Fujairah, Ras al Khaimah, Sharjah and Umm al Qaiwain - maintains a large degree of independence, the UAE is governed by a Supreme Council of Rulers made up of the seven emirates, who appoint the prime minister and the cabinet.

United Arab Emirates

Overview

Before oil was discovered in the 1950s the UAE's economy was dependent on fishing and a declining pearling industry. But 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 president of the UAE at its inception, was quick to seize on the potential of the oil industry.

He oversaw the development of all the emirates and directed oil revenues into healthcare, education and the national infrastructure.The oil industry has attracted a large influx of foreign workers who, together with expatriates, now make up more than three quarters of the population.

The country's growing business sector and its tourist industry have helped to fuel a construction boom, with billions of dollars being pumped into showpiece schemes. Chic hotels and skyscrapers are emblematic of cities such as Abu Dhabi and cosmopolitan Dubai.The UAE is one of the most liberal countries in the Gulf, with other cultures and beliefs generally tolerated. However it is the only state in the region not to have elected bodies.

Visa

Most of the nationalities are receiving a free visitor's visa upon arrival. For more information, visit www.dnrd.gov.ae

Usually government offices are opened from 7:30 to 14:30 hrs (from Saturday to Thursday). Most offices in the public sector open from 08:00 to 13:00 hrs and 16:00 to 20:30 hrs. Many shops and the big shopping Malls open from 10:00 to 22:00 without a break. The weekend is Friday and Saturday.

Business Hours

Useful Numbers

  • Police .....................................................999

  • Ambulance ............................................998

  • Fire Department ....................................997

  • American Hospital ................................ 04 377 5500

  • The Dubai Mall .................................. 800 382246255

  • Dubai Airport .........................................04 224 5555

  • Flight Enquiry .........................................216 6666

  • Taxi ..........................................................04 208 0808

Greatest Projects

There is a large number of future projects in Dubai and many of these projects are outstanding and absolutely unique in the world. All spectacular projects are the result of a wisely future planning, as the Dubai Government focuses already on the time after the big oil rush. To be independent of the country’s oil resources, all these projects should bring the future wealth into the country. They are being built to attract a large number of tourists, business people and investors into the country. Here is a choice of the most outstanding projects – Dubai Canal, Dubai Theme Parks, Mall of the World, Museum of the Future, Bluewater Island, Dubai Frame, Creek Harbour with the new highest building in the world, Deira Island, Aladdin City and many more to come…

In 2020 Dubai willbe also the host city of the WORLD EXPO 2020.