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United Arab Emirates

Federation of seven states on the E Arabian Peninsula, from Qatar to the Gulf of Oman, including as members Abu Dhabi, Ajman, Dubai, Fujairah, Ras al-Khaimah, Sharjah, and Umm al-Qaiwan. Before its truce with Great Britain in 1820, the coast was famous for piracy. Other pacts with Great Britain followed in 1839, 1853, and 1892. After World War II it gained internal autonomy. The independent federation was formed in 1971. It has been an important source of oil since the early 1960s. The Iranian revolution in 1979, the growth of Islamic fundamentalism, and the Iran-Iraq War all threatened the stability of the UAE in the 1980s. The UAE was a participant with U.S. and international coalition forces against Iraq during the Persian Gulf War in 1991. Sheikh Zaid ibn Sultan al- Nahayan, the ruler of Abu Dhabi, was president of the UAE from the founding of the federation until his death in 2004, when his son and heir, Sheikh Khalifa ibn Zaid Al Nahayan, was elected to succeed him.


     

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