) or the UAE, is a federal absolute monarchy in Western Asia at the southeast end of the Arabian Peninsula on the Persian Gulf, bordering Oman to the east and Saudi Arabia to the south, as well as sharing maritime borders with Qatar to the west and Iran to the north.
In 2013, the UAE's population was 9.2 million, of which 1.4 million are Emirati citizens and 7.8 million are expatriates.
Following the death of Prophet Muhammad, the new Islamic communities south of the Persian Gulf threatened to disintegrate, with insurrections against the Muslim leaders.
The Caliph Abu Bakr sent an army from the capital Medina which completed its reconquest of the territory (the Ridda Wars) with the bloody battle of Dibba in which 10,000 lives are thought to have been lost.
It appears the land of the Emirates has been occupied for thousands of years.
Stone tools recovered from Jebel Faya in the emirate of Sharjah reveal a settlement of people from Africa some 127,000 years ago and a stone tool used for butchering animals discovered at Jebel Barakah on the Arabian coast suggests an even older habitation from 130,000 years ago.
The sheikhs agreed not to dispose of any territory except to the British and not to enter into relationships with any foreign government other than the British without their consent.
In return, the British promised to protect the Trucial Coast from all aggression by sea and to help in case of land attack.Islam is the official religion of the UAE and Arabic is the official language (although English and Indian dialects are widely spoken, with English being the language of business and education particularly in Abu Dhabi and Dubai).The UAE's oil reserves are the seventh-largest in the world while its natural gas reserves are the world's seventeenth-largest.The earliest Christian site in the UAE was first discovered in the 1990s, an extensive monastic complex on what is now known as Sir Bani Yas Island and which dates back to the 7th century.Thought to be Nestorian and built in 600 AD, the church appears to have been abandoned peacefully in 750 AD.In 1869, the Qubaisat tribe settled at Khawr al Udayd and tried to enlist the support of the Ottomans, whose flag was occasionally seen flying there.