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Global of Islam
United Arab Emirates
The United Arab Emirates (UAE) is a federation of seven emirates (states) formed in
1971 after independence from Britain. The seven emirates are Abu Dhabi, Dubai, Sharjah,
Ajman, Umm al-Quwain, Ras al-Khaimah and Fujairah. UAE is located in the southeast of the
Arabian Peninsula in Southwest Asia on the Persian Gulf, bordering Oman and Saudi Arabia.
Before 1971, the UAE was known as Trucial Oman; also the name "Pirate Coast" was used in
reference to the Emirates’ areas in the 18th to early 20th century (Wikipedia).
96% of the population of the UAE are Muslims. The majority is Sunni and about 16% are
Shea. Most of the citizens of the UAE are Sunni Muslims who adhere to the Maliki legal
tradition. Some Sunnis of the Wahhabi sect (followers of a strict interpretation of the Hanbali
legal school) live in Al Buraymi Oasis, and some who follow the Shafii legal school live along
Al Batinah coast. The foreign population includes Sunni and Shia' Muslims, Hindus, and
Even though there are two religious sects in the UAE, nobody can notice any disruption
between the two sects as they both belong to the same religion, which is Islam. They all are
brothers and no sect underestimates the other like some other Arab counties.
A central federal regulatory authority distributes weekly guidance to both Sunni imams and Shia
sheikhs regarding the content of religious sermons. The UAE’s constitution declares that Islam is
the official religion of all seven of the constituent emirates of the federal union. Muslims are
expressly prohibited from converting to other religions, but conversion by non-Muslims to Islam
is viewed favorably. During Ramadan, all residents and visitors are required to abide by
restrictions imposed on Muslims. For example, they are not allowed to smoke or eat in public.
Islamic studies are obligatory for citizen children attending public schools and for Muslim
children attending private schools. Religious instruction in non-Muslim religions is not permitted
in public schools.
Though Islam is the UAE's state religion, the government follows a policy of tolerance towards
other religions and rarely seldom interferes in the activities of non-Muslims. However, it is
illegal in the UAE to spread the ideas of any religion apart from Islam through any form of
media as it is a form of proselytizing. There are approximately 31 churches throughout the
country and one Hindu temple in the region of Bur Dubai.
• Bahá'í Faith in the United Arab Emirates
The Bahá'í Faith in the United Arab Emirates began before the country gained independence in
1971. The first Bahá'ís arrived in Dubai by 1950, and by 1957 there were four Bahá'í Local
Spiritual Assemblies in the region of the United Arab Emirates and a regional National Spiritual
Assembly of the Arabian Peninsula. Recent estimates count some 75,000 Bahá'ís or 1.6% of the
national population - second only to Iran in number of Bahá'ís in the nations of the Middle East-
though the World Christian Encyclopedia estimates closer to 51,700, 1.3%, in 2005.
• Capital: Abu Dhabi which is the biggest state in the UAE and occupies 86.7% of the
area of the country.
• Population: 4,798,491(The citizens are 20%(825 thousand people) of the total
• Religions: Muslim 96% (80% Sunni; Shia 16%).
• Government type: federation with specified powers delegated to the UAE federal
government and other powers reserved to member emirates.
• Population growth rate: 3.689% (country comparison to the world: 1 )
• Birth rate: 16.02 births/1,000 population.
• Death rate: 2.11 deaths/1,000 population.
• Infant mortality rate: 12.7 deaths/1,000 live births.
• Life expectancy at birth: of total population: 76.11 years(male:73.5, Female:79)
• HIV/AIDS - adult prevalence rate: 0.18% (2001 est.)
• Literacy: 77.9% of the total population.
• Area: 83،600 K (32،278 mile square).
• GDP - per capita (PPP): $39,900 (country comparison to the world: 21) (2008)
• Unemployment rate: 2.4%.
• Climate: Hot and Dry.
• Economy: UAE is considered one of the richest and most developed countries in the
middle east and the GDP per capita is too high. The GDP per capita is currently the 14th in
the world and 3rd in the Middle East after Qatar and Kuwait as measured by the CIA World
Factbook. The most income comes from the petroleum and the natural gas.