United Arab Emirates

Official name: 
United Arab Emirates
Name in local language: 
الإمارات العربيّة المتّحدة transliterated from Arabic al-Imarat al-'arabiyya al-muttahida.
Form of government: 
Political system: 
  • Founding date/ Date of independence:  1971 from UK
  • Date of constitution/reform: Interim Constitution of 1971 was ratified in 1996 permanently.
  • Form of state: Federal
  • Administrative divisions: 7 Emirates: Abu Dabi,  Dubái, Ajmán, Fuyaira, Ras al-Jaima, Sharyah and Umm al-Qaywayn.
  • Official language(s): Arabic
  • Other spoken languages: English, Asian languages such as Urdu, Pashtu or Tagalo.
  • Official religion: Islam 
  • Minorities: UAE nationals are only 20% of residents in the UAE (85% Sunni). The largest population group comprise Asians (Pakistanis and Sri blangadeshíes lankíes), followed by Arabic and Persian and Western expatriates. Apart from Islam, Christianity, Hinduism, Sikhism and Buddhism is practiced.
  • Dominant actor(s): Abud Dhabi royal family (al-Nahyan and al-Nahayan) and royal families in each emirate.
  • Elected institutions of government: Federal National Council, a restricted electoral college choose 40 members of this body, with advisory powers.
  • Non-elected  institutions of government: President of the Federation (through heredity, the emir of Abu Dhabi), the government (through heredity, the prime minister is the emir of Dubai) and local authorities.
  • Party system: No parties allowed.

Current authorities

  • Head of state: Jalifa bin Zayed al-Nahayan, since 2004. The Emir of Abu Dabi and President of the Federation.
  • Head of government: Mohammed bin Rashid al-Maktum, since 2006
  • Minister of Foreign Affairs: Abdullah bin Zayed bin Sultan Al Nahyan
  • Minister of Interior: Sheikh Saif Bin Zayed Al Nahyan
  • Legislative Branch: There is only one chamber: the Federal National Council.
  • Judiciary: Supreme Court and the Courts of First Instance.
  • Schematic representation of the political system: Link to PDF


Head of State:  Royal Family

Government:  Prime Minister Office

Minister of Interior: Website

Minister of Foreign Affairs: Website

Arab Press: Al Khaleej

English Press: The Arabian Post The National

Constitution: Website

Electoral System: Website