United Arab Emirates

Last modified: 23 November 2020

State’s name

The state is known as Dawiat al-Imarat al-Arabiyyah al-Muttahidah in its national language. In English this means the United Arab Emirates.

The area has known habitation as of 5500 BC. The region conversed into the Islam in the 7th century. The Portuguese ruled the area from 1506 until they were expelled around 1620. The Emirates was part of the First Saudi State and the Second Saudi State between 1744 and 1891. In 1892 the British started to rule the area. Only on 1 December 1971 The United Arab Emirates became an independent country. The rulers of Abu Dhabi and Dubai decided to form a union as of 2 December 1971. Also four other emirates decided to join. On 11 February 1972 also Ras Al- Khaimah joined.

Head of state

The head of state of the United Arab Emirates is the Ruler of Abu Dhabi. Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed bin Sultan Al-Nahyan has ruled since 3 November 2004.


United Arab Emirates rather seems to be a republic than a monarchy, but comprises of seven monarchical emirates: Abu Dhabi, Dubai, Sharjah, Ras Al Khaimah, Ajman, Umm Al Qaiwain and Fujairah. The aims of the Union shall be the maintenance of its independence and sovereignty.

Each emirate of the UAE shall handle all authorities that are not assigned by the constitution to federation. Moreover, each respective emirate shall contribute to building and protecting this constitution as well as benefiting from its services. All Union member emirates shall strive to coordinate their legislatures in all areas for standardisation purposes.

The Federal Supreme Council is the highest constitutional authority in the United Arab Emirates . It is also the highest legislative and executive authority. It is also the council that draws up the general policies and approves the various federal legislations. The Federal Supreme Council consists of rulers of the seven emirates constituting the federation or their deputies in their emirates in case of rulers’ absence or unavailability. Each Emirate has one single vote in the council resolutions and deliberations.

The Supreme Council of the Union shall elect from among its members a President and a Vice President of the Union. The Vice President of the Union shall exercise all the powers of the President in the event of his absence for any reason. The term of office of the President and the Vice President shall be five Gregorian years. They are eligible for re-election to the same offices. Upon vacancy of the office of the President or his Deputy for death or resignation, or because either one of them ceases to be Ruler in his Emirate for any reason, the Supreme Council shall be called into session within one month of that date to elect a successor to the vacant office. In the event that the two offices of the President of the Supreme Council and his Deputy become vacant simultaneously, the Council shall be immediately called into session by any one of its members or by the Chairman of the Council of Ministers of the Union, to elect a new President and Vice President to fill the two vacant offices.

However since 1971 the ruler of Abu Dhabi has also been the president of the United Arab Emirates, while the ruler of Dubai was the vice president and prime minister.

The Presidents of the United Arab Emirates

Zayed bin Sultan Al Nahyan (1918-2004)1971-2004
Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan (1948- )2004-

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