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Their boundaries are complex, with numerous enclaves within the various emirates.Human occupation of the present UAE has been traced back to the emergence of anatomically modern humans from Africa some 125,000 BCE through finds at the Faya-1 site in Mleiha, Sharjah.The UAE's oil reserves are the seventh-largest in the world while its natural gas reserves are the world's seventeenth-largest.Consequently the country is much less reliant on oil and gas than in previous years and is economically focusing on tourism and business.
The sovereign constitutional monarchy is a federation of seven emirates consisting of Abu Dhabi (which serves as the capital), Ajman, Dubai, Fujairah, Ras Al Khaimah, Sharjah and Umm Al Quwain.
Further to the right are various offshore islands of the United Arab Emirates; most of the darker area to the right makes up Oman. The artificial peninsula and islands that make up Palm Jumeirah in Dubai as seen from the International Space Station.
This massive earthwork is reclaimed from Dubai's Persian Gulf coast.
The UAE's long history of trade led to the emergence of Julfar, in the present-day emirate of Ras Al Khaimah, as a major regional trading and maritime hub in the area.
The maritime dominance of the Persian Gulf by Emirati traders led to conflicts with European powers, including the Portuguese and British.Six emirates joined the UAE in 1971, the seventh, Ras Al Khaimah, joined the federation on 10 February 1972.