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United Arab Emirates

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United Arab Emirates History

This group of small sheikhdoms on the coastline of the Persian Gulf was a backwater of the Islamic civilization, which prospered in the Middle East from the seventh century onwards. It was then under loose Ottoman control, until the arrival of European colonists in the 1820s, when it was brought under British suzerainty after attacks on British-owned shipping by pirates operating in the Gulf region. The local Arab rulers signed a treaty with the British in 1853, under which they accepted British military protection and in turn promised to refrain from piracy.

The British left in the 1960s and soon after the country hit oil, which gave a sudden economic boast to the country and region. In 1971 the country officially became an independent state. The country today has established great diplomatic relationships with most of the world’s countries, including China and Russia. It has also taken on an active role in the region a mediator when it comes to some the issues plaguing the region. The countries biggest industry is oil, but the government realized years ago that it won’t be around forever, so they have started to develop the tourist industry. There are over 500 hundred hotels in the country and the country has built the world’s tallest purpose-built hotel (the Palm Islands), which was a massive project that brought 120km of new beachfront, through the creation of the world’s two largest manmade islands, as well as hotels, villas, shopping malls, cinemas and Dubai’s first marine park. The country is looking forward and with its strong diplomacy should be a major player in the region for years to come.

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