All about the seven emirates of the UAE

By | February 9, 2024


Situated in the Arabian Peninsula’s southeast, the United Arab Emirates (UAE) has borders with Saudi Arabia and Oman. The United Arab Emirates (UAE) was formed in December 1971 as a federation consisting of six emirates: Abu Dhabi, Dubai, Sharjah, Ajman, Umm Al-Quwain, and Fujairah. Ras Al Khaimah became the seventh emirate to join the federation in 1972. The largest and richest of the seven emirates is home to the capital city, Abu Dhabi.

Since federating in 1971, the United Arab Emirates (UAE) has grown quickly, becoming recognized for its state-of-the-art infrastructure, international events, and position as a center for trade and transportation.

The United Arab Emirates (UAE) will play home to the WTO’s 13th Ministerial Conference (MC13) in February 2024, as well as the COP28 international climate summit in Dubai in 2023.

All about the seven emirates of the UAE

Abu Dhabi: The Capital Emirate

The capital of the United Arab Emirates is Abu Dhabi, which is also its largest emirate.

Abu Dhabi means “land of the gazelle” in Arabic.

According to legend, the name came about when a juvenile gazelle on an island with some coral structures, a fort, and about 300 palm frond dwellings guided a lost tribe to fresh water. There, the tribe established themselves and modern Abu Dhabi was born. 

The fact that the first settlers in the area date to the third millennium B.C. is among the most fascinating facts about Abu Dhabi!

These days, this flourishing archipelago combines a rich history with magnificent skyscrapers, breathtaking scenery, and a bustling high-end way of life. Abu Dhabi is a great place to explore some of the UAE’s greatest offerings.

Dubai: The Eventual Multicultural Destination

Residents of Dubai, a multicultural city, come from more than 200 different countries.

The emirate is well-known for its contemporary skyscrapers, ostentatious monuments, starry night cityscape, and upscale retail establishments. 

The tourism and real estate industries power the emirate’s economy. This wasn’t always the case, though. One of the fascinating things to know about Dubai is that, up until the 1700s, pearl farming and fishing were the main drivers of the city’s economy.

In a similar vein, Dubai’s architectural past is fascinating.

Sharah: The Center of Culture

Of the seven emirates that comprise the United Arab Emirates, Sharjah has the greatest support for the arts, culture, and history. It also has the richest legacy.

Sharjah was named the “Cultural Capital of the Arab World” by UNESCO in 1998.

The emirate is also peppered with numerous art galleries, museums, historical institutions, and stunning mosques. 

With a view of the Arabian Gulf, Sharjah seamlessly blends Islamic and historical elements.

Ajman: When Traditional Meets Modern

Ajman, the smallest of the United Arab Emirates’ seven emirates, is not short of historical sites and natural beauty.

The Hajar Mountains and the Arabian Gulf form its borders, and the area around it is home to several beautiful beaches and other attractions. 

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    The emirate deftly strikes a balance between modern services, urban expansion, and its traditions.

    Ras Al Khaimah – The World of Adventure

    The Arabic term for “top of the tent,” Ras Al Khaimah, refers to the northernmost emirate of the United Arab Emirates.

    With its rough terrain and occasional mountains, Ras Al Khaimah is a great place for outdoor activities and adventures.

    Ras Al Khaimah is renowned for preserving its historical roots. This is also evident in attractions found within Ras Al Khaimah. Examples include the ancient fishing town of Al Jazirah Al Hamra. Another notable site is Dhayah Fort, the only hilltop structure still standing in the UAE. Additionally, it is the location of the well-known Jebel Jais mountain, the highest mountain peak in the United Arab Emirates, and a global sensation. The beautiful scenery does make it worthy of being the UAE’s northernmost emirate. 

    Other adventure tourism destinations have been crucial in helping to stabilize this emirate’s economy. Out of the UAE’s seven emirates, this one best represents the culture and customs of the Arabian people. While you’re there, don’t forget to check out Wadi Shawka and the National Museum of Ras Al Khaimah. 

    Fujairah: The Most Authentic and Rugged City

    Out of all the cities in the Seven Emirates, Fujairah has been declared the most untamed and genuine. Fujairah, with its 70 km of coastline, is a paradise for people looking for adventures and water activities. With activities ranging from snorkeling to scuba diving, the sandy beaches will immerse you in the natural environment. For the spectators, the intriguing scenery is the icing on the cake.

    Because of its pleasant summertime temperatures, Fujairah is one of the most tranquil cities among the seven Arab emirates and draws tourists year-round. Aside from this, fishing and agriculture are the main drivers of the economy. The UAE’s only point of contact with the Indian Ocean is because of its advantageous location. While visiting Fujairah, those seeking comfort should make sure to stop at Tim’s Reef, Wadi Wurayah, and Madhab Sulpheric Spring Park.

    Umm Al Quwain: Of the seven Arab Emirates, it has the least population.

    Of the seven Arab emirates, Umm Al Quwain has the fewest inhabitants. This emirate, which makes up just 1% of the UAE’s total area, is a veritable gold mine of undiscovered locations. With a history extending back to the Stone Age, the emirate offers a wide range of outdoor pursuits, like as sailing and skydiving. 

    Umm Al Quwain is the least populous of the United Arab Emirates’ seven emirates.

    The name of the place, which comes from Umm Al Quwain, which describes the variety of activities available on land and in the water, also reflects these leisure pursuits. Mangroves and notable archaeological sites are well-liked tourist destinations. Among the largest islands in the emirate is Al Seniah Island. Additionally, deep-sea fishing spots in Umm Al Quwain provide tourists with an unparalleled fishing experience. When visiting, don’t miss the Ed-Dur site and the Falaj Almualla Fort.

    Abu DhabiAl NahyanHis Highness Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan
    DubaiAl MaktoumHis Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum
    SharjahAl QasimiHis Highness Dr Sheikh Sultan bin Mohammed Al Qasimi
    AjmanAl NuaimiHis Highness Sheikh Humaid bin Rashid Al Nuaimi
    Umm Al QuwainAl MuallaHis Highness Sheikh Saud bin Rashid Al Mu’alla
    Ras Al KhaimahAl QasimiHis Highness Sheikh Saud bin Saqr Al Qasimi
    FujairahAl SharqiHis Highness Sheikh Hamad bin Mohammed Al Sharqi

    Political synopsis

    His Highness (HH) Sheikh Mohammed bin Zayed Al Nahyan is the President of the United Arab Emirates. Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, the Ruler of Dubai, holds the positions of Prime Minister, Vice President, and Minister of Defence.

    The Federal National Council, the Council of Ministers, and the Supreme Council—which consists of the rulers of each Emirate—are the three pillars of the UAE’s federal government. Each Emirate’s local administration, legal system, and police force are under the leadership of a different Ruler.

    The Federal National Council comprises forty members, with half appointed and the other half elected. The last election, which took place in October 2023, mandated that 50% of the members be female. Emiratis can voice concerns in the Federal National Council, which also serves as a platform.