While it forms part of the vast Asian continent, the Middle East is culturally unique. Within the Middle East, the United Arab Emirates are a collective of seven individual nations along the northern shore of the Persian Gulf, each ruled by an emir. They were formerly called the Trucial States, an alliance that was formed in the 7th and 8th centuries.
In the 19th century, the Trucial States sought the protection of the British and granted the U.K. control regarding foreign affairs and defense by way of a signed treaty. At the time, the largest industry was the pearl industry, which was replaced by the oil business after World War II.
In 1971, the United Arab Emirates was officially formed, including Abu Zaby, 'Ajman, Al Fujayrah, Ash Shariqah, Dubai (or Dubayy) and Umm Al Qaywayn. They were joined by a seventh state, Ra's al Khaymah in 1972.
Dubai is the second-largest city in the United Arab Emirates after the capital city, Abu Dhabi. The population of Dubai reached slightly more than 2 million according to government estimates in 2013, with about three-quarters of the population male. The gender imbalance is thought to result from the large numbers of foreign workers living in Dubai.Learn more about Geography