The United Arab Emirates (Arabic: دولة الإمارات العربية المتحدة Dawlat al-ʾImārāt al-ʿArabiyyah al-Muttaḥidah) is a federation of seven emirates on the Arabian Gulf. Formerly known as the Trucial States (up until 1971), the United Arab Emirates (UAE) is the 5th wealthiest per capita state in the world. A country with twice as many men as women due to the influx of guest workers, it is a major oil producing state and acquiring further wealth all the time. It provided troops to the UN coalition in the 1991 Gulf War. A lot of economic migrants go there. Not a democracy, although slight moves to that system have been made. It is close to the US and bought F-16s from them in 1999, and many ships of the United States Fifth Fleet are based in the UAE. Camel racing is popular and the place is attracting motorsport too. Tourism brings in big money. This has resulted in a bit of a culture clash between the covered-up, teetotal locals and the scantily-clad, beer-drinking tourists. Homosexuality and adultery are against the law. Like the other Gulf emirates, citizens experience a highly luxurious life. This includes a very cushy welfare state, free healthcare, and free education up to the Doctorate level. Even the large welfare states of northern Europe seem threadbare and stingy in comparison to that provided in the UAE. Not so great is the fact that all this luxury is mostly built on the backs of the country's vast population of non-citizen guest workers, most of whom are criminally underpaid and emphatically not supported by the welfare state. The country has a population of 8.3 million. 87% of this population consists of guest workers.
The Emirati flag
The flag uses the very familiar Pan-Arab colors, arranged as green, white and black horizontal stripes with a red vertical stripe on the hoist; all colors symbolize Arab unity.