A federation of seven Emirates, the UAE ( United Arab Emirates ) came into being on December 2, 1971. Since then, the country has made tremendous progress in all fields. Dubai, the second largest of teh seven emirates, has traditionally been a commercial centre and has now consolidated its position on the key trading route between the East and the West.
UAE has scenic mountains, deserts with towering sand dunes, and beaches with excellent diving spots. The Hajar mountains, Awir sand dunes, Qarn and Belghilam islands, Diwan Amiri Fort in Abu Dhabi, Al Fahidi Fort and the Museum in Dubai, the 4th century BC archeological site of Mileiha (near Sharjah) and Great Sepulchre (tomb) near Abu Dhabi are worth visiting. While in the UAE, tourists can shop at traditional Gold Souks (markets), or in modern malls, ride out on a desert safari, see a horserace, and enjoy a range of watersports including yachting, water-skiing, windsurfing and diving.
Many airlines operate direct services to UAE from various destinations in Europe, Africa and Asia. A number of cruise lines also call at Abu Dhabi and Dubai. There are excellent road links between UAE and Oman, Qatar and Saudi Arabia.