It is situated in the south-east corner of the Arabian Peninsula.
The seven sheikhdoms are Abu Dhabi, Dubai, Sharjah, Ajman, Umm al Qawain, Ras al Khaimah, Fujairah, Qatar and Oman.
The high Hajar Mountains are at the back of Ras Al Khaimah and Fujairah ending into a dry desert plains of the empty part of Abu Dhabi. Along the coast are salty mud-flats called sabkah.
Inland the desert landscape is flat and in the extreme desert temperatures very little flora can grow. The Buraimi oasis in the eastern part of Abu Dhabi, along the Oman Boarder, is lush vegetation with natural groves of date palms.
There is not much wildlife apart from the Arabian ibex, wild goats and camels are but a few. During July and August temperature can reach 48C. The climate is more pleasant from October to May with warm days and cool nights.
Until 1940 the pearl trade was the main industry but with international demand it soon collapsed. The fishing industry is still a major economical contributor but since 1962 the discovery of oil brought the real wealth to Abu Dhabi. Dubai is the second richest of the emirates. They discovered oil in 1970 and has one of the largest dry docks in the world.
UNITED ARAB EMIRATES
In 1971 the UAE became one country of seven separate countries previously known as the Trucial Coast States. Britain ruled the countries from 1860 and in 1968 decided that the countries should unite with Bahrain and Qatar to form one country called the Federation of Arab Amirates. But Bahrain and Qatar demanded independence.
On 2 December 1971 six of the Trucial states joined forces and became the United Arab Emirates. In 1972 Ras Al Khaimah joint the UAE.
The constitution was made for only five years but was extended in 1976 and till exists still today.
The UAE is one of the most peaceful Gulf nations. In 1990-91 it added its troops to the anti-Iraq coalition.
In 1993 it was part sending soldiers to assists the United Nations in Somalia, Africa.
United Arab Emirates also has a policy of continuously claiming land from the sea and with that it continuously extents.