"Marhaba" and welcome to the United Arab Emirates (U.A.E.). Formerly known as the Trucial States following independence from Britain, the U.A.E. is today a federation of seven emirates formed in 1971 comprised of: Abu Dhabi (capital state), Dubai, Sharjah, Ajman, Ras al Kaimah, Umm al Quwain and Fujairah.
The city-state of Dubai is the second largest member of the U.A.E. and its most important port and commercial centre. It's hard to imagine that within just the last half century alone, these desert shores that were once home to Bedouin tribes and small fishing villages have given rise to one of the world's most dazzling cities. Home to logic-defying architecture and engineering feats of spectacular wonder such as Palm Island, an iconic man-made landscape that can be seen from space, Dubai has a population of approximately 2.4 million, and home to a wide diversity of nationalities. Whilst Arabic is the offical language, English is widely spoken.