Roots of history in the UAE go back more than five thousand years, when you would have found people fishing, trading camels and diving for pearls.
The United Arab Emirates consists of Abu Dhabi, Ajman, Dubai, Fujairah, Ras al-Khaimah, Sharjah and Umm al-Quwain. They're a federation of states located in the southeast of the Arabian Peninsula, next to Saudi Arabia.
The UAE was established in 1971 and rapidly grew in economic status with the help of foreign investment.
UAE is a member of OPEC. Oil was discovered in 1967 in Abu Dhabi, and the Emirates quickly became interested in unification for their common benefit. The U.S. soon overtook Britain as their major business partner, and Abu Dhabi became the largest oil producer in the UAE.
At present, the UAE has one of the fastest-growing economies in the world. Ol, financial services, media and tourism are their major activities.
There are approximately $350 billion of active construction projects, including what will soon be the world's tallest man-made object, the Burj Dubai tower.
Other fun things on the way: a man-made archipelago of islands called The World, DubaiLand (bigger than Disneyland) and the world's largest shopping mall, which will also be in Dubai.
Apparently somebody in Dubai knows how to throw a good party.
The UAE is full of things to do if you can handle the scale they do them on. Football, Tennis, falconry; Formula F1 racing, camel racing (with robotic jockeys) and even skiing!
Text by Steve Smith.