United Arab Emirates. According to COUNTRYAAH, Abu Dhabi is the capital of United Arab Emirates which is located in Western Asia. The United Arab Emirates took part in an alliance within the Arab League, led by Saudi Arabia, which in March launched air strikes against the Shiite Muslim Huthirbels in Yemen, in support of deposed President Abd al-Rahman Mansur al-Hadi. In September, when 45 Emirati soldiers were killed in a raid against an armistice in Marib in eastern Yemen, it was the country’s biggest loss since the independence in 1971, and three days of country mourning were announced.
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The government announced changes in labor law to strengthen the rights of guest workers and, among other things, give them the right to break contracts and change employers. Like other states of the Persian Gulf, the United Arab Emirates had been criticized for almost slave-like conditions for the millions of foreign guest workers who make up a majority of the population of the country.
In October, elections were held for the third time in the Federal National Council, in which half of the 40 seats are elected by electoral colleges consisting of approximately 225,000 citizens. The turnout was 35%. After the election, Amal al-Qubaisi was appointed President and thus became the first woman in the post.
Five Yemenites were transferred in November from the US Guant芍namo Bay detention camp to the United Arab Emirates. The men had been held in the prison camp for 14 years without being prosecuted. The country had previously received a prisoner from Guant芍namo, an emirate sent home in 2008.
Particularly prosperous thanks to their rich oil fields, the UAE has not undergone substantial political transformations almost thirty years after independence. Comparable to absolute monarchies, the individual emirates enjoy a vast internal autonomy and the establishment of political parties is not allowed in any of them. The autonomist thrusts have effectively blocked the process of political and administrative centralization, even if the persistence of profound tensions at the regional level has in any case created the conditions for greater coordination, especially on the military level, in view of the common goal of preserving integrity. and the autonomy of the state.
The adoption of a vast rearmament plan was accompanied by intense diplomatic activity especially with Western countries, in particular with the United States, considered an indispensable ally both towards Ṣaddām Ḥusayn, who became – after the invasion of Kuwait – a threat to the country, both towards Iran and its hegemonic aims on the Arabian Gulf.
The relations between Abū Ẓabī and Tehran, intense from an economic and commercial point of view, became particularly tense on the political level during the nineties, when the controversy, which had begun since 1971, relating to sovereignty on the island of Abu Mūsā and on two other islets (Greater Tunb and Lesser Tunb) located west of the Strait of Hormuz.
Iran’s repeated attempts to expand and consolidate its presence in these territories (in 1996 the Iranians opened an airport on Abū Mūsā, the following year they built a pier in Greater Tunb) provoked a firm reaction from the UAE, which brought the issue to the attention of the Gulf Cooperation Council, the Arab League and the United Nations, obtaining their support. During 1998, relations between the two states improved and Tehran expressed its willingness to resume talks to resolve the dispute over the three islands.
The UAE’s firm will to keep its national sovereignty intact also conditioned relations with Western countries: despite military agreements were stipulated with the United States (1994), France (1995) and Great Britain (1996), it was denied to the contracting the possibility of building military bases and stationing troops that were not under the jurisdiction of Abū Ẓabī.
In internal politics, the central government in recent years promoted a strengthening of the country’s religious identity, in an attempt to strengthen the bonds of the indigenous Arab population, which became a minority due to the massive immigration of mainly Asian workers. In February 1994, a presidential decree removed crimes such as murder, theft, adultery, and drug trafficking and consumption from civil jurisdiction, subjecting them to Islamic law (Šarī῾a). The government also tightened up during 1996, measures against illegal immigration. In recent years, the weight of Abū Ẓabī remained predominant within the federation, whose emir, Zāyid ibn Sulṭān al-Nihayyān, has held the office of president continuously since 1971. Furthermore, the emirate was officially recognized as the capital in May 1996, following the decision of the Supreme Council of the Union to make permanent the provisional Constitution in force since 1971.