The constituent emirates are Abu Dhabi (which serves as the capital), Ajman, Dubai, Fujairah, Ras al-Khaimah, Sharjah and Umm al-Quwain.
Each emirate is governed by an absolute monarch; together, they jointly form the Federal Supreme Council.
Thought to be Nestorian and built in 600 AD, the church appears to have been abandoned peacefully in 750 AD.
Stone tools recovered from Jebel Faya in the emirate of Sharjah reveal a settlement of people from Africa some 127,000 years ago and a stone tool used for butchering animals discovered at Jebel Barakah on the Arabian coast suggests an even older habitation from 130,000 years ago.
There is no proof of contact with the outside world at that stage, although in time it developed with civilisations in Mesopotamia and Iran.
The following year, Britain and a number of local rulers signed a treaty to combat piracy along the Persian Gulf coast, giving rise to the term Trucial States, which came to define the status of the coastal emirates. Primarily in reaction to the ambitions of other European countries, namely France and Russia, the British and the Trucial Sheikhdoms established closer bonds in an 1892 treaty, similar to treaties entered into by the British with other Persian Gulf principalities.
The sheikhs agreed not to dispose of any territory except to the British and not to enter into relationships with any foreign government other than the British without their consent.
In 2013, the UAE's population was 9.2 million, of which 1.4 million are Emirati citizens and 7.8 million are expatriates.
The country is a federation of seven emirates, and was established on December 2, 1971.
This contact persisted and became wide-ranging, probably motivated by trade in copper from the Hajar Mountains, which commenced around 3000 BCE.
In ancient times, Al Hasa (today's Eastern Province of Saudi Arabia) was part of Al Bahreyn and adjoined Greater Oman (today's UAE and Oman).
From the second century AD, there was a movement of tribes from Al Bahreyn towards the lower Gulf, together with a migration among the Azdite Qahtani (or Yamani) and Quda'ah tribal groups from south west Arabia towards central Oman. In 637, Julfar (in the area of today's Ra's al-Khaimah) was an important port that was used as a staging post for the Islamic invasion of the Sassanian Empire.
The earliest Christian site in the UAE was first discovered in the 1990s, an extensive monastic complex on what is now known as Sir Bani Yas Island and which dates back to the 7th century.
The UAE, led by President His Highness Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan, seeks to ensure happiness and welfare for all its citizens nationwide, said Suhail bin Mohammed Faraj Faris Al Mazrouei, Minister of Energy.