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UAE: Trade balances hold steady, arms deals mount up

Politics: Established in 1971, the federation of seven emirates – Abu Dhabi, Ajman, Dubai, Fujairah, Ras Al-Khaimah, Sharjah and Umm Al-Quwain is economically liberal and progressive, but politically conservative. Control is held by emirate rulers, led by oil-rich, politically savvy Abu Dhabi and commercial hub Dubai. The federal government’s legislative and executive jurisdiction cover foreign affairs, security, defence, education, health, currency, electricity and immigration. Emirates retain considerable economic independence and control over mineral rights and revenues.

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