The United Arab Emirates (UAE) is a federation of 7 states formed in 1971 after independence from Britain, the constituent emirates being Abu Dhabi, Ajman, Dubai, Fujairah, Ras al-Khaimah, Sharjah, and Umm al-Quwain.
The UAE is today one of the Middle East’s most important economic centers due to its large oil reserves. The oil industry has attracted many foreign workers who together with expatriates make up three quarters of the population.
While the UAE did not experience the kinds of demonstrations that characterized the Arab Spring elsewhere, in March and April 2011, however, activists began calling for greater political rights and a move towards a more democratic political system. Authorities responded by arresting the most outspoken pro-reform voices.
The constitution does not specifically mention gender equality, and women’s social, economic, and legal rights in general are not protected. Women are underrepresented in government, though they have received appointments at various levels in recent years. 



Total population* (2014)


Female population


Total 0-14 years


Total 15-64 years


Total 65 years and over


Life expectancy at birth (women)

78 years 

Fertility rate

1.8 children born/woman

Total literacy rate


Total literacy rate among females


School life expectancy ( primary to tertiary education, 2009)

13 years

Female enrolment at higher education**



* Including immigrants

**Higher education is the degree after achieving the high-school diploma