The United Arab Emirates is a constitutional federation established in December 1971. The UAE has its own flag, coat of arms and national anthem. All citizens of the UAE carry the unified nationality of the United Arab Emirates, which is recognised internationally.
The UAE consists of seven emirates:
Ras Al Khaimah Ajman
Umm Al Quwain
How does the political system work?
The political system is based on the Constitution which explains the main rules of the political and constitutional organisation of the country. The Constitution demonstrates the main purpose of the establishment of the federation and its objectives at the local and regional levels. It guarantees all UAE citizens equal rights and opportunities, safety and security, and social justice.
The Constitution has 152 articles establishing the basis of the UAE and the rights of citizens in ten areas that are:
The federation, its constituencies and principal aims
The fundamental social and economic basis of the federation
Public freedom, rights and duties
The federal authorities
Federal legislations, decrees and authorities in charge
Allocation of legislative, executive and international jurisdiction between the federation and the emirates
Financial affairs of the federation
Armed forces and security forces
Final and transitional provisions
Key developments in the political system
Over the years, the UAE has taken many steps to develop its political system, make it more receptive to the needs of the socio-economic progress of the country and to ensure that that UAE’s population is equipped to cope with the challenges of global development.
Political reform strategies
The UAE Government took several steps to reform the political system in the UAE. Some of these steps are:
UAE Government Strategy in 2007
The strategy aimed to create cooperative interaction between federal and local governments.
Amendments to the Constitution
A significant development was the amendment of Article 62 of the Constitution in late 2008. The amended law states that the Prime Minister or his deputies or any federal minister may not practice any professional or commercial job nor enter into a business transaction with the federal government or local governments.
In 2010, Vision 2021 was launched as a national charter aimed to transform the UAE into ‘one of the best countries in the world’ by 2021, by integrating the efforts at the federal and the local levels.