Saturday, August 14, 2010

The National Anthem of the United Arab Emirates

The United Arab Emirates (UAE) is a federation of seven emirates situated in the southeast of the Arabian Peninsula in Southwest Asia on the Persian Gulf, bordering Oman and Saudi Arabia. The UAE consists of seven states, termed emirates, which are Abu Dhabi, Dubai, Sharjah, Ajman, Umm al-Quwain, Ras al-Khaimah and Fujairah. The capital and second largest city of the United Arab Emirates is Abu Dhabi. It is also the country's center of political, industrial and cultural activities.

Before 1971, the UAE were known as the Trucial States or Trucial Oman, in reference to a nineteenth-century truce between Britain and several Arab Sheikhs. The name Pirate Coast was also used in reference to the area's emirates in the 18th to early 20th century. The political system of the United Arab Emirates, based on the 1971 Constitution, comprises several intricately connected governing bodies. Islam is the official religion and Arabic is the official language.

The United Arab Emirates has the world's sixth largest oil reserves and possesses one of the most developed economies in the Middle East. It is currently the thirty-sixth largest economy by nominal GDP, and is one of the richest countries in the world by per capita gross domestic product, with a nominal per capita GDP of $54,607 as per the IMF. The country is fourteenth largest in purchasing power per capita and has a relatively high Human Development Index for the Asian continent, ranking 31st globally. The United Arab Emirates is classified as a high income developing economy by the IMF.

The United Arab Emirates is a founding member of the Cooperation Council for the Arab States of the Gulf, and a member state of the Arab League. It is also a member of the United Nations, Organisation of the Islamic Conference, the OPEC, and the World Trade Organization.

The national anthem of the UAE, "Ishy Bilady" (Long Live My Nation) was without words (and a classic example of the style of anthem known as "Arab fanfare") until 1996, when words were written for it by Aref Al Sheikh Abdullah Al Hassan. The author of the music, Mohamad Abdel Wahab, also composed the music for the national anthem of Tunisia and the royal anthem of Libya (in use 1951-1969).

The souvenir sheet above featured the score of the national anthem issued in 1996 during the Silver Jubilee National Day of the UAE