The United Arab Emirates is a country situated in the southeast of the Arabian Peninsula in Western Asia on the Persian Gulf, bordering Oman to the east and Saudi Arabia to the south, as well as sharing sea borders with Qatar to the west and Iran to the north. The UAE is a federation of seven emirates, each governed by a hereditary emir, with a single national president. The constituent emirates are Abu Dhabi, Ajman, Dubai, Fujairah, Ras al-Khaimah, Sharjah, and Umm al-Quwain. The capital is Abu Dhabi, which is also the state's center of political, industrial, and cultural activities. The earliest known human habitation in the UAE dated from 5500 BC. At this early stage, there is proof of interaction with the outside world, particularly with civilizations to the north west in Mesopotamia. These contacts persisted and became wide-ranging, probably motivated by trade in copper from the Hajar Mountains, which commenced around 3000 BC. Foreign trade, the recurring motif in the history of this strategic region, flourished also in later periods, facilitated by the domestication of the camel at the end of the second millennium BC. By the 1st century AD overland caravan traffic between Syria and cities in southern Iraq began. Also, there was seaborne travel to the important port of Omana and then to India. These routes were an alternative to the Red Sea route used by the Romans. Pearls had been exploited in the area for millennia but at this time the trade reached new heights. Seafaring was also a mainstay and major fairs were held at Dibba, bringing in merchants from as far as China. Prior to independence in 1971, the UAE was known as the Trucial States or Trucial Oman, in reference to a 19th-century truce between the local sheikhs, hereditary rulers of the territories, and the United Kingdom. The UAE's political system is based on its 1971 Constitution, which is composed of several intricately connected governing bodies. As a federation of seven monarchies, whose rulers retain absolute power within their emirates, but with a UAE president, it is neither a constitutional monarchy nor a republic. Islam is the official religion of the UAE, and Arabic is the official language. UAE oil reserves are ranked as the world's sixth-largest and it possesses one of the most developed economies in West Asia.
The Peregrine Falcon, also known as the Peregrineis a widespread bird of prey in the family Falconidae. A large, crow-sized falcon, it has a blue-grey back, barred white underparts, and a black head and "moustache". As is typical of bird-eating raptors, Peregrine Falcons are sexually dimorphic, females being considerably larger than males. The Peregrine is renowned for its speed, reaching over 322 km/h during its characteristic hunting stoop making it the fastest member of the animal kingdom. The Peregrine's breeding range includes land regions from the Arctic tundra to the tropics. It can be found nearly everywhere on Earth, except extreme polar regions, very high mountains, and most tropical rainforests; the only major ice-free landmass from which it is entirely absent is New Zealand. The Peregrine Falcon became an endangered species in many areas because of pesticides, especially DDT. Since the ban on DDT from the early 1970s, populations have recovered, supported by large-scale protection of nesting places and releases to the wild.
The peregrine falcon is represented in UAE Emblem. It was officially adopted in 1973. It is similar to the coats of arms and emblems of other Arab states. It consists of a golden falcon. The falcon had a red disk which shows an Arab sailboat in its interior. The disk is surrounded by a chain. The falcon holds with its talons a red parchment bearing the name of the federation in Kufic script. On March 22, 2008, the emblem was modified. The main change was that the Arab sailboat was replaced by the UAE flag and seven stars representing the seven Emirates of the federation.
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