United Arab Emirates flag United Arab Emirates: Economic and Political Overview

The political framework of the United Arab Emirates

Political Outline

Current Political Leaders
President: MUHAMMAD bin Rashid Al-Nuhayan (since May 2022)
Prime Minister and Vice-President: MUHAMMAD BIN RASHID Al-Maktum (since January 2006)
Next Election Dates
Presidential: n/a
Federal National Council (FNC): October 2023
Current Political Context
The UAE has enjoyed a rather stable general political situation despite continuous tensions with Iran, Qatar blockade, the conflict in Yemen and the crisis in Lebanon (Coface). In 2019, despite ongoing disputes both at the UN and the WTO, the Emirati authorities eased a ban on the shipping of goods between the UAE and Qatar. After an embargo of three and a half years, diplomatic relations have been officially restored between Qatar, Saudi Arabia, the UAE, Bahrain and Egypt in January 2021. The UAE and Bahrain signed a peace agreement with Israel in September 2020, paving the way for reciprocal investments particularly in the energy, agri-food, tourism, and ICT sectors (Coface). Along with Egypt and Jordan, the UAE became the third Middle Eastern country to recognize Israel. Diplomatic relations were officially restored with Iran in December 2021.
Main Political Parties
There are no political parties in the UAE.
Executive Power
Each Emirate is governed by an Emir and has its own administration. Every Emir manages his Emirate's resources autonomously.
The Federal Supreme Council, composed of the 7 emirate rulers, is the highest authority of the UAE and holds legislative and executive powers. The Emir of Abu Dhabi, the biggest oil producing Emirate, was elected President of the UAE in 2004, succeeding his father. The Emir of Dubai has been nominated Vice-President and Prime Minister.
Legislative Power
There is only one Chamber: the Federal National Council. It consists of 40 members of which 20 are appointed by the rulers of the seven Emirates, and 20 are indirectly elected, whereby each Emirate has a number of representatives equivalent to its demographic weight. Their mandate is for four years. This council has only consultative functions.
 

Indicator of Freedom of the Press

Definition:

The world rankings, published annually, measures violations of press freedom worldwide. It reflects the degree of freedom enjoyed by journalists, the media and digital citizens of each country and the means used by states to respect and uphold this freedom. Finally, a note and a position are assigned to each country. To compile this index, Reporters Without Borders (RWB) prepared a questionnaire incorporating the main criteria (44 in total) to assess the situation of press freedom in a given country. This questionnaire was sent to partner organisations,150 RWB correspondents, journalists, researchers, jurists and human rights activists. It includes every kind of direct attacks against journalists and digital citizens (murders, imprisonment, assault, threats, etc.) or against the media (censorship, confiscation, searches and harassment etc.).

World Rank:
131/180
 

Indicator of Political Freedom

Definition:

The Indicator of Political Freedom provides an annual evaluation of the state of freedom in a country as experienced by individuals. The survey measures freedom according to two broad categories: political rights and civil liberties. The ratings process is based on a checklist of 10 political rights questions (on Electoral Process, Political Pluralism and Participation, Functioning of Government) and 15 civil liberties questions (on Freedom of Expression, Belief, Associational and Organizational Rights, Rule of Law, Personal Autonomy and Individual Rights). Scores are awarded to each of these questions on a scale of 0 to 4, where a score of 0 represents the smallest degree and 4 the greatest degree of rights or liberties present. The total score awarded to the political rights and civil liberties checklist determines the political rights and civil liberties rating. Each rating of 1 through 7, with 1 representing the highest and 7 the lowest level of freedom, corresponds to a range of total scores.

Ranking:
Not Free
Political Freedom:
7/7

Political freedom in the world (interactive map)
Source: Freedom in the World Report, Freedom House

 

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Latest Update: December 2022

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