People in Dubai, United Arab Emirates.  Editorial credit: Sorbis /

United Arab Emirates

The United Arab Emirates (UAE) is a federation of seven emirates led in practice by Abu Dhabi, the largest by area and richest in natural resources. Limited elections are held for a federal advisory body, but political parties are banned, and all executive, legislative, and judicial authority ultimately rests with the seven hereditary rulers. The civil liberties of both citizens and noncitizens, who make up an overwhelming majority of the population, are subject to significant restrictions.

FIW 2021 crop 2 cover photo

Freedom in the World — United Arab Emirates Country Report

United Arab Emirates is rated Not Free in Freedom in the World, Freedom House's annual study of political rights and civil liberties worldwide.

In the high-stakes battle between states and technology companies, the rights of internet users have become the main casualties. Illustration by Mitch Blunt

Freedom on the Net— United Arab Emirates Country Report

United Arab Emirates is rated Not Free in Freedom on the Net, Freedom House's comprehensive study of internet freedom around the globe.