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Fujairah is the fifth smallest of the seven United Arab Emirates, covering just 440 square miles (1,150 sq km), as well as the second least populous, with a population of only about 140,000. Unlike the other Emirates, Fujaryah is located entirely on the Gulf of Oman (as opposed to the Arabian Sea), and is mountainous rather than desert-like. The Emirate derives its name from a spring of water located beneath one of the mountains in the Hajar range that divides the UAE in two, from Ras Al Khaimah to Al Ain, and separates Fujayrah from the rest of the country. The main cities and villages in Fujairah are Dibba, Murbeh, Qidfa, Al Bidiyah, Masafi and Al-Siji.
Fujairah's economy is heavily dependent on subsidies from Abu Dhabi, and the majority of the workforce is employed by the government of the United Arab Emirates. To spur economic activity, the Emirate has created a free-trade zone similar to that of Dubai, and the number of privately-owned businesses in Fujairah has been gradually increasing for the last few years. Shipping and ship-related services are also important parts of the economy. Fujairah also enjoys a thriving tourist trade, thanks to its elegant beaches, good diving locations, and historical sites.
The historical importance of Fujairah dates back to the period before the birth of Christ, and it was known in ancient times as the land of sea giants. In 1902, Fujairah entered into treaty relations with Britain, becoming the last of the emirates to join the Trucial States, as part of Sharjah. It became independent of Sharjah in 1952, and joined the United Arab Emirates on December 2, 1971. Since 1974, the Emirate has been ruled by Sheikh Hamad bin Mohammed Al Sharqi.
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This page was last updated on June 18, 2017.