Although in 1981 the authorities had tried to strengthen other sectors of the industry, technological discrepancies with other countries and the relatively modest domestic market did not allow industrial reform to such an extent as to obscure the possibilities of a reduced dependence on oil. See abbreviationfinder for geography, history, society, politics, and economy of United Arab Emirates.
The country had been included in the Alliance-Free States Association and had supported the demands of the Palestinians. At the end of 1986, diplomatic relations were established with the now disbanded Soviet Union and with the Benin People’s Republic. In 1987, relations with Egypt, which had been severed since the conclusion of the Camp David agreement with Israel, were renewed.
Emirates was on the Allies’ side during the Gulf War against Iraq in 1991. Following the end of the war, industrial reform seemed to get more wind in the sails with the opening of the free port of Jabel Ali, with more than 260 foreign companies opening branches.
In March 1991, the Gulf Cooperation Council signed a security agreement with the United States to guarantee peace in the area by means of a common military strategy and the establishment of new mechanisms, including: was to prevent an arms race.
After Syrian mediation, Iran reduced its territorial requirements on the islands of the Hormuz Strait, which had been occupied since the 1970s. However, Tehran maintained the claim of Abu Mussa, but has allowed the displaced Arabs to return. The conflict is being dealt with by international bodies, as requested by the Emirates.
Repeated immigrant flows have created a very heterogeneous population composition. Acc. statistics from 1993 constitute almost a quarter of the Arab population; Of these, more than half come from other Arab countries, mainly from Egypt. The rest of the population is made up of immigrants from Bangladesh, Pakistan, Sri Lanka, Iran and other African and Asian countries.
All indications are that Islamic fundamentalism increased its influence in the Emirates during the period 1993-96. The President of the Union, Sheik Zaid, has on several occasions – such as at a speech marking the end of the Ramadan in 1993 – expressing concern over “Islamic expansion.” In February 1994, Zaid decided to expand Islamic law to deal with numerous offenses that had hitherto been dealt with by civil courts.
In 1995, new contacts were established to try to resolve the disputes with Iran over the disputed islands in the Strait of Hormuz. However, that did not lead to results. Following US threats to invade Iraq, Sheikh Zaid expressed that he believed the Iraqi people deserved another chance. Later he declared that this kind of military action would be “unacceptable and destabilizing”. Domestic policy continued the line of economic openness, which included led to the founding of the city of Ra’s al-Khaymah in 1998; this is the Middle East’s first free trade zone. The charges against the government for widespread human rights violations continued unabated, while the authorities still restrict the rights of foreigners in a country where 3/4 of the inhabitants are immigrants.
The fall in oil prices prompted the government to try to reduce population wastage. To that end, the state began arranging public weddings at the end of 1999 at a cost of US $ 16,000 – just a third of traditional private weddings. At the same time, the subjects were recommended to carefully study who they married.
On the basis of Islamic law, the Sharia court sentenced an Indonesian immigrant to stoning – in February 2000 – an Indonesian immigrant – a punishment rarely used in the country.
Together with Saudi Arabia and Pakistan, the United Arab Emirates was the only state to recognize the Taliban government in Afghanistan. In April 2000, the Emirates decided to reopen their embassy in Baghdad, despite the previous breach of Iraq.