There are few places in the world quite like the United Arab Emirates. A loose confederation of seven different emirates, the nation operates as a group of independent states with shared values and political goals. Often referred to simply as the UAE, the Emirates boast a population of roughly 4.4 million and occupy a small slice of the eastern Arabian Peninsula. The UAE has shorelines along both the Gulf of Oman to the north and the Persian Gulf to the east. When you visit the UAE, you'll find an extreme mix of modern amenities, remote desert dunes, and craggy wadis along the border with Oman.