Before its re-creation as the United Arab Emirates in 1971, the UAE was known as the Trucial States, a collection of sheikhdoms extending from the Straits of Hormuz to the west along the Persian Gulf. It wasn’t a country so much as an expanse of loosely defined sheikhdoms spreading over some 32,000 square miles (83,000 sq. km), about the size of the state of Maine.
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