an independent federation in E Arabia, formed in 1971, now comprising seven emirates on the S coast (formerly, Pirate Coast or Trucial Coast) of the Persian Gulf, formerly under British protection: Abu Dhabi, Dubai, Sharjah, Ajman, Umm al-Qaiwain, Ras al-Khaimah (joined 1972), and Fujairah. About 32,300 sq. mi. (83,657 sq. km).
British Dictionary definitions for trucial-sheikdoms
United Arab Emirates
a group of seven emirates in SW Asia, on the Persian Gulf: consists of Abu Dhabi, Dubai, Sharjah, Ajman, Umm al Qaiwain, Ras el Khaimah, and Fujairah; a former British protectorate; became fully independent in 1971; consists mostly of flat desert, with mountains in the east; rich petroleum resources. Official language: Arabic. Official religion: Muslim. Currency: dirham. Capital: Abu Dhabi. Pop: 5 473 972 (2013 est). Area: 83 600 sq km (32 300 sq miles) Former name (until 1971) Trucial States, UAE