The United Arab Emirates, UAE, sometimes simply called the Emirates, is a federal absolute monarchy sovereign state in Western Asia at the southeast end of the Arabian Peninsula on the Persian Gulf, bordering Oman to the east and Saudi Arabia to the south, as well as sharing maritime borders with Qatar to the west and Iran to the north. In 2013, the UAE's population was 9.2 million, of which 1.4 million are Emirati citizens and 7.8 million are expatriates. The country is a federation of seven emirates, and was established on 2 December 1971. The constituent emirates are Abu Dhabi (which serves as the capital), Ajman, Dubai, Fujairah, Ras al-Khaimah, Sharjah and Umm al-Quwain. Each emirate is governed by an absolute monarch; together, they jointly form the Federal Supreme Council. One of the monarchs (traditionally always the Emir of Abu Dhabi) is selected as the President of the United Arab Emirates. Islam is the official religion of the UAE and Arabic is the official language (although English, Urdu and Hindi are widely spoken, with English being the language of business and education particularly in Abu Dhabi and Dubai). With seven emirates and more than 40 free zones areas within individual emirates set up for general or industry-specific activities - across the UAE, it can be a challenge to do business here. There are more than 20 free zones in Dubai alone, each with its own laws and regulations, making business in the UAE a complex journey.