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. 2,262,309; about 32,300 sq. mi. (83,657 sq. km). Capital: Abu Dhabi.