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It forms a rare physical link to a legacy of Christianity which is thought to have spread across the peninsula from 50 to 350 AD following trade routes.Certainly, by the 5th century, Oman had a bishop named John – the last bishop of Oman being Etienne, in 676 AD.

In ancient times, Al Hasa (today's Eastern Province of Saudi Arabia) was part of Al Bahreyn and adjoined Greater Oman (today's UAE and Oman).

From the second century AD, there was a movement of tribes from Al Bahreyn towards the lower Gulf, together with a migration among the Azdite Qahtani (or Yamani) and Quda'ah tribal groups from south west Arabia towards central Oman. In 637, Julfar (in the area of today's Ra's al-Khaimah) was an important port that was used as a staging post for the Islamic invasion of the Sassanian Empire.

Islam is the official religion of the UAE and Arabic is the official language (although English and Indian dialects are widely spoken, with English being the language of business and education particularly in Abu Dhabi and Dubai).

The UAE's oil reserves are the seventh-largest in the world while its natural gas reserves are the world's seventeenth-largest.

The country is a federation of seven emirates, and was established on December 2, 1971.

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