The UAE – United Arab Emirates – is located on the Arabian Peninsula on the Persian Gulf and it’s a federal absolute monarchy sovereign state, which is a bit of a mouthful if you attempt to say it. Abu Dhabi is the recognised capital of the Emirates, with Ajman, Dubai, Fujairah, Ras al-Khaimah, Sharjah and Umm al-Quwain being the other to complete the UAE’s line-up. Renowned for their oil wealth, the UAE has the seventeenth largest gas reserves too – as if the oil wasn’t enough. Since 1971, when the UAE was established, the Emirates has largely been dependent upon its oil and gas revenues, but more recently, the government has agreed to actively develop other areas of the economy. The economic focus has shifted to business and tourism, and now Dubai is estimated to be the most desirable tourist destination, which seems to indicate the successful influence of billions of dollars spent on the infrastructure.
The UAE’s official state religion is Islam, which means that roughly 76% of the population are Muslim. Although the government is tolerant of other religions and cultures, don’t even think about going there without first knowing the law if you aren’t familiar with it. You could easily fall foul of the intricacies of the federal court system, and may well find yourself on the wrong end of a flogging – be warned!
Unsurprisingly, gambling of any kind is unequivocally illegal, and that includes UAE waters and airspace. However, if you’re a bit of a numbskull and are willing to try and stretch the boundaries of the blanket ban on gambling – and stupid enough not to fear the retribution – you may be tempted by an online casino. This misadventure will most probably land you in prison or at best being deported.
This doesn’t mean that the Emirates is a thoroughly miserable place. On the contrary, there is a very healthy interest in sports. Formula One has a regular spot on the calendar, along with a whole host of other motorsports, like Moto GP and the World Super Bike series. Interestingly, you might notice that some of the police patrol cars are unusually exotic. For instance, in Dubai, an Aston Martin, Bentley Continental GT and even a Bugatti Veyron are at the police forces’ disposal.
The sport of kings – horse racing – is heavily supported, and Meydan Racecourse is one of the world’s largest. The Dubai World Cup is a thoroughbred race meeting staged at Meydan, and it’s run over 10 furlongs. For a long time, it was the richest race in the world with a purse of 10 million Dollars. The Dubai Classic is a golf tournament that is noted for attracting some of the biggest golf stars, and is part of the PGA European tour. Football and cricket have also got a healthy following in the United Arab Emirates. The Football Association was formed in 1971, and became an affiliate member of FIFA in 1974. The Emirates regularly hosted ICC – International Cricket Council.
Sports betting fans should prepare to leave the UAE, as placing bets of any kind whatsoever is illegal.
Hopefully, the message is loud and clear – there are no circumstances under which gambling is permitted.