The United Arab Emirates (UAE or Emirates) is an authoritarian country in Western Asia. UAE is a federation of seven states that grew from a quiet backwater to one of the Middle East’s most important economic centers. Though traditionally conservative, the UAE is one of the most liberal countries in the Gulf, with other cultures and beliefs generally tolerated. The United Arab Emirates is a very safe country to travel to. Many say that it is among the safest countries in the world, and it is also ranked 31st in the ranking of the safest and most dangerous countries. The UAE has diversified and has become a regional trading and tourism hub. UAE firms have invested heavily abroad.