A federation of seven emirates, each governed by an absolute monarch, came together in 1971 to form the United Arab Emirates. Abu Dhabi, the capital, and Dubai are the most popular holiday destinations. Although they are the most westernised of Middle Eastern countries, civil liberties and political freedom remain curtailed. United Arab Emirates holidays can only be described as luxurious. The metropolis of Abu Dhabi has superb beaches, impressive historic sites, fantastic shopping and a host of visitor attractions. Dubai is a city with an ever-changing skyline, as skyscrapers, each more architecturally impressive than the last, are constantly emerging.