The United Arab Emirates is a state made up of seven sheikdoms (or emirates) and used to be known as the Trucial States, or Trucial Oman, in reference to the treaties between the British and Oman which guaranteed their independence.
Each of the emirates is extremely different. Dubai, for example, is developing itself as the financial and trading hub of the entire Persian Gulf (perhaps even the Middle East), and Abu Dhabi is running fast to catch up. Sharjah, as a counter example, is doing very little, but investing its share of the oil and gas revenues. Conditions faced by tourists and travellers in each of the emirates can be very different, even though each of them is quite small.
United Arab Emirates Casinos
Currently, there are only three legal casinos in the country. While wealthy Arabs do have a reputation for gambling, this is normally something they prefer to do outside of their own home countries. This may change in coming years in Dubai, as it continues to develop as a tourist destination.
A list of United Arab Emirates Casinos includes:
Fujeirah: Sea Men Club
Umm al Quwai: Leisure Club
Umm al Quwain: Baracuda
It should be noted that some of the emirates are dry, that is no alcohol is allowed. Outside of the legal United Arab Emirates casinos, it may be possible to find a variety of gambling games, but with the exception of betting on camel racing, it is very strongly suggested that visitors do not partake, nor indeed, that they drink alcohol illegally.
In general, law in the Emirates is based on sharia law. This might be better known as the system that prescribes the death penalty for adultery, the chopping off of hands for theft and, what might be less well known, whipping for drinking alcohol.
A large number (in most of the emirates local Gulf Arabs make up 20% or less of the population) of guest workers are in each and every one of the various pieces of the Emirates. They create a series of almost ghettoes, with the Americans and Europeans making up one, the South Asians another, the Palestinians and Jordanians another, and so on. Within these groups, various forms of gambling may take place, as with drinking and other activities, but as a visitor, it is better to avoid such things unless you know your companions well.