The United Arab Emirates is one of the most strategically important and relatively stable countries in a very volatile region. Having a population of less than ten million (roughly 80 percent of which are refugees), UAE is one of the free and stable economies in the region and a hub for international financial and construction companies. All decisions about political leadership rest with the dynastic rulers of the seven emirates and there is no place for the will of the people at large. Freedom of religion, press, assembly, association and expression are severely restricted in the kingdom. There is no space or recognition of political parties, according to Freedom House, which rated the country as “not free.” The constitutional provision regarding religious freedom is also full of contradictions. While it provides for religious freedom, it also states that the practice of freedom of religion should not violate established customs, public policy or public morals. Apostasy is punishable by death.