Last updated

An emirate is a territory ruled by an emir, [1] a title used by monarchs or high officeholders in the Muslim world. From a historical point of view, an emirate is a political-religious unit smaller than a caliphate. [2] It can be considered equivalent to a principality in non-Muslim contexts.


Currently in the world, there are two emirates that are independent states (Kuwait and Qatar), one state ruled by an unrecognised emirate (Afghanistan), and a state that consists of a federation of seven emirates (the United Arab Emirates). A great number of previously independent emirates around the world are now part of larger states, as can be seen in Nigeria. [3]


Etymologically, emirate or amirate (Arabic : إمارةimārah, plural: إماراتimārāt) is the quality, dignity, office, or territorial competence of any emir (prince, commander, governor, etc.). In English, the term is pronounced /ˈɛmərət,-ɪər-,-ɪt,-t/ or /ɛˈmɪərət,-ɪt,-t,iˈ-/ in British English and /ˈɛmərət/ or /ɪˈmɪərət/ in American English. [4]



The United Arab Emirates is a federal state that comprises seven federal emirates, each administered by a hereditary emir, these seven forming the electoral college for the federation's president and prime minister.

As most emirates have either disappeared, been integrated in a larger modern state, or changed their rulers' styles, e.g. to malik (Arabic for "king") or sultan, such true emirate-states have become rare.


Furthermore, in Arabic the term can be generalized to mean any province of a country that is administered by a member of the ruling class, especially of a member (usually styled emir) of the royal family, as in Saudi Arabian governorates.

List of present emirates

Location of Afghanistan (grey), Kuwait (red), Qatar (green), and the emirates of the United Arab Emirates Emiratos.PNG
Location of Afghanistan (grey), Kuwait (red), Qatar (green), and the emirates of the United Arab Emirates

Current emirates with political autonomy are listed below:

Arabian Peninsula

Central Asia

List of former and integrated emirates

These are the emirates that have either ceased to exist, are not recognized and hold no real power, or were integrated into another country and preserved as "traditional states". They are arranged by location and in order of the date of the first leader styled "emir."


North Africa

Sub-Saharan Africa

Muhammadu Sanusi II, 14th Emir of Kano, on his throne Emir of Kano.jpg
Muhammadu Sanusi II, 14th Emir of Kano, on his throne



Central Asia

South Asia

Near East




Mediterranean region

See also

Related Research Articles

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Emir</span> Title of high office in the Muslim world

Emir, sometimes transliterated amir, amier, or ameer, is a word of Arabic origin that can refer to a male monarch, aristocrat, holder of high-ranking military or political office, or other person possessing actual or ceremonial authority. The title has a long history of use in the Arab World, East Africa, West Africa, Central Asia, and the Indian subcontinent. In the modern era, when used as a formal monarchical title, it is roughly synonymous with "prince", applicable both to a son of a hereditary monarch, and to a reigning monarch of a sovereign principality, namely an emirate. The feminine form is emira, with the same meaning as "princess". Prior to its use as a monarchical title, the term "emir" was historically used to denote a "commander", "general", or "leader". In contemporary usage, "emir" is also sometimes used as either an honorary or formal title for the head of an Islamic, or Arab organisation or movement.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Flag of Saudi Arabia</span> National flag

The national flag of Saudi Arabia, also known as the al-Alam, is a green background with Arabic inscription and a sword in white. The inscription is the Islamic creed, or shahada: "There is no deity but God; Muhammad is the Messenger of God". The current design has been used by the government of Saudi Arabia since 15 March 1973.

Saud bin Abdulaziz Al Saud ruled the First Saudi State from 1803 to 1814. Saud annexed Mecca and Medina from the Ottoman Empire making him the first Al Saud ruler who received the title of the servant of the Two Holy Cities. During his rule the state experienced a significant level of strength and expansion for which he was called Saud Al Kabeer or Saud the Great.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">History of the Middle East</span>

The Middle East, also known as the Near East, is home to one of the Cradles of Civilization and has seen many of the world's oldest cultures and civilizations. The region's history started from the earliest human settlements and continues through several major pre- and post-Islamic Empires to today's nation-states of the Middle East.

The Wahhabi war, also known as the Ottoman-Saudi War, (1811–1818) was fought from early 1811 to 1818, between the Ottoman Empire and the Emirate of Diriyah, the First Saudi State, resulting in the destruction of the latter.

Banū Tamīm is an Arab tribe that originated in Najd in the Arabian Peninsula. It is mainly present in Saudi Arabia, Qatar, Kuwait, Iraq, Jordan and Lebanon, a strong presence in Algeria, and Morocco, Palestine, Tunisia, and Libya. It is also present in many other parts of the Arab world such as Egypt and Khuzestan in Iran. The word Tamim in Arabic means strong and solid. It can also mean those who strive for perfection.

The term imamate or imamah means "leadership" and refers to the office of an imam or a Muslim theocratic state ruled by an imam.

This is a list of articles holding galleries of maps of present-day countries and dependencies. The list includes all countries listed in the List of countries, the French overseas departments, the Spanish and Portuguese overseas regions and inhabited overseas dependencies.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Unification of Saudi Arabia</span> 1901–1934 consolidation of Saudi emirates

The Unification of Saudi Arabia was a military and political campaign in which the various tribes, sheikhdoms, city-states, emirates, and kingdoms of most of the central Arabian Peninsula were conquered by the House of Saud, or Al Saud. Unification started in 1902 and continued until 1932, when the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia was proclaimed under the leadership of Abdulaziz, known in the West as Ibn Saud, creating what is sometimes referred to as the Third Saudi State, to differentiate it from the Emirate of Diriyah, the First Saudi State and the Emirate of Nejd, the Second Saudi State, also House of Saud states.

<i>Eublemma</i> Genus of moths

Eublemma is a genus of moths of the family Erebidae described by Jacob Hübner in 1829.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Idrisid Emirate of Asir</span> 1908–1930 state in the Arabian Peninsula

The Idrisid Emirate of Asir was a state located in the Arabian Peninsula. The Emirate was in the geographical region of Asir and Jizan, in what is now southwestern Saudi Arabia, and extending to Hodeidah, northwest of Yemen.

British protectorates were protectorates—or client states—under protection of the British Empire's armed forces and represented by British diplomats in international arenas, such as the Great Game, in which the Emirate of Afghanistan and the Tibetan Kingdom became protected states for short periods of time. Many territories which became British protectorates already had local rulers with whom the Crown negotiated through treaty, acknowledging their status whilst simultaneously offering protection, e.g. British Paramountcy. British protectorates were therefore governed by indirect rule. In most cases, the local ruler, as well as the subjects of the indigenous ruler were not British subjects. British protected states represented a more loose form of British suzerainty, where the local rulers retained absolute control over the states' internal affairs and the British exercised control over defence and foreign affairs.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Ottoman Arabia</span> Ottoman rule in Arabia (1517–1918)

The Ottoman era in the history of Arabia lasted from 1517 to 1918. The Ottoman degree of control over these lands varied over these four centuries, with the fluctuating strength or weakness of the Empire's central authority.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Turkestan cockroach</span> Species of cockroach

The Turkestan cockroach, Periplaneta lateralis, also known as the rusty red cockroach, red runner cockroach or simply rusty red, red runner, or lat, is a primarily outdoor-dwelling cockroach native to an area from northern Africa to Central Asia. Adults measure around 3 cm (1.2 in) in length. Adult males are a brownish orange or red, are slender, and have long, yellowish wings which allow it to attract females and to glide. Adult females are dark brown to black, with cream-colored markings on the shield and a cream-colored stripe edging its wings; they are broader than males, and have short vestigial wings. Nymphs are brown in front, black on the rear, and are wingless.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Territory of the Islamic State</span> Overview of territory controlled by the Islamic State

The Islamic State (IS) had its core in Iraq and Syria from 2013 to 2017 and 2019 respectively, where the proto-state controlled significant swathes of urban, rural, and desert territory, mainly in the Mesopotamian region. Today the group controls scattered pockets of land in the area, as well as territory or insurgent cells in other areas, notably Afghanistan, West Africa, the Sahara, Somalia, Mozambique, and the Democratic Republic of the Congo. As of 2023, large swathes of Mali have fallen under IS control.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Jordan–Saudi Arabia border</span> International border

The Jordan–Saudi Arabia border is 731 km (454 mi) in length and runs from the Gulf of Aqaba in the south-west to the tripoint with Iraq in the north-east.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Bani Khalid Emirate</span> Arabian state (1669–1796)

Bani Khalid Emirate or the Emirate of Al Humaid from the Bani Khalid tribe was a state that arose in the eastern region of the Arabian Peninsula in year 1669 after Emir Barrak ibn Ghurayr made his capital in Al-Mubarraz then managed to defeat the Ottoman Empire represented by Lahsa Eyalet and drove them out of the region. The Emirate of Al Hamid ended in the year 1796 after the defeat of Barak bin Abdul Mohsen at the hands of the First Saudi State.

Abdullah bin Thunayan Al Saud was Emir of Nejd from 1841 to May 1843. He is the sole member of the Al Thunayan branch of the Al Saud who became emir.

Talal bin Abdullah Al Rashid was the second ruler of the Emirate of Jabal Shammar. He was a skillful ruler who died by suicide. Unlike the founding ruler, Abdullah, who was titled as sheikh, the rulers of Jabal Shammar began to be referred to as emirs with the reign of Talal. In addition, Talal managed to create a state-like administration in the Emirate which had been based on the tribal alliance during the reign of Abdullah.


  1. "The definition of emirate". Dictionary.com.
  2. "What is the difference between an emirate and a caliphate? – Shakuhachi.net". 6 August 2020.
  3. "The Cultural and Colonial Settings". A Dangerous Awakening : The Politicization of Religion in Nigeria. African Dynamics. IFRA-Nigeria. 21 February 2013. pp. 9–43. ISBN   9791092312034.
  4. Wells, John C. (2008), Longman Pronunciation Dictionary (3rd ed.), Longman, ISBN   9781405881180