Umm al-Quwain (Arabic: أمّ القيوين; pronounced [ʔumː alˈqajwajn]) is the least populous of the seven sovereign emirates in the United Arab Emirates, located in the north of the country. The emirate is ruled by Saud bin Rashid Al Mu'alla. The emirate had 72,000 inhabitants in 2007 and has an area of 750 km2 (290 sq mi).
Umm al-Quwain (UAQ) holds significant archaeological interest, with major finds at both Tell Abraq and Ed-Dur  pointing to significant Ancient Near Eastern Cities. Arrowheads and other polished flint tools have been unearthed in various sites across the UAE while pieces of Ubaid Age pottery have been unearthed along the shores of the emirate. All evidence obtained so far indicate that contact with Mesopotamia existed as early as the 5th millennium BC as an indigenous ceramic industry did not emerge until the 3rd century BC.
During the Bronze Age (3000–1300 BC), semi-nomadic tribes inhabited the region; they moved in groups from place to place foraging for timber from the indigenous acacia for smelting copper. The metal was sent to all the prominent ports on the Persian Gulf, Umm an-Nar being one of them. Ties with Mesopotamia were jealously maintained and consequently the trade in copper ushered in prosperity in the region.
During the Bronze Age, agriculture flourished, with dates being the prominent crop. Wheat, millet and other grains were also cultivated wherever there was enough water for irrigation. It is now widely believed that the climate during the period was more temperate than now. During the Umm an-Nar period (2500–2000 BC), buildings and fortress towers came up in Umm al-Quwain. The most common buildings associated with this era are the circular burial tombs.
The modern history of Umm al-Quwain began some 200 years ago when the Al Ali tribe moved their capital from Al-Sinniyah Island to its present location in the mid-18th century due to declining water resources. In 1775, Sheikh Majid Al Mualla, founder of the ruling Al Mu’alla lineage of the Al Ali tribe, established an independent Sheikhdom in Umm al-Quwain.
On 8 January 1820, Sheikh Abdullah I signed the General Maritime Treaty with the United Kingdom, thus accepting a British protectorate in order to keep the Ottoman Turks out. Like Ajman, Dubai, Ras al-Khaimah and Sharjah, its position on the route to India made it important enough to be recognized as a salute state with a three gun salute.
By 1903, J. G. Lorimer's famous survey of the Trucial Coast had Umm al-Quwain listed as a town of some 5,000 inhabitants and identified as the major boat-building centre on the coast, producing some 20 boats a year compared to 10 in Dubai and 5 in Sharjah.
On 2 December 1971, Sheikh Ahmad II joined its neighbors Abu Dhabi, Dubai, Sharjah, Ajman and Fujairah in forming the United Arab Emirates, with Ras Al Khaimah joining later in early 1972.