Are you interested in finding out which country has the longest name?
Well, it depends on whether you are talking about the longest common name or the longest official name.
What is a common name and what is an official name?
Take Japan for example. "Japan" is it's common name but the "Kingdom of Japan" is its official name.
With that in mind, let's go over the Asian countries with the longest common names first.
The Asian country with the longest common name is the United Arab Emirates at 20 characters in length, also called the Emirates or UAE.
Keep in mind, there are other countries with longer official names. We will discuss them later in the article.
The country is of a size of 32,300 square miles is located on the Arabian Peninsula and borders Oman on its eastern side and Saudi Arabia on its western side.
The United Arab Emirates is a federation consisting of seven emirates (states); Abu Dhabi (the capital), Ajman, Fujairah, Dubai, Ras Sharjah, Al Khaimah, and Umm Al Quwain.
More than three-quarters of the area belongs to Abu Dhabi.
Dubai is the city with the biggest number of people, a metropolis and an extremely important international hub. It is the region's most important commercial and financial center.
The most important sector in the United Arab Emirates is the petroleum industry. Abu Dhabi holds one of the largest amounts of the world's estimated oil reserves. The federation is one of the most popular countries for foreign workers. Of 9.9 million residents living in the country, only about one-ninth are citizens.
The Asian country with the second-longest common name is Saudi at 12 characters long, officially called the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia.
The name Saudi is from Arabic and means "good fortune” or “happiness”. Located on the northern and central part of the Arabian Peninsula, Saudi Arabia has a size of 830,000 square miles and is considered the fifth-largest country in Asia.
The capital city Riyadh has an internationally important and modern business district. The oil reserves of Saudi Arabia are mostly located along the Persian Gulf and are of great importance to the country.
Saudi Arabia's history is very rich. Before Islam, the location of today's Saudi Arabia was the site of several ancient civilizations. The archaeological findings of the early human civilisations in the area are considered to be extremely significant for understanding historical events.
Saudi Arabia is also famous for two historical cities; Mecca and Medina.
Another Asian country with the second-longest common name is Turkmenistan at 12 characters long.
Turkmenistan is a country with a size of 189,660 square miles, located in the Central Asian Karakum Desert.
With a population of only about 6 million, Turkmenistan is the least populous of the Central Asian republics as well as one of the most sparsely populated countries in Asia.
Turkmenistan became independent from the Soviet Union in 1991. After that, the country went through three repressive totalitarian periods. Still today, Turkmenistan is infamously known for its poor human rights.
Before 1991, Turkmenistan as a constituent republic of the Soviet Union was officially called the Turkmen Soviet Socialist Republic. After the independence, the country was named Turkmenistan which is derived from Persian and means "land of the Turkmen".
The Asian country with the longest official name is the Democratic Socialist Republic of Sri Lanka measuring 42 characters long. It is commonly called Sri Lanka.
Sri Lanka occupies an island with a size of 25,330 square miles, which lies in the Indian Ocean, separated from India by the Gulf of Mannar and the Palk Strait. It's 22 million people belong to three different ethnic groups.
Sinhalese people make up almost three-quarters of the people. The Tamil are divided into 2 separated groups, based on their origins.
Sri Lankan Tamils are considered to be a part of the native population and are descendants of southeastern Indians.
Indian Tamils represented the cheap labour force for the British and were brought to the island from India.
The remaining 7.5 percent of the population is represented by the Muslims who are the descendants of the Arab traders from 8th century.
Sri Lanka has a rich cultural history. Much evidence suggests that the island was very important in prehistoric times. The remains found are at least 125,000 years old.
The strategic importance of Sri Lanka made it a crucial stop for trading expensive goods and tropical spices.
The Portuguese were the first to arrive on the island in the 15th century. They gained control over the coastal regions and controlled trading on the island. Following the war between the local Sinhalese and the Portuguese invaders, the Dutch together with the centrally located Kingdom of Kandy got a chance to control a bigger part of the island.
Later, from 1815 to 1948, Sri Lanka under the name Ceylon was in the hands of the British. Today, the official capital of the country is Sri Jayawardenepura Kotte, however, Colombo is larger, more internationally known and financially more important.
After its independence in 1948, to remove all remaining references to its British colonial name, the country changed its name from Ceylon to Sri Lanka. The current name is composed of “Lanka”, which is the ancient name for the island, and “Sri”, meaning “resplendent”. Therefore, Sri Lanka means Resplendent Island.
The Asian country with the second-longest official name is the Democratic People's Republic of Korea, mostly known as North Korea.
North Korea is located on the Korean peninsula, bordering Russia and China on the northern border and South Korea on the southern border.
Between North Korea and South Korea, there is the Korean Demilitarized Zone, which is a buffer area between the countries and presents the division of the peninsula in half.
As the official peace treaty was never signed, North Korea and South Korea are still technically considered to be at war. North Korea was created as a separate country at the end of the Second World War, when the north and the south part of the Korean peninsula was divided at the 38th parallel.
Today North Korea has an authoritarian regime, with the Kim family leading the country for more than 70 years.
The first of the family to lead North Korea was Kim Il-sung. After his death, the cult of personality continues and is deeply rooted in Korean culture.
Even though North Korea today is considered one of the poorest countries, it has one of the largest militaries and possesses nuclear weapons.
The name Korea goes back to the ancient kingdom of Goguryeo.
After the separation from the south, North Korea got its official name “Democratic People's Republic of Korea”. Both, the North Koreans and the South Koreans refer to themselves only as the “Koreans” and consider to be the legitimate government of the whole peninsula.
The Asian country with the shortest common name is Iraq, officially the Republic of Iraq.
Iraq is located in Western Asia. Its capital and the largest city is Baghdad with a population of 8 million people.
Iraq's extensive alluvial plains were one of the reasons that some of the world's earliest civilizations were developed here. The area of Iraq was known as Mesopotamia in ancient times.
Some of the ancient civilizations that were set in this place were Sumer, Akkad, Babylon, and Assyria. The area later became part of larger imperial polities, including the Persian, Greek, and Roman dynasties.
The modern country of Iraq was created after the end of the first World War. After gaining formal independence in 1932, Iraq was challenged by political instability, the overthrow of the monarchy in 1958, the Iran-Iraq War (1980-88), the Persian Gulf War (1990-91) and the Iraq War (2003-11).
Following by periods of war and conflicts through the next decade, the country was left financially and socially drained.
The Asian country with the shortest official name is Japan.
Japan is an island country in the northwestern Pacific Ocean. There are 6852 islands in Japan, the main five being Hokkaido, Honshu (the "mainland"), Shikoku, Kyushu, and Okinawa.
With a population of more than 125 million people, Japan is one of the most populous countries in the world. Tokyo, with 14 million people is known for being the largest urban economy in the world. Its wider metropolitan area has an estimated 37 million residents and is thus the most populous on the planet.
On one hand, Japan is known for its rich cultural traditions, but on the other hand, the country has developed into one of the most economically and technologically advanced societies in the world.
To summarize what we have covered so far, the Asian country with the longest common name is the United Arab Emirates and the Asian country with the longest official name is the Democratic Socialist Republic of Sri Lanka.
We hope you enjoyed our article!
In this article we go over Africa's longest official and unofficial names.
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