Abu Dhabi (US: /ˈɑːbuː ˈdɑːbi/, UK: /ˈæbuː/; Arabic: أَبُو ظَبِي Abū Ẓabī Arabic pronunciation: [ɐˈbuˈðˤɑbi]) is the capital and the second most populous city of the United Arab Emirates (the most populous being Dubai), and also capital of the Emirate of Abu Dhabi, the largest of the UAE's seven emirates. Abu Dhabi lies on a T-shaped island jutting into the Persian Gulf from the central western coast. The city of Abu Dhabi has an estimated population of 2.9 million in 2016.
Abu Dhabi houses federal government offices, is the seat of the United Arab Emirates Government, home to the Abu Dhabi Emiri Family and the President of the UAE, who is from this family. Abu Dhabi's rapid development and urbanisation, coupled with the relatively high average income of its population, has transformed the city into a large and advanced metropolis. Today the city is the country's centre of political and industrial activities, and a major cultural and commercial centre, due to its position as the capital. Abu Dhabi accounts for about two-thirds of the roughly $400-billion United Arab Emirates economy.
Coat of arms
Location of Abu Dhabi within UAE
Abu Dhabi (Asia)
|Country||United Arab Emirates|
|Municipal region||Central Capital District|
|• General Manager of City Municipality||HE Saif Badr Al Qubaisi|
|• Total||972 km2 (375 sq mi)|
|Elevation||27 m (89 ft)|
|• Density||1,200/km2 (3,200/sq mi)|
|Time zone||UTC+4 (UAE Standard Time)|
|GDP PPP||2014 estimate|
|Total||USD 178 billion|
|Per capita||USD 61,000|
The area surrounding Abu Dhabi is full of archaeological evidence that points to civilisations, such as the Umm an-Nar Culture, having been located there from the third millennium BCE. Settlements were also found farther outside the modern city of Abu Dhabi, including in the eastern and western regions of the Emirate.
"Dhabi" is the Arabic word for Gazelle, so Abu Dhabi means "Father of Gazelle". It is thought that this name came about because of the abundance of Gazelles in the area and a folk tale involving Shakhbut bin Dhiyab al Nahyan.
The Bani Yas bedouin were originally centred on the Liwa Oasis in the Western region of the Emirate. This tribe was the most significant in the area, having over 20 subsections. In 1793, Al Bu Falah subsection migrated to the island of Abu Dhabi on the coast of the Persian Gulf due to the discovery of fresh water there. One family within this section was the Nahyan family. This family makes up the rulers of Abu Dhabi today.
Abu Dhabi worked in the pearl business and traded with others. According to a source about pearling, the Persian Gulf was the best location for pearls. Pearl divers dove for one to one-and-a-half minutes, and would have dived up to thirty times per day. There were no air tanks and any other sort of mechanical device was forbidden. The divers had a leather nose clip and leather coverings on their fingers and big toes to protect them while they searched for oysters. The divers were not paid for a day's work but received a portion of the season's earnings.
In the 19th century, as a result of treaties (known as "truces" which gave the coast its name) entered into between Great Britain and the sheikhs of the Arab States of the Persian Gulf, Britain became the predominant influence in the area. The main purpose of British interest was to protect the trade route to India from pirates, hence the earlier name for the area, the "Pirate Coast". After piracy was suppressed, other considerations came into play, such as a strategic need of the British to exclude other powers from the region. Following their withdrawal from India in 1947, the British maintained their influence in Abu Dhabi as interest in the oil potential of the Persian Gulf grew.
In the 1930s, as the pearl trade declined, interest grew in the oil possibilities of the region. On 5 January 1936, Petroleum Development (Trucial Coast) Ltd (PDTC), an associate company of the Iraq Petroleum Company, entered into a concession agreement with the ruler, Sheikh Shakhbut bin Sultan Al Nahyan, to explore for oil. This was followed by a seventy-five-year concession signed in January 1939. However, owing to the desert terrain, inland exploration was fraught with difficulties. In 1953, D'Arcy Exploration Company, the exploration arm of BP, obtained an offshore concession which was then transferred to a company created to operate the concession: Abu Dhabi Marine Areas (ADMA) was a joint venture between BP and Compagnie Française des Pétroles (later Total). In 1958, using a marine drilling platform, the ADMA Enterprise, oil was struck in the Umm Shaif field at a depth of about 2,669 metres (8,755 ft). This was followed in 1959 by PDTC's onshore discovery well at Murban No.3.
In 1962, the company discovered the Bu Hasa field and ADMA followed in 1965 with the discovery of the Zakum offshore field. Today, in addition to the oil fields mentioned, the main producing fields onshore are Asab, Sahil and Shah, and offshore are al-Bunduq, and Abu al-Bukhoosh.
The city of Abu Dhabi is on the southeastern side of the Arabian Peninsula, adjoining the Persian Gulf. It is on an island less than 250 metres (820 ft) from the mainland and is joined to the mainland by the Maqta and Mussafah Bridges. A third, Sheikh Zayed Bridge, designed by Zaha Hadid, opened in late 2010. Abu Dhabi Island is also connected to Saadiyat Island by a five-lane motorway bridge. Al-Mafraq bridge connects the city to Reem Island and was completed in early 2011. This is a multilayer interchange bridge and it has 27 lanes which allow roughly 25,000 automobiles to move per hour. There are three major bridges of the project, the largest has eight lanes, four leaving Abu Dhabi city and four coming in.
Most of Abu Dhabi city is located on the island itself, but it has many suburban districts on the mainland, for example: Khalifa City A, B, and C; Khalifa City Al Raha Beach; Al Bahia City A, B, and C; Al Shahama; Al Rahba; Between Two Bridges; Baniyas; Shamkha; AL Wathba and Mussafah Residential.
Gulf waters of Abu Dhabi holds the world's largest population of Indo-Pacific humpbacked dolphins. To the east of the island are mangroves, located on Al Qurm Corniche. Al-Qurm (ٱلْقُرْم) is Arabic for "The Mangrove".
Abu Dhabi has a hot desert climate (Köppen climate classification BWh). Sunny blue skies can be expected throughout the year. The months of June through September are generally extremely hot and humid with maximum temperatures averaging above 41 °C (106 °F). During this time, sandstorms occur intermittently, in some cases reducing visibility to a few meters.
The cooler season is from November to March, which ranges between moderately hot to mild. This period also sees dense fog on some days. On average, January is the coolest month in the year, while August is the hottest. Since the Tropic of Cancer passes through the emirate, the southern part falls within the Tropics. However, despite the coolest month having a 18.8 °C (65.8 °F) average, its climate is far too dry to be classed as tropical.
Under the rule of the Department of Municipal Affairs, the city is part of the Central Capital District,[a] which is separate from the eastern and western municipal regions of the Emirate of Abu Dhabi. The main settlement of the eastern region, officially "Al Ain Region" since a decree by Sheikh Khalifa in March 2017, is Al Ain City, and that of the western region, officially "Al Dhafra Region" as per the same decree, is Madinat Zayed.
Councils such as the Abu Dhabi Urban Planning Council and the Regulation and Supervision Bureau are responsible for infrastructure projects in the city. Finances are mainly through the state government. Because Abu Dhabi is the capital of the UAE, the president's office is located here.
The city was planned under the guidance of Sheikh Zayed by Japanese architect Katsuhiko Takahashi in 1967 initially for a population of 40,000. The density of Abu Dhabi varies, with high employment density in the central area, high residential densities in central downtown and lower densities in the suburban districts. In the dense areas, most of the concentration is achieved with medium- and high-rise buildings. Abu Dhabi's skyscrapers such as the notable Etihad Towers, Abu Dhabi Investment Authority Tower, the National Bank of Abu Dhabi headquarters, the Baynunah (Hilton Hotel) Tower. and the Etisalat headquarters are usually found in the financial districts of Abu Dhabi. Other notable modern buildings include the Aldar Headquarters, the first circular skyscraper in the middle east and the Emirates Palace with its design inspired by Arab heritage.
The development of tall buildings has been encouraged in the Abu Dhabi Plan 2030, which will lead to the construction of many new skyscrapers over the next decade, particularly in the expansion of Abu Dhabi's central business district such as the new developments on Al Maryah Island and Al Reem Island. Abu Dhabi already has a number of supertall skyscrapers under construction throughout the city. Some of the tallest buildings on the skyline include the 382 m (1,253.28 ft) Central Market Residential Tower, the 324 m (1,062.99 ft) The Landmark and the 74-story, 310 m (1,017.06 ft) Sky Tower, all of them completed. Also many other skyscrapers over 150 m (492.13 ft) (500 ft) are either proposed or approved and could transform the city's skyline. As of July 2008, there were 62 high-rise buildings 23 to 150 m (75.46 to 492.13 ft) under construction, approved for construction, or proposed for construction.
One of the most important architectural landmarks is the Sheikh Zayed Mosque. This is one of the most important architectural treasures of contemporary UAE society—and one of the most opulent in the world. It was initiated by the late president of the United Arab Emirates, HH Sheikh Zayed bin Sultan Al Nahyan, fondly thought of as the father of the UAE.
Its design and construction reportedly 'unites the world', using artisans and materials from many countries including Italy, Germany, Morocco, Pakistan, India, Turkey, Iran, China, the United Kingdom, New Zealand, Greece and the United Arab Emirates. More than 3,000 workers and 38 contracting companies took part in the construction of the mosque. Natural materials were chosen for much of its design and construction due to their long-lasting qualities, including marble, stone, gold, semi-precious stones, crystals and ceramics. Construction began on 5 November 1996. The maximum capacity is approximately 41,000 people and the overall structure is 22,412 square metres (241,240 square feet), the internal prayer halls were initially opened in December 2007.
As one of the most visited buildings in the UAE, the Sheikh Zayed Grand Mosque Center was established to manage the day-to-day operations, as a place of worship and Friday gathering and as a centre of learning and discovery through its education and visitor programs.
The Founder's Memorial, a monument and visitor centre in Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates (UAE) is a memorial to Sheikh Zayed bin Sultan Al Nahyan, the first President of the United Arab Emirates, who passed away in 2004. The memorial consists of an open Heritage Garden and Sanctuary Garden at the centre of which is a cubic pavilion housing The Constellation, an artwork dedicated to Zayed's memory.
The UAE's large hydrocarbon wealth gives it one of the highest GDP per capita in the world and Abu Dhabi owns the majority of these resources – 95% of the oil and 92% of gas. Abu Dhabi thus holds 9% of the world's proven oil reserves (98.2bn barrels) and almost 5% of the world's natural gas (5.8 billion cubic metres or 200 billion cubic feet). Oil production in the UAE was in the region of 2.3 million barrels per day (bpd) in 2010, and projects are in progress to boost production to 3 m bpd. In recent years the focus has turned to gas as increasing domestic consumption for power, desalination and reinjection of gas into oil fields increases demand. Gas extraction is not without its difficulties, however, as demonstrated by the sour gas project at Shah where the gas is rich in hydrogen sulphide content and is expensive to develop and process.
In 2009, the government had been diversifying their economic plans. Served by high oil prices, the country's non-oil and gas GDP has outstripped that attributable to the energy sector. Non-oil and gas GDP now constitutes 64% of the UAE's total GDP. This trend is reflected in Abu Dhabi with substantial new investment in industry, real estate, tourism and retail. As Abu Dhabi is the largest oil producer of the UAE, it has reaped the most benefits from this trend. It has taken on an active diversification and liberalisation programme to reduce the UAE's reliance on the hydrocarbon sector. This is evident in the emphasis on industrial diversification with the completion of free zones, Industrial City of Abu Dhabi, twofour54 Abu Dhabi media free zone and the construction of another, ICAD II, in the pipeline. There has also been a drive to promote the tourism and real estate sectors with the Abu Dhabi Tourism Authority and the Tourism and Development Investment Company undertaking several large-scale development projects. These projects will be served by an improved transport infrastructure with a new port, an expanded airport and a proposed rail link between Abu Dhabi and Dubai all in the development stages.
Abu Dhabi's Emirate is the wealthiest of the UAE in terms of Gross domestic product (GDP) and per capita income. More than $1 trillion is invested worldwide in this city alone. In 2010, the GDP per capita also reached $49,600, which ranks ninth in the world. Taxation in Abu Dhabi, as in the rest of the UAE, is nil for a resident and for a non-bank, non-oil company. Abu Dhabi is also planning many future projects sharing with the Cooperation Council for the Arab States of the Gulf (GCC) and taking 29% of all the GCC future plannings. The United Arab Emirates is a fast-growing economy: in 2006 the per capita income grew by 9%, providing a GDP per capita of $49,700 and ranking third in the world at purchasing power parity. Abu Dhabi's sovereign wealth fund, the Abu Dhabi Investment Authority (ADIA), currently estimated at US$875 billion, is the world's wealthiest sovereign fund in terms of total asset value. Etihad Airways maintains its headquarters in Abu Dhabi.
Abu Dhabi's government is looking to expand revenue from oil and gas production to tourism and other sorts of things which would attract different types of people. This goal is seen in the amount of attention Abu Dhabi is giving to its International Airport. The airport, in 2009, experienced a 30%+ growth in passenger usage. This idea of diversification of the economy is also seen in the Abu Dhabi Economic Vision 2030 planned by the Abu Dhabi Urban Planning Council. In this plan Abu Dhabi's economy will be sustainable and not be dependent on any one facet or source of revenue. More specifically the non-oil portion of income is planned to be increased from about 40% to about 70%.
Many Hollywood and other national film production teams have used the UAE as filming locations. Whilst neighbouring Dubai gets a lot of attention, in recent years Abu Dhabi has become a popular destination. The Etihad Towers and Emirates Palace Hotel were some of the city's landmarks used as filming locations for the movie Furious 7. In this movie, cars rush through the building and smash through the windows of the Etihad Towers.
The water supply in Abu Dhabi is managed by the Abu Dhabi Water and Electricity Company. As of 2006, it supplied 560.2 MiGD (million imperial gallons per day) of water, while the water demand for 2005–06 was estimated to be 511 MiGD. The Environment Agency of Abu Dhabi (EAD) states that groundwater is the most significant source of water, as well as desalinated potable water, and treated sewage effluent. At 40.6 MiGD, the Umm Al Nar storage is the largest water source for Abu Dhabi, followed by the rivers Shuweihat and Taweelah. With falling groundwater level and rising population density, Abu Dhabi faces a severely acute water shortage. On average each Abu Dhabi resident uses 550 litres (120 imp gal; 150 US gal) of water per day. Abu Dhabi daily produces 1,532 tonnes of solid wastes which is dumped at three landfill sites by Abu Dhabi Municipality. The daily domestic waste water production is 330 MiGD and industrial waste water is 40 MiGD. A large portion of the sewerage flows as waste into streams, and separation plants.
The city's per capita electricity consumption is about 41,000 kWh and the total supplied is 8,367 MW as of 2007. The distribution of electricity is carried out by companies run by SCIPCO Power and APC Energy. The Abu Dhabi Fire Service runs 13 fire stations that attend about 2,000 fire and rescue calls per year.
State-owned Etisalat and private du communication companies provide telephone and cell phone service to the city. Cellular coverage is extensive, and both GSM and CDMA (from Etisalat and Du) services are available. Etisalat, the government owned telecommunications provider, held a virtual monopoly over telecommunication services in Abu Dhabi prior to the establishment of other, smaller telecommunications companies such as Emirates Integrated Telecommunications Company (EITC – better known as Du) in 2006. Internet was introduced into Abu Dhabi in 1995. The current network is supported by a bandwidth of 6 GB, with 50,000 dialup and 150,000 broadband ports.
Etisalat announced implementing a fibre-to-the-home (FTTH) network in Abu Dhabi during the third quarter of 2009 to make the emirate the world's first city to have such a network.
Abu Dhabi in the 1970s was planned for a predicted topmost population of 600,000. Following the urban planning ideals of the time period, the city has high-density tower blocks, and wide grid-pattern roads. The population density is at its apex on the most northerly part of the island. At this point the main streets have a large amount of 20- to 30-storey towers. These towers are in a rectangular pattern, and inside is an ordinary grid pattern of roads with low rise buildings such as 2-story villas or 6-story low-rise buildings.
Due to this planning a modern city with tall offices, apartment buildings, broad boulevards and busy shops is present. Principal thoroughfares are the Corniche, Airport Road, Sheikh Zayed Street, Hamdan Street and Khalifa Street. Abu Dhabi is known in the region for its greenery; the former desert strip today includes numerous parks and gardens. The design of the inner city roads and main roads are quite organised. Starting from the Corniche, all horizontal streets are oddly numbered, while all vertical streets are evenly numbered. Thus, the Corniche is Street No. 1, Khalifa is Street No. 3, Hamdan is Street No. 5, Electra street is Street No. 7 and so on. Conversely, Salam Street is St No. 8.
Mail is generally delivered to post-office boxes only; however, there is door-to-door delivery for commercial organisations. There are many parks throughout the city. Entrance is usually free for children, however there is often an entrance fee for adults. The Corniche, the city's seaside promenade, is about 10 kilometres (6.2 mi) in length, with gardens, playgrounds, and a BMX/skateboard ring.
In 2007 the Abu Dhabi Urban Planning Council (UPC) was established, which is the agency responsible for the future of Abu Dhabi's urban environments and the expert authority behind the visionary Plan Abu Dhabi 2030 Urban Structure Framework Plan that was published in September 2007. The UPC is also working on similar plans for the regions of Al-Ain and Al-Gharbia.
Because of the rapid development of Abu Dhabi, a number of challenges to the city's urban organisation have developed, among them:
In 2018, Abu Dhabi was ranked the safest city in the world for the second year running by the statistical analysis website Numbeo.
Human rights organisations have heavily criticised violations of human rights in Abu Dhabi. As with other parts of the UAE, foreign workers are not given proper treatment and many companies (both government and private) have yet to improve things. In April 2009 a video tape of torture smuggled out of the UAE showed businessman Issa bin Zayed Al Nahyan torturing a man and running him over repeatedly with an SUV. In addition to this, Issa was alleged to have illtreated several other men, mostly foreign nationals.
|The town of Abu Dhabi first conducted a census in 1968. All population figures in this table prior to 1968 are estimates obtained from populstat.info.|
As the emirate covers 67,341 km2 (26,001 sq mi), nearly 87% of the UAE, the population density is 21.73/km2 (56.3/sq mi), making it the largest emirate in the UAE.
As of 2014, 477,000 of 2,650,000 people living in the emirate were UAE nationals. Approximately 80% of the population were expatriates. The median age in the emirate was about 30.1 years. The crude birth rate, as of 2005, was 13.6%, while the crude death rate was about 2%.
Article 7 of the UAE's Provisional Constitution declares Islam the official state religion of the UAE. The government subsidises almost 95% of mosques and employs all imams. A majority of mosques are Maliki or Muwahhid oriented. The majority of the inhabitants of Abu Dhabi are expatriate workers from Nepal‚ India, Pakistan, Eritrea, Ethiopia, Somalia, Bangladesh, Sri Lanka, Philippines, the United Kingdom and various countries from across the Arab world. Some of these expatriates have been in the country for many decades with only a few of them awarded nationality Consequently, English, Hindi-Urdu (Hindustani), Malayalam, Tamil, Tulu, Somali, Tigrinya, Amharic and Bengali are widely spoken.
The native-born population are Arabic-speaking Arabs who are part of a clan-based society. The Al Nahyan family, part of the al-Falah branch of the Bani Yas clan, rules the emirate and has a central place in society. There are also Arabs who are from other parts of the Arab World.
Abu Dhabi International Airport (AUH) is the city's main aviation hub and the second busiest airport in the UAE. Passenger numbers at Abu Dhabi International Airport rose by 17.2 per cent in 2015, with more than 23 million travellers passing through its terminals during that year.
Al Bateen Executive Airport was the old international airport in Abu Dhabi, until the one above opened in 1982. Now it is being used by the military and small commercial planes.
Public transport systems in Abu Dhabi include the Abu Dhabi public buses, taxis, ferries, and aeroplanes. Street taxis are easily recognised. They are either silver with a yellow roof sign (newer taxis) or white and gold with a green roof sign (older taxis). All the old taxis have been phased out. There are no old taxis available for transportation anymore.
The first town bus entered service in about 1969 but this was all part of a very informal service. There are other inter-city buses departing the Abu Dhabi Dhabi central bus station; these inter-city buses are not only intra-emirate buses, but also inter-emirate services. On 30 June 2008 the Department of Transport began public bus service in Abu Dhabi with four routes. There are also public buses serving the airport. In an attempt to entice people to use the bus system, all routes were zero-fare until the end of 2008. The four routes, which operate between 6 am and midnight every day, run at a frequency of 10 to 20 minutes. Within the first week of service the bus network had seen high usage. Some of the buses, which have a maximum capacity of 45 passengers, only had room for standing left. Some bus drivers reported as many as 100 passengers on a bus at one time. Due to the new, zero-fare bus service success, many taxi drivers were losing business. Taxi drivers have seen a considerable decrease in the demand for taxis while lines were forming for the buses. The service steadily expanded and by the end of 2008, 230 buses were in service. In 2009, the Department of Transport plans to have 21 bus routes in the city, operated by 820 buses. A total of 1,360 buses are expected to be in operation by 2010.
A massive expansion of public transport is anticipated within the framework of the government's Surface Transport Master Plan 2030. The expansion is expected to see 130 km (81 mi) of metro and 340 km (210 mi) of tramways and/or bus rapid transit (BRT) routes.
The Emirate has many ports. One is Port Zayed. The others are Musaffah Port and Khalifa Port, which opened in 2012. They are owned by Abu Dhabi Ports Company and managed by Abu Dhabi Terminals.
Abu Dhabi has a diverse and multicultural society. The city's cultural imprint as a small, ethnically homogeneous pearling community was changed with the arrival of other ethnic groups and nationals—first by the Iranians in the early 1900s, and later by various Asian and European ethnicities in the 1950s and 60s. Abu Dhabi has been criticised for perpetuating a class-based society, where migrant workers are in the lower classes, and suffer abuse which "is endemic to the system". Major holidays in Abu Dhabi include Eid al Fitr, which marks the end of Ramadan, Eid ul-Adha which marks the end of Hajj, and National Day (2 December), which marks the formation of the United Arab Emirates.
This unique socioeconomic development in the Persian Gulf has meant that Abu Dhabi is generally more tolerant than its neighbours, including Saudi Arabia. Emiratis have been known for their tolerance; Christian churches, Hindu temples, and Sikh gurdwaras (but no synagogues) can be found alongside mosques. The cosmopolitan atmosphere is gradually growing and as a result, there are a variety of Asian and Western schools, cultural centres and themed restaurants.
Abu Dhabi is home to a number of cultural institutions including the Cultural Foundation and the National Theater. The Cultural Foundation, while closed for reconstruction as of spring 2011, is home to the UAE Public Library and Cultural Center. Various cultural societies such as the Abu Dhabi Classical Music Society have a strong and visible following in the city. The recently launched Emirates Foundation offers grants in support of the arts, as well as to advance science and technology, education, environmental protection and social development. The International Prize for Arabic Fiction (IPAF) will be based in Abu Dhabi. The city also stages hundreds of conferences and exhibitions each year in its state-of-the-art venues, including the Abu Dhabi National Exhibition Centre (ADNEC) which is the Persian Gulf's largest exhibition centre and welcomes around 1.8 million visitors every year.
The Red Bull Air Race World Series has been a spectacular sporting staple for the city for many years, bringing tens of thousands to the waterfront. Another major event is the Abu Dhabi International Petroleum Exhibition and Conference (ADIPEC).
The diversity of cuisine in Abu Dhabi is a reflection of the cosmopolitan nature of the society. Arab food is very popular and is available everywhere in the city, from the small shawarma to the upscale restaurants in the city's many hotels. Fast food and South Asian cuisine are also very popular and are widely available. The sale and consumption of pork, though not illegal, is regulated and it is sold only to non-Muslims in designated areas. Similarly, the sale of alcoholic beverages is regulated. A liquor permit is required to purchase alcohol; however, alcohol, although available in bars and restaurants within four or five star hotels, is not sold as widely as in its more liberal neighbour Dubai. Shisha and qahwa boutiques are also popular in Abu Dhabi.
Poetry in Abu Dhabi and the UAE is highly regarded and often is centric around the themes of satire, religion, family, chivalry and love. According to an article from an Abu Dhabi tourism page, sheikhs, teachers, sailors and princes make a large bulk of the poets within the UAE. A unique form of poetry to the UAE was formed in the 8th century by Al Khalil bin Ahmed and it was written in 16 metres (52 feet). The first known poet from the UAE, Ibn Majid, was born sometime between 1432 and 1437 in Ras Al Khaimah. According to the tourism page Majid came from a family of sailors and 40 of his works have survived. Another Emirati poet, Ibn Daher is from the 17th century. Daher is important because he used Nabati poetry (AKA Bedouin poetry), poetry written in the vernacular instead of the classical/religious Arabic. Other important poets from the UAE are Mubarak Al Oqaili (1880–1954), Salem bin Ali al Owais (1887–1959) and Abdulla bin Sulayem (1905–1976). These poets made headway in the field of Classical Arabic poetry as opposed to the Nabati poetry of the 17th century.
One of Ibn Masjid's most prominent works is a book called, Kitab al-Fawa'id fi Usul 'Ilm al-Bahr wa 'l-Qawa'id (Book of Useful Information on the Principles and Rules of Navigation), and it was written in 1490. This book is effectually an encyclopædia about navigation and sailing in and around the Indian Ocean. Masjid also goes into detail about the intricacies and technologies of the Arab sailing techniques. An excerpt from his book is:
Today in Abu Dhabi there is a group called the Abu Dhabi Cultural Foundation that works to preserve the art and culture of the city. According to an article from the English Pen Atlas Al jawaher wal la'li was the first manuscript to come out of the UAE. According to another article this book was written in the 1990s and was banned in the city for some time for making accusations about the ruling family.
Abu Dhabi is home to international and local private schools and universities, including government-sponsored New York University, Masdar Institute of Science and Technology, New York Institute of Technology, Higher Colleges of Technology, New York Film Academy, Paris-Sorbonne University Abu Dhabi and Abu Dhabi University in Abu Dhabi. These boast several languages that make up the population of the city. For example, the international business school established a campus in February 2010, offering an Executive MBA and executive education courses. New York University opened a government-sponsored satellite campus in Abu Dhabi in September 2010.
All schools in the emirate are under the authority of the Abu Dhabi Education Council. This organisation oversees and administers public schools and licenses and inspects private schools. From 2009, the Council has brought over thousands of licensed teachers from native English speaking countries to support their New School Model Program in government schools.
Abu Dhabi Education Council (ADEC) maintains a comprehensive after-school program for interested and talented jiu-jitsu students. The Abu Dhabi Jiu-Jitsu Schools Program began in 2008 under the patronage of Mohammed bin Zayed Al Nahyan, who is a keen Brazilian jiu-jitsu competitor. The program launched in 14 schools for pupils in grades 6 and 7 and has since expanded to 42 government schools, with 81 Brazilian coaches brought in as instructors.
9 to 13-year-old students are taught Brazilian jiu-jitsu as part of the curriculum. The plan is for up to 500 schools to be participating in the school-jitsu program by 2015. The project was set up by special request of HH Sheikh Mohammad bin Zayed Al Nahyan to the head coach of the Emirates jiu-jitsu team Carlos Santos, now also the managing director of the School-Jitsu Project.
Every year in the season of admissions an exhibition is launched in Abu Dhabi Exhibition Center under the supervision of the government. Universities from every corner of the world exhibit their career programs and scholarship programs for globally bright students. This seems to be a well-defined platform for the students of all nationalities. Heriot-Watt University, University of Bolton, Cambridge University, Oxford University, the Petroleum Institute, Khalifa University and Abu Dhabi University attend.
Abu Dhabi has four football stadiums: Al Jazeera Stadium, Al Wahda stadium and Sheikh Zayed Football Stadium (Zayed Sports City) and Hazza Stadium. ZSC also contains a tennis court, an ice rink, and a bowling alley. The Sheikh Zayed Cricket Stadium is located on the outskirts of the city and is currently home to the Pakistan Cricket Team. The stadium hosts at least two series per year in the last 4 years. In 2014, the stadium also hosted one leg of the Indian Premier League. It has also been considered as a venue for the B Pakistan Super League too.
Football and cricket are very popular in the city. Many youth play football in parking lots nearby corniche because of the pleasant environment and enough space. Cricket is also popular because of South Asian expats. There have been many small competitions conducted between small-time football and cricket teams.
Another location known as the Dome has been created for mainly football events among others. The purpose behind the development of the Dome@Rawdhat was to create a community football and sporting facility with indoor and outdoor pitches in the heart of the city of Abu Dhabi.
Since 2009, Abu Dhabi has hosted a Formula One race every year in November at the Yas Marina Circuit. Motorsport is popular throughout the country and the circuit has also hosted other events such as the V8 Supercars series of Dubai.
Abu Dhabi regularly hosts the International Judo Federation Abu Dhabi grand slam. Engendering some criticism, the International Judo Federation refused to allow the Israeli flag and the Israeli national anthem at the international games in 2017 in Abu Dhabi, with some referring to this action as anti-Semitic. The ban on Israeli symbols was lifted in 2018 and Israeli flag and national anthem was allowed to be displayed. Israeli minister of sports Miri Regev was also allowed to attend the event.
In March 2019, Abu Dhabi hosted the first Special Olympics World Games in the Middle East. The event took place from 14 to 21 March 2019 and featured more than 7,500 athletes participating in 24 sporting disciplines. The official World Games Flame of Hope was lit in Athens and flown to Abu Dhabi, where it then embarked on the torch run, visiting all seven emirates of the UAE.
Since the 2010s, Abu Dhabi has become one of the major shooting spots for foreign films. Some of the films featuring Abu Dhabi are (in ascending order of release):
Abu Dhabi is twinned with:
The Abu Dhabi Grand Prix (Arabic: سباق جائزة أبوظبي الكبرى) is a Formula One motor race. It was announced in early 2007 at the Abu Dhabi F1 Festival in the United Arab Emirates. The first race took place on 1 November 2009, held at the Hermann Tilke designed Yas Marina Circuit.On 25 June 2008 the FIA announced the provisional 2009 Formula One calendar including the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix as the 19th and final race of the season on 15 November. On 5 November 2008, however, it was announced that the race would be held as the season finale on 1 November, two weeks before the initially planned date, as the 17th and final race.The inaugural race was Formula One's first ever day–night race, starting at 17:00 local time. Floodlights used to illuminate the circuit were switched on from the start of the event to ensure a seamless transition from daylight to darkness. Subsequent Abu Dhabi Grands Prix have also been day–night races.Abu Dhabi International Airport
Abu Dhabi International Airport (Arabic: مطار أبو ظبي الدولي) (IATA: AUH, ICAO: OMAA) is an international airport in the Emirate of Abu Dhabi, the capital of the United Arab Emirates.
The airport, located 16.5 nautical miles (30.6 km; 19.0 mi) east of Abu Dhabi city, is the second largest in the UAE, serving around 20 million passengers in 2014. It has three operational passenger terminals—Terminal 1 (divided into Terminals 1A and 1B), Terminal 2, Terminal 3. Abu Dhabi International Airport is spread over an area of 3,400 hectares (8,500 acres). Its terminal spaces are dominated by Etihad Airways, which is the United Arab Emirates' national carrier and second largest in the UAE after Emirates. More than 30 airlines offered service to over 120 destinations in more than 60 countries.Abu Dhabi Metro
Abu Dhabi Metro is a planned metro line that will be part of a larger transit network for the city of Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates.Abu Dhabi National Oil Company
The Abu Dhabi National Oil Company (Arabic: شركة بترول أبوظبي الوطنية) or ADNOC is the state-owned oil company of the United Arab Emirates (UAE). According to the Oil & Gas Journal, as of January 2015, the UAE holds the seventh-largest proven reserves of oil in the world at 97.8 billion barrels. Most of these reserves are located in Abu Dhabi. It is the world's 12th largest oil company by production, producing 3.1 million barrels per day. It is the UAE's biggest company.Al Ain
Al Ain (Arabic: ٱلْـعَـيْـن, al-ʿayn, literally The Spring) is a city in the Eastern Region of the Emirate of Abu Dhabi, on the United Arab Emirates' border with Oman, adjacent to the town of Al-Buraimi. It is the largest inland city in the Emirates, the fourth-largest overall (after Dubai, Abu Dhabi, and Sharjah), and the second-largest in the Emirate of Abu Dhabi. The freeways connecting Al-Ain, Abu Dhabi, and Dubai form a geographic triangle in the country, each city being roughly 130 kilometres (81 mi) from the other two.
Al-Ain is known as the "Garden City" (of Abu Dhabi or the UAE) due to its greenery, particularly with regard to the city's oases, parks, tree-lined avenues and decorative roundabouts, with there being strict height controls on new buildings, to no more than seven floors, and according to one author, an oasis around Al-Ain and Al-Hasa in Saudi Arabia are the most important in the Arabian Peninsula. That said, the region of Al-Ain and Al-Buraimi, altogether Tawam or Al-Buraimi Oasis, is of cultural and historical importance. For example, the area witnessed events relevant to the history of Islam during the Rashidun, Umayyad and Abbasid eras, similar to Dibba and Ras Al-Khaimah. It was where Sheikh Zayed bin Sultan Al Nahyan, the founder of the United Arab Emirates, spent much of his life, at least since 1927, before becoming the Ruler of the Emirate of Abu Dhabi in 1966. Though it is often held that he was born in Abu Dhabi, some hold the view that he was born in Al-Ain. Al-Ain may also be the site of the oldest mosque in the country, in the premises of the Sheikh Khalifa Mosque.Al Jazira Club
Al-Jazira SCC is a football club from Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates. They play in the UAE Arabian Gulf League.Al Wahda FC
Al Wahda Football Club (Arabic: نادي الوحدة لكرة القدم) is a football club based in Abu Dhabi in the United Arab Emirates that plays in the UAE Pro League. The club was founded in 1974 and plays its home games at the Al-Nahyan Stadium. The club's colours are maroon, grey and white.
Al Wahda has won the League, with the most recent title coming in the 2009–10 UAE Pro-League season.Baniyas Club
Baniyas Sports and Cultural Club is an Emirati Sports Club, based in Al Shamkha, in the Baniyas area of Abu Dhabi. They play in the UAE Pro-League.Emirate of Abu Dhabi
The Emirate of Abu Dhabi (, , or ; Arabic: إِمَـارَة أَبُـوظَـبِي Imārat Abū Ẓaby, pronounced [ʔabuː ˈðˤɑbi]) is one of seven emirates that constitute the United Arab Emirates (UAE). It is the largest emirate by area (67,340 km2 (26,000 sq mi)), accounting for approximately 87 percent of the total land area of the federation. Abu Dhabi also has the largest population of the seven emirates. In June 2011, it was estimated to be 2,120,700 people, of which, 439,100 people (less than 21%) were Emirati citizens, which has risen to 2.3 million in 2012. The city of Abu Dhabi, after which the emirate is named, is both the capital of the emirate and federation.
In the early 1970s, two important developments helped the emirate achieve leaps on the path of development. The first was the establishment of the United Arab Emirates in December 1971 with Abu Dhabi as its political and administrative capital. The second was the sharp increase in oil prices following the October 1973 War, which accompanied a change in the relationship between the oil countries and foreign oil companies, leading to a dramatic rise in oil revenues. Abu Dhabi's Gross Domestic Product (GDP) estimates, in 2014, amounted to (EUR 0.24 tril.) AED 960 billion at current prices. Mining and quarrying (includes crude oil and natural gas) accounts for the largest contribution to GDP (58.5 per cent in 2011). Construction related industries are the next largest contributor (10.1 per cent in 2011). GDP grew to AED 911.6 billion in 2012, or over 100,000 USD per capita. In recent times, the Emirate of Abu Dhabi has continuously contributed around 60 per cent of the GDP of the United Arab Emirates, while its population constitutes only 34 per cent of the total UAE population according to the 2005 census.Etihad Airways
Etihad Airways (Arabic: شَرِكَة ٱلْاِتِّحَاد لِلطَّيْرَان, translit. sharikat al-ittiḥād li-ṭ-ṭayarān) is the second-largest airline in the United Arab Emirates (after Emirates). Its head office is in Khalifa City, Abu Dhabi, near Abu Dhabi's International Airport. Etihad commenced operations in November 2003.The airline operates more than 1,000 flights per week to over 120 passenger and cargo destinations in the Middle East, Africa, Europe, Asia, Australia and the Americas, with a fleet of 117 Airbus and Boeing aircraft as of February 2018.
In 2015, Etihad carried 14.8 million passengers, a 22.3% increase from the previous year, delivering revenues of US$9.02 billion and net profits of US$103 million. Its main base is Abu Dhabi International Airport.In addition to its core activity of passenger transportation, Etihad also operates Etihad Holidays and Etihad Cargo. Etihad established its own airline alliance, Etihad Airways Partners, in October 2015 which was disbanded in 2018 after several of its members fell into financial struggles. Etihad Airways holds minority equity investments in the participating airlines; as well as holding a stake in Virgin Australia, which is not officially listed as an Etihad Airways Partner. Booking for these airlines is consolidated under one network.Etihad Towers
Etihad Towers is a complex of buildings with five towers in Abu Dhabi, the capital city of the United Arab Emirates.Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan
Khalifa bin Zayed bin Sultan Al Nahyan (Arabic: خليفة بن زايد بن سلطان آل نهيان; born 7 September 1948; referred to as Sheikh Khalifa) is an Emirati politician who is the current President of the United Arab Emirates, the Emirate of Abu Dhabi and the Supreme Commander of the Union Defence Force.Sheikh Khalifa succeeded his father, Zayed bin Sultan Al Nahyan, as Emir of Abu Dhabi on 2 November 2004 and became the President of the Federation the next day. As Crown Prince, he had already de facto carried out some aspects of the presidency since the late 1990s while his father was facing health problems. Sheikh Khalifa is also chairman of Abu Dhabi Investment Authority, which manages $875 billion in assets, the largest amount managed by a nation's head of state in the world. Collectively, the Al Nahyan family is believed to hold a fortune of $150 billion.On 4 January 2010, the world's tallest man-made structure, originally known as Burj Dubai, was renamed the Burj Khalifa in his honor.
In January 2014, Khalifa suffered a stroke but was in a stable condition. He has since assumed a lower profile in state affairs, but retained presidential decisions. His half brother Sheikh Mohammed bin Zayed Al Nahyan has been entrusted with public affairs of the state and day-to-day decision making of the emirate of Abu Dhabi.Louvre Abu Dhabi
The Louvre Abu Dhabi is an art and civilization museum, located in Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates. The museum was inaugurated on 8 November 2017 by French President Emmanuel Macron and United Arab Emirates Vice President Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum and Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi Mohammed bin Zayed Al Nahyan. The museum is part of a thirty-year agreement between the city of Abu Dhabi and the French government. The museum is located on the Saadiyat Island Cultural District. It is approximately 24,000 square metres (260,000 sq ft) in size, with 8,000 square metres (86,000 sq ft) of galleries , making it the largest art museum in the Arabian peninsula. The final cost of the construction is expected to be about €600 million. In addition, US$525 million was paid by Abu Dhabi to be associated with the Louvre name, and an additional US$747 million will be paid in exchange for art loans, special exhibitions and management advice.Artworks from around the world are showcased at the museum, with particular focus placed upon bridging the gap between Eastern and Western art.The Landmark (Abu Dhabi)
The Landmark is a postmodern supertall skyscraper in Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates. The mixed-use project stands 324 metres (1,063 ft) tall with 72 floors above ground and five basement levels. Construction on the skyscraper started in late 2006 and the building was completed in 2012. It is the second tallest building in Abu Dhabi behind the Burj Mohammed bin Rashid in the Central Market Project World Trade Center complex.The National (Abu Dhabi)
The National is a private English-language daily newspaper published in Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates. In November 2016, International Media Investments (IMI) announced the acquisition of The National from Abu Dhabi Media (ADM) and The National was relaunched on 1 July 2017, under the editorship of Mina Al-Oraibi.UCI ProTour
The UCI ProTour was a series of road bicycle races in Europe, Australia and Canada organised by the UCI (International Cycling Union). Created by Hein Verbruggen, former president of the UCI, it comprises a number of 'ProTour' cycling teams, each of whom are required to compete in every round of the series. It was initially the basis of a season long competition for rankings points, created for 2005 to replace the UCI Road World Cup series, which ended at the end of the 2004 season (although the World Cup did not include any stage races). The ProTour was the subject of continuing disputes involving the UCI, cycling teams, and the organizers of the world's most prominent bicycle races (most notably, the Grand Tours), and in 2009 and 2010 the ranking element of the ProTour was superseded by the UCI World Ranking. For 2011, the ProTour and World Ranking were fully merged into the UCI World Tour. ProTour status for teams – relabelled UCI ProTeams – will continue as the highest level of registration, and will carry the right and obligation to participate in all World Tour races.United Arab Emirates
The United Arab Emirates (UAE; Arabic: دولة الإمارات العربية المتحدة Dawlat al-ʾImārāt al-ʿArabīyyah al-Muttaḥidah), sometimes simply called the Emirates (Arabic: الإمارات al-ʾImārāt), is a country in Western Asia at the southeast end of the Arabian Peninsula on the Persian Gulf, bordering Oman to the east and Saudi Arabia to the south, as well as sharing maritime borders with Qatar to the west and Iran to the north. The sovereign constitutional monarchy is a federation of seven emirates consisting of Abu Dhabi (which serves as the capital), Ajman, Dubai, Fujairah, Ras Al Khaimah, Sharjah and Umm Al Quwain. Their boundaries are complex, with numerous enclaves within the various emirates. Each emirate is governed by a ruler; together, they jointly form the Federal Supreme Council. One of the rulers serves as the President of the United Arab Emirates. In 2013, the UAE's population was 9.2 million, of which 1.4 million are Emirati citizens and 7.8 million are expatriates.Human occupation of the present UAE has been traced back to the emergence of anatomically modern humans from Africa some 125,000 BCE through finds at the Faya-1 site in Mleiha, Sharjah. Burial sites dating back to the Neolithic Age and the Bronze Age include the oldest known such inland site at Jebel Buhais. Known as Magan to the Sumerians, the area was home to a prosperous Bronze Age trading culture during the Umm Al Nar period, which traded between the Indus Valley, Bahrain and Mesopotamia as well as Iran, Bactria and the Levant. The ensuing Wadi Suq period and three Iron Ages saw the emergence of nomadism as well as the development of water management and irrigation systems supporting human settlement in both the coast and interior. The Islamic age of the UAE dates back to the expulsion of the Sasanians and the subsequent Battle of Dibba. The UAE's long history of trade led to the emergence of Julfar, in the present day emirate of Ras Al Khaimah, as a major regional trading and maritime hub in the area. The maritime dominance of the Persian Gulf by Emirati traders led to conflicts with European powers, including the Portuguese and British.
Following decades of maritime conflict, the coastal emirates became known as the Trucial States with the signing of a Perpetual Treaty of Maritime Peace with the British in 1819 (ratified in 1853 and again in 1892), which established the Trucial States as a British Protectorate. This arrangement ended with independence and the establishment of the United Arab Emirates on 2 December 1971, immediately following the British withdrawal from its treaty obligations. Six emirates joined the UAE in 1971, the seventh, Ras Al Khaimah, joined the federation on 10 February 1972.Islam is the official religion and Arabic is the official language of the UAE. The UAE's oil reserves are the seventh-largest in the world while its natural gas reserves are the world's seventeenth-largest. Sheikh Zayed, ruler of Abu Dhabi and the first President of the UAE, oversaw the development of the Emirates and steered oil revenues into healthcare, education and infrastructure. The UAE's economy is the most diversified in the Gulf Cooperation Council, while its most populous city of Dubai is an important global city and an international aviation and maritime trade hub. Nevertheless, the country is much less reliant on oil and gas than in previous years and is economically focusing on tourism and business. The UAE government does not levy income tax although there is a system of corporate tax in place and value added tax was established in 2018 at 5%.The UAE's rising international profile has led to it being recognised as a regional and a middle power. It is a member of the United Nations, the Arab League, the Organisation of Islamic Cooperation, OPEC, the Non-Aligned Movement and the Gulf Cooperation Council.World Trade Center Abu Dhabi
The World Trade Center Abu Dhabi is a complex of three skyscrapers, one of which is "supertall", in Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates. Construction of these towers was scheduled to end in 2010, though the 2009 financial crisis pushed the project completion date in 2014. The complex includes two malls, and one Courtyard by Marriott hotel.Yas Marina Circuit
The Yas Marina Circuit (Arabic: حلبة مرسى ياس) is the venue for the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix. The circuit was designed by Hermann Tilke, and is situated on Yas Island, about 30 minutes from the capital of the UAE, Abu Dhabi. Yas Marina is the second Formula One track in the Middle East, with the first being in Bahrain. A two-day GP2 Asia Series test was held to officially open the circuit, which was held a week before the 2009 Abu Dhabi Grand Prix. It also hosted the opening event for the Australian V8 Supercars series, the Yas V8 400, in February 2010. Outside motorsport the circuit was used for the final stage of the inaugural Abu Dhabi Tour cycle race in 2015. The circuit has FIA Grade 1 license.
|Climate data for Abu Dhabi|
|Record high °C (°F)||33.7
|Average high °C (°F)||24.1
|Daily mean °C (°F)||18.8
|Average low °C (°F)||13.2
|Record low °C (°F)||5.0
|Average precipitation mm (inches)||7.0
|Average precipitation days (≥ 0.2 mm)||1.2||2.8||2.8||1.2||0.1||0.0||0.0||0.1||0.0||0.0||0.2||1.5||9.9|
|Average relative humidity (%)||68||67||63||58||55||60||61||63||64||65||65||68||63|
|Mean monthly sunshine hours||246.1||232.6||251.1||280.5||342.2||336.9||314.2||307.5||302.4||304.7||286.6||257.6||3,462.4|
|Source: NOAA (1971–1991)|
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