The capital of the United Arab Emirates, Abu Dhabi occupies 80% of the total area of the U.A.E. Since the discovery of oil, followed by the accession of the Ruler and President His Highness Sheikh Zayed Bin Sultan Al Nahyan in 1966, economic and social development has taken off at a rapid pace.
As one of the world's most modern capital cities, it boasts a beautiful corniche, skyscrapers, beautiful mosques and magnificent fountains. The most striking feature is the lush greenery everywhere and the very impressive entrance to the city. The old fort in Diwan Amiri is restored to its original glory and is now a center for academic research. Open "souqs" have much to offer - fruit, oriental spices, rich colored fabrics and the prized Persian rugs, together with traditional and modern jewelry.
Mina Zayed, an island port of Abu Dhabi city in north central United Arab Emirates, situated along the Arabian Gulf. It is the centre of finance, transport, and communications for a rich petroleum-producing region. It is the site of an international airport and an artificial deep-water port at Mina Zayed. Urban development projects have been important in relieving a housing shortage caused by rapid growth since the late 1960s.
The main thoroughfare is the 7-kilometre (4-mile) long Corniche-a landscaped, seafront promenade. Abu Dhabi is the site of a research institute and a large sports centre. The settlement was founded in the 1760s and in 1795 became the seat of rulers of the Emirate of Abu Dhabi. The town had only local significance until the discovery of vast oil reserves in the area in the late 1950s and early 1960s. In 1971 the city was made the federal capital of the newly formed United Arab Emirates.
Middle East, United Arab Emirates
GMT + 4
Arabic is the official language spoken in Abu Dhabi and the UAE. English, Urdu and Farsi are also widely understood and spoken throughout the region.
Abu Dhabi has a sub-tropical, arid climate and sunny blue skies and high temperatures can be expected most of the year. Rainfall is sporadic. Temperatures range from 10oC (winter) to 48C (summer). The cooler months November - April are pleasant and ideal for a visit.
The Emirate of Abu Dhabi has the largest population amongst the seven Emirates, reaching 1.591 million (according 2003 census).
1 Emirate Dirham (Dh) = 100 fils
Social & Business Hours
The government departments work 8am to 4pm. The Islamic holiday is Friday and therefore a universal day off for schools and offices. The weekdays are Sunday to Thursday.
The International code for the United Arab Emirates is +971. The outgoing international code is 00. City codes must also be dialled (Abu Dhabi 2, Dubai 4). Calls made within each state are free of charge.
For more information on Abu Dhabi visit AbuDhabiCityGuide.com