Abu Dhabi – the Capital City
Abu Dhabi is the capital city of the United Arab Emirates (UAE), and the largest of the seven emirates federation.
Year-round sunshine, pristine beaches, spectacular sand dunes and pulsating cosmopolitan lifestyle await every guest in Abu Dhabi. This emirate known around the world for its massive oil reserves and majestic mosques with towering minarets. These, combined with the distinct Arabic hospitality and mystique - and world-class infrastructure - make Abu Dhabi an excellent destination both for the experienced and novice traveller.
Abu Dhabi city bursts with dazzling business-cum-leisure facilities ranging from state-of-the-art convention centre, luxurious hotels, spas, designer golf courses, theatres and very soon, some of the world’s most famous museums. The palace-like shopping malls and indigenous souqs in Abu Dhabi make for a great shopping expedition. Gastronomic treats further abound from cool and sophisticated cafes, clubs and restaurants. For the fitness conscious, jogging and cycling are a welcome treat in along the city’s charming Corniche or beachfront, merely minutes away from the bustling city centre.
Abu Dhabi emirate is in the Arabian Gulf region. It adjoins the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia and the Sultanate of Oman. Occupying almost 87% of the country’s total area, Abu Dhabi emirate covers around 67, 340km², which comprises mostly desert, including part of the Empty Quarter (Rub Al Khali) and salt flats/sabkha. Abu Dhabi’s coastline extends over 400 Km.
The emirate is divided for administrative purposes into three regions. The first encompasses Abu Dhabi city, which is both the emirate’s capital and the federal seat of government. The island city of Abu Dhabi is just 250 metres from the mainland, which has many other suburbs. The main bridges, Maqta, Mussafah and Sheikh Zayed Bridge, connect Abu Dhabi city to the mainland, with others currently being constructed. There are around 200 natural islands in the emirate including the Saadiyat, Yas, Lulu and Sir Bani Yas islands.
Parts of Abu Dhabi were settled as far back as the 3rd millennium BC, and its early history fits the region’s nomadic, herding and fishing patterns.
The Arabian Gazelle is known locally as ‘Dhabi’, and gave its name to the country's capital, Abu Dhabi (Father of the Gazelle) by the early Bani Yas tribe hunters who discovered the island when tracking a gazelle and found a rare freshwater spring.
Until the mid-20th century, camel herding, agriculture, fishing and pearl diving were the major occupations within the emirate. Everything changed in 1958 when oil was discovered and the development of modern Abu Dhabi commenced.
Sunshine and blue skies can be expected almost every day in Abu Dhabi. The city experiences a really hot and humid climate in the months of April to September when the maximum temperatures average above 40 °C (104 °F). During this period, unpredictable sandstorms also occur in the city and sometimes visibility gets down to a few meters. Normally, air-conditioning systems can be found in all buildings in the city. The period of October to March is comparatively cool. Dense fog can be also seen on some days. January and February are the coolest months of the year.
Source: Abu Dhabi Tourism Authority