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Abu Dhabi

Monday 18 February 2019 (UAE)   

Abu Dhabi overview

The emirate of Abu Dhabi is one of 7 that make up the country called the United Arab Emirates (UAE). Abu Dhabi is also the name of a city in the emirate of Abu Dhabi.

  • Abu Dhabi city is the capital of the United Arab Emirates (UAE) country (not the capital of Dubai, nor is Dubai the capital of Abu Dhabi or the UAE - Dubai is an emirate and a city, not a country).
  • Abu Dhabi is the richest and largest (by land area) emirate in the UAE.
  • The Ruler of Abu Dhabi is also the President of the UAE.
  • Abu Dhabi (AUH, ABD) other forms: Abu Dhabih, Abou Dabih, AbuDhabi, Abu Dhaby, Abu Zaby, Abu Zhaby
  • AUH is Abu Dhabi Airport code, ABD is commonly used as an abbreviation but is not the airport code.
  • Abu Dhabi emirate divided into three administrative regions or municipalities:
  • Abu Dhabi City Municipality, capital is Abu Dhabi city. Was or also called Capital City or Capital Region.
  • Al Ain City Municipality, capital is Al Ain city. Was or also called Eastern Region.
  • Western Region Municipality, capital is Madinat Zayed (not MZ area in downtown Abu Dhabi). Also called Al Gharbiya (Al Gharbiyah).

General and miscellaneous information

General updates

  • 24 Oct 2013 (WAM) - Abu Dhabi Falcon Hospital (ADFH) nominated as a finalist in the "World Responsible Tourism Award" category of the 2013 World Travel Awards (WTA). ADFH established in 1999 by the Abu Dhabi Environment Agency, and treats over 8,000 falcon patients annually. Tourists and visitors can experience traditional UAE falconry, and learn about the falcon world and the falcon hospital services. Don't bring your canary for maintenance though. Shaheen Conference Center is part of the ADFH facilities, available for birthday celebrations, conferences, dinners, meetings, workshops, and other special events.
  • 07 Oct 2013 - Abu Dhabi Emirate Yearbook 2013 released. Population of Abu Dhabi emirate estimated at 2.3 million in mid 2012, with 1.4 million in Abu Dhabi region or city.
Abu Dhabi Capital District (or Capitals District)
  • New development
  • planned as part of Plan Abu Dhabi 2030, will be central government area for Abu Dhabi, and for the UAE. Triangle shape area with three sides bordering Khalifa City A, Khalifa City B, and Mohammed Bin Zayed City (MBZ City).
Abu Dhabi ratings and surveys
  • 04 Dec 2012 - Abu Dhabi was rated "Best Business City - International" by Global Traveler magazine, a luxury travel magazine in the USA, based on responses from 25,000 readers. The CEO of GT magazine, Francis Gallagher, said in the press release "The GT Tested Reader Survey awards are ... an unbiased reflection of the best in travel," which sounds odd given that the votes are obviously biased towards what readers of a luxury travel magazine think.
  • 12 Mar 2012 - Abu Dhabi was in 41st spot out of 120 cities ranked in an Economist Intelligence Unit (EIU) Global City Competitiveness Index. Dubai was marginally ahead in 40th place (and the top city in the Middle East).
  • 16 Feb 2012 - Abu Dhabi was ranked in 91st place in the annual Economist Intelligence Unit (EIU) Worldwide Cost of Living Survey, down (as in cheaper) by 5 spots from 2011.
Activities, entertainment and events in Abu Dhabi
  • Family and Kids Park Zoo - children's petting and animal feeding zoo. Opening hours Sun-Wed 0930-2000, Thu-Sat and public holidays 0930-2100. Admission fees: adults AED 20, children AED 10, family (2 adults, up to 3 children) AED 60, Play Park AED 15, Ocean Park AED 5. Located in Al Rahba City, telephone +971-2-5633100. Website www.uaeparkzoo.com.
  • Things to do in Abu Dhabi
  • See also Tourism in Abu Dhabi heading.
Areas, suburbs, communities in Abu Dhabi (not a complete list)
  • Gate City Abu Dhabi (or Abu Dhabi Gate City) - previously known as Officers City, located near Mussaffah Bridge and Al Khaleej Al Arabi Street. Also close to Abu Dhabi International Airport, and the Sheikh Zayed Grand Mosque.
  • Officers City Abu Dhabi (or Abu Dhabi Officers City) - renamed as Abu Dhabi Gate City in December 2010.
  • See also Abu Dhabi communities and districts.
Art and culture in Abu Dhabi
Business in Abu Dhabi

Business in Abu Dhabi

Crime in Abu Dhabi
  • Sex in Abu Dhabi - tourists (as well as expat residents and other visitors) should be aware that as in the rest of the UAE, having sex with someone you are not married to is a crime. However, although Abu Dhabi is usually regarded as a bit more conservative than Dubai, it is not the same as Sharjah, and so most people most of the time should not encounter any difficulties, even if living together with a boyfriend or girlfriend, or sharing a hotel room with someone of the opposite sex when not married to them.
  • As in the rest of the UAE though, reporting a rape or sexual assault is a bit of a lottery - although the police are likely to go after the alleged rapist or assault perpertrator, the victim is also at risk of being arrested for having illicit sexual relations outside marriage (unless the perpertrator is the victim's husband). See also unmarried couples living together in Abu Dhabi for more information.
Economy and Industry in Abu Dhabi
  • Abu Dhabi GDP growth forecast for 2013-2016 is annual average of 5.7% according to Mohammad Omar Abdullah, Undersecretary of the Abu Dhabi Department of Economic Development (ADDED) (WAM, 09 Dec 2012).
  • 2012 Abu Dhabi GDP growth estimate 3.9% (WAM, 09 Dec 2012).
  • 2011 GDP AED 606.6 billion, 2007 GDP AED 567.8 billion, annual growth of 6.8% (SCAD, October 2012, WAM report, 09 Dec 2012).
  • Abu Dhabi GDP AED 806 billion in 2011 (preliminary figure), AED 620 billion in 2010, AED 186 billion in 2001 (WAM 07 July 2012, Statistics Center Abu Dhabi (SCAD) data).
  • Abu Dhabi inflation rate 1.9% in 2011 (preliminary figure), 0.8% in 2009, 14.9% in 2008 (WAM 07 July 2012, SCAD data).
  • Abu Dhabi oil production is a significant part of the economy of Abu Dhabi (and the UAE).
  • Manufacturing and tourism are growing industry sectors.
Education and educational institutes in Abu Dhabi
Geography of Abu Dhabi
  • Abu Dhabi emirate shares its north-eastern border with Dubai. The southern and western borders are shared with Saudi Arabia.
  • Abu Dhabi islands - Abu Dhabi has a large number of natural islands, including the one on which the capital city is located.
  • Although maps appear to show a common border with Qatar with a road crossing, the western border crossing is operated by Saudi Arabia which makes it more difficult in terms of visas etc to drive to Qatar.
  • Abu Dhabi is the largest city in the emirate of Abu Dhabi, and is on an island joined to the mainland by several bridges. Al Ain is another large-ish city in the emirate of Abu Dhabi.
  • The Western Region (or Al Gharabiya) is the area west of Abu Dhabi city and includes the towns of Ruwais, Gayathi (Ghayathi), Liwa, Madinat Zayed (not to be confused with the Madinat Zayed suburb in Abu Dhabi city - be careful when offered a job in "Madinat Zayed" that you know where you're going).
  • Telephone area code for Abu Dhabi city and surrounding emirate is 02.
History of Abu Dhabi
  • 1971 - The United Arab Emirates was formed with Abu Dhabi as one of the first 6 emirates (Ras Al Khaimah joined in 1972).
Important and famous people in Abu Dhabi

People in Abu Dhabi

Infrastructure in Abu Dhabi
  • Abu Dhabi infrastructure is relatively modern and comprehensive, unsurprisingly, given the significant oil-derived wealth of the emirate.
  • Post offices in Abu Dhabi - a list
Landmarks in Abu Dhabi
Living in Abu Dhabi

Living in Abu Dhabi

Politics and government in Abu Dhabi

Politics in Abu Dhabi

Population and demographics in Abu Dhabi
  • 09 Oct 2013 (press release) - population of Abu Dhabi city or region was 1.4 million in mid-2012, and Abu Dhabi emirate was 2.3 million, according to the new 2013 Yearbook for Abu Dhabi which was released on Mon 07 Oct 2013 with numbers supplied by Statistics Centre Abu Dhabi (SCAD). Other population data: Al Ain region (0.63 million), Western region or Al Gharbiya region (0.29 million). About 20% of the Abu Dhabi emirate population is Emirati, and about 71% is male.
  • 2012 (mid) - 2.3 million (Abu Dhabi emirate) made up of 1.4 million (Abu Dhabi region), 0.63 million (Al Ain region), 0.29 million (Al Garbiyah or Western region). Figures from the Yearbook 2013 for Abu Dhabi Emirate, reported by the Statistics Centre Abu Dhabi (SCAD) (09 Oc 2013 news).
Religion in Abu Dhabi

Religion in Abu Dhabi

Shopping in Abu Dhabi
  • Abu Dhabi shopping mall directory - list of shopping centers in Abu Dhabi. Big ones worth visiting are:
  • Shops are mostly open 7 days, 1000-2200 or later. Expect many or most shops to be closed on Friday mornings until 1400 or 1600. Some shops will close daily from about 1300-1600.
Tourism in Abu Dhabi
  • Arabian Nights Village in Abu Dhabi - a historical heritage village officially opened Oct 2013.
  • Liwa oasis and desert - a long drive from Abu Dhabi (2-3 hours) but a worthwhile trip to see "proper" sand dunes. A sealed road now takes you out to the Moreeb Dune - the largest in the UAE, but add another hour or so to your journey.
  • Hotels in Abu Dhabi - a list of some suggestions (not complete)
  • Sir Baniyas Island - nature park and wildlife reserve, a bit of a drive from Abu Dhabi (and a boat trip) but well worth making the journey for.
  • See also Art and Culture, Activities, Events, Entertainment in Abu Dhabi headings
Transport in Abu Dhabi
  • Bicycles in Abu Dhabi - risky. Good luck. Yas Island has a cycle evening (free entry, rental bikes available) on Tuesdays. No cars but watch out for joggers.
  • Bus services in Abu Dhabi.
    • Ojra card or pass is AED 30 weekly or AED 80 monthly for unlimited trips in Abu Dhabi city area, does not include suburbs, Al Ain, or Western Region (Al Gharbia). Per trip cost is AED 2 within Abu Dhabi city, AED 5 or more for suburbs (Al Wathba, Bani Yas City, Khalifa City, Mussafah, MBZ City, etc)?
    • 02 Apr 2014 update - bus route changes: 9 new routes, 2 cancelled, 26 routes changed. New routes from downtown city area to: Abu Dhabi University, Al Falah, Al Jadeedah, Al Wathba Souq, Dalma Mall, ICAD Residential City, Masdar City, MBZ City, Shalilah East. Route 116 cancelled, replaced by routes 102 and 115. Route 150 cancelled, replaced by 155, 210, 404,405,406.
  • Driving in Abu Dhabi - similar to Dubai, perhaps a bit more aggressive or careless, especially if you're in Abu Dhabi in a car with Dubai number plates.
  • Rail network Abu Dhabi - Etihad rail, under development.
  • Taxi Abu Dhabi - cheap convenient way to get around.
Travel - Getting to and from Abu Dhabi

Abu Dhabi by air

Weather and climate in Abu Dhabi
  • Spring - hot
  • Summer - welcome to the sauna, very hot and humid, although slightly less humid inland - in the city of Al Ain for example.
  • Autumn - hot
  • Winter - pleasant during the day but can be surprisingly cool at night
Last update Friday 09-May-2014. Page development 1H 2T 3D 4L 5C.
Related pages
Related websites (new window)


Abu Dhabi AUH ABD ADB, Ajman AJM, Al Ain AAN, Dubai DXB, Fujairah FUJ, Ras Al Khaimah RAK, Sharjah SHJ, Umm Al Quwain UAQ

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