About Abu Dhabi

Meaning 'Land of the Gazelle' in Arabic, Abu Dhabi is the federal capital of the United Arab Emirates and the largest of the seven emirates. The Emirate lies on the borders with the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, the Sultanate of Oman and the Arabian Gulf. The emirate comprises 200 islands and has 700 kilometers of coastline.

Abu Dhabi is the largest and most populated of the seven emirates that make up the United Arab Emirates. Across the UAE, Emirati citizens make up nearly 20% of the total population; the other 80% are expatriates from Asia, Africa, Australia, Europe and North America.



In recent decades, the emirate of Abu Dhabi has undergone a significant transformation in economic growth. Due to the vision of Abu Dhabi's leaders and the abundance of oil and natural gas reserves, the emirate has grown to become a dynamic hub and major competitor on the global stage. While recognising the success of the oil sector, Abu Dhabi is working hard to reduce its reliance on hydrocarbons and broaden the emirate's economy. Investment in infrastructure, tourism, transport, health and education is continuing, in line with the government's 2030 economic plan.

Tourism is playing in integral role in Abu Dhabi's economic development. Major investment in new luxury resorts and business hotels is underway. Abu Dhabi has many things to offer to its visitors and residents: a versatile landscape, thriving investment hub, and a friendly environment boasting one of the highest per capita incomes and one of the lowest crime rates in the world.



Abu Dhabi has become a centre for world-class sporting events such as: the Special Olympics, AFC Asian Cup, Abu Dhabi Golf Championship, the prestigious Abu Dhabi Desert Challenge cross-country rally and the Formula 1 Abu Dhabi Grand Prix.

In addition, the city will soon house the world's largest concentration of premier cultural institutions which will include the Sheikh Zayed National Museum, the Guggenheim Abu Dhabi and Louvre Abu Dhabi.

Abu Dhabi is rich in natural wonders too. While the emirate's famous Liwa oasis in the south of the emirate is home to some of the largest and most beautiful sand dunes in the world, the garden city of Al Ain in the foothills of Jebel Hafeet is home to several heritage sites.


Ruling Family & Governance

Abu Dhabi is ruled by HH Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan, who is also the President of the UAE. The ruling Al Nahyan family descends from a sub-section of Bani Yas tribe, known as Al Bu Falah. They originally lived in the Liwa oasis and settled in Abu Dhabi in 1793 where they lived in Qasr Al Hosn for almost two centuries.

Abu Dhabi has an Executive Council chaired by its Crown Prince, HH General Sheikh Mohammed bin Zayed Al Nahyan, under which separate departments function like ministries. It also has several autonomous agencies with clearly specified powers and a 60-member National Consultative Council comprising representatives of the main tribes.


General Facts

Language Religion
Arabic (official) Islam
English (widely used)  


Coordinates Area
Located between latitudes 22°40 and around 25° north and longitudes 51° and around 56° east. 67,340 sq km (87% of the total area of the UAE)
Climate Currency
Tropical, semi-dry climate, with hot summers, warm winters and scanty rainfall. UAE Dirham (AED)
Airports Timezone
Abu Dhabi International Airport UTC +4 hours