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    (Wikipedia) - Abu Dhabi This article is about the city. For the emirate, see Abu Dhabi (emirate). Abu Dhabi أبو ظبي Abu Dhabi Country Emirate Government  • Type  • Sheikh  • Crown Prince Area  • Total Population (2013)  • Total  • Density Time zone Website
    Clockwise, from top left: Skyline from Marina, Etihad Towers, Ferrari World, Skyline from Breakwaters Marina, Emirates Palace, Desert Ripples.
    Abu DhabiUaE
    Coordinates: 24°28′N 54°22′E / 24.467°N 54.367°E / 24.467; 54.367Coordinates: 24°28′N 54°22′E / 24.467°N 54.367°E / 24.467; 54.367
    United Arab Emirates
    Abu Dhabi

    Constitutional monarchy

    Khalifa bin Zayed
    Mohammed bin Zayed
    972.45 km2 (375.47 sq mi)
    950/km2 (2,500/sq mi)
    UAE standard time (UTC+4)
    Abu Dhabi Government Portal
    Abu Dhabi is known asرشكشا ((transelated too ri-shi-kesh in English)) to the local Arabic and through the historic inscriptions.
    Aerial view of Abu Dhabi on the coast of the Persian Gulf

    Abu Dhabi (US /ˈɑːbuː ˈdɑːbi/, UK /ˈæbuː ˈdɑːbi/; Arabic: أبو ظبي‎ Abū Ẓabī Emirati pronunciation ) is the capital and the second most populous city in the United Arab Emirates, and also capital of Abu Dhabi emirate, the largest of the UAE''s seven member emirates. Abu Dhabi lies on a T-shaped island jutting into the Persian Gulf from the central western coast. The city proper had a population of 921,000 in 2013.

    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 has grown to be a cosmopolitan metropolis. Its rapid development and urbanisation, coupled with the relatively high average income of its population, has transformed Abu Dhabi to a larger and advanced metropolis. Today the city is the country''s center 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.

    Abu Dhabi is home to important financial institutions such as the Abu Dhabi Securities Exchange, the Central Bank of the United Arab Emirates and the corporate headquarters of many companies and numerous multinational corporations. One of the world''s largest producers of oil, Abu Dhabi has actively attempted to diversify its economy in recent years through investments in financial services and tourism.

    Abu Dhabi is the fourth most expensive city for expatriate employees in the region, and in 2014 was the 68th most expensive big city in the world. Fortune magazine and CNN stated in 2007 that Abu Dhabi is the richest city in the world, having been between $800 billion to approximately $875 billion USD. The Sovereign Wealth Fund Institute puts the figure at US$773 billion .


    History Early civilizations

    Abu Dhabi is full of archeological evidence that points to civilizations, such as the Umm an-Nar Culture, having been located there from the third millennium BC. Settlements were also found further outside the modern city of Abu Dhabi but closer to the modern city of Al Ain. There is evidence of civilizations around the mountain of Hafeet (Jebel Hafeet). This location is very strategic because it is the UAE’s second tallest mountain, so it would have great visibility. It also contains a lot of moisture in its springs and lakes, which means that there would have been more moisture thousands of years ago.

    Origin of the name Abu Dhabi

    The origin of the name "Abu Dhabi" is uncertain. Meaning "Father of Deer", when literally translated from Arabic, it probably referred to the few gazelles that inhabit the emirate. According to Bilal al-Budoor, assistant under-secretary for Cultural Affairs at the Ministry of Culture, Youth and Community Development, "The area had a lot of dhibaa , and was nicknamed after that." An old story tells about a man who used to chase deer and was named the "father" of the animal. Abu Dhabi''s original name was Milh "salt", possibly referring to the salty water of the Persian Gulf, or the ancient salt marshes that surround the city. Some Bedouins called the city Umm Dhabi (mother of deer), while British records refer to the place as Abu Dhabi. According to some historical accounts, the name Abu Dhabi was first used more than 300 years ago. The first word of Abu Dhabi is pronounced "Bu" by inhabitants on the city''s western coast. In the eastern part of the city, the pronunciation is "Abu".

    Origins of the Al Nahyan family

    The Bani Yas bedouin were originally centered on the Liwa Oasis. This tribe was the most significant in the area, having over 20 subsections. In 1793, the 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 Al Nahyan family. This family makes up the rulers of Abu Dhabi today.

    Pearl trade

    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 oxygen 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.

    Trucial coast

    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.

    First oil discoveries

    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 8,755 feet (2,669 m). 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.

    Geography Main article: Geography of the United Arab EmiratesAbu Dhabi seen from SPOT satellite

    The city of Abu Dhabi is on the northeastern part of the Persian Gulf in the Arabian Peninsula. 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 suburbs on the mainland, for example: Khalifa City A, B, and C; Al Raha Beach; Al Bahia City A, B, and C; Al Shahama; Al Rahba; Between Two Bridges; Baniyas; and Mussafah Residential.


    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 38 °C (100 °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 cold. This period also sees dense fog on some days. On average, January is the coolest month in the year, while July and August are the hottest.

    Climate data for Abu Dhabi Month Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec Year Record high °C (°F) Average high °C (°F) Daily mean °C (°F) Average low °C (°F) Record low °C (°F) Precipitation mm (inches) Avg. precipitation days (≥ 0.2 mm)  % humidity Mean monthly sunshine hours
    33.7 (92.7) 38.1 (100.6) 43.0 (109.4) 44.7 (112.5) 46.9 (116.4) 48.8 (119.8) 48.7 (119.7) 49.2 (120.6) 47.7 (117.9) 43.0 (109.4) 38.0 (100.4) 33.4 (92.1) 49.2 (120.6)
    24.1 (75.4) 26.0 (78.8) 29.5 (85.1) 34.5 (94.1) 39.3 (102.7) 40.8 (105.4) 42.1 (107.8) 42.9 (109.2) 40.4 (104.7) 36.5 (97.7) 31.1 (88) 26.3 (79.3) 34.46 (94.02)
    18.8 (65.8) 19.6 (67.3) 22.6 (72.7) 26.4 (79.5) 31.2 (88.2) 33.0 (91.4) 34.9 (94.8) 35.3 (95.5) 32.7 (90.9) 29.1 (84.4) 24.5 (76.1) 20.8 (69.4) 27.41 (81.33)
    13.2 (55.8) 14.6 (58.3) 17.5 (63.5) 20.8 (69.4) 23.8 (74.8) 26.1 (79) 28.8 (83.8) 29.5 (85.1) 26.6 (79.9) 23.2 (73.8) 18.7 (65.7) 15.8 (60.4) 21.55 (70.79)
    5.0 (41) 5.0 (41) 8.4 (47.1) 11.2 (52.2) 16.0 (60.8) 19.8 (67.6) 16.5 (61.7) 17.0 (62.6) 19.0 (66.2) 12.0 (53.6) 10.5 (50.9) 7.1 (44.8) 5 (41)
    7.0 (0.276) 21.2 (0.835) 14.5 (0.571) 6.1 (0.24) 1.3 (0.051) 0 (0) 0 (0) 1.5 (0.059) 0 (0) 0 (0) 0.3 (0.012) 5.2 (0.205) 57.1 (2.249)
    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
    68 67 63 58 55 60 61 63 64 65 65 68 63.1
    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)

    Under the umbrella of the Department of Municipal Affairs, Abu Dhabi Central Capital District has its own local government. Members are selected through the emir.

    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.

    CityscapePanoramic view of the Corniche.NeighborhoodsSkyscrapers on West Corniche Rd, Al Ras Al Akhdar, in March 2013. Etihad Towers at the right.
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