Living in Abu Dhabi: First Things First
Considered to be one of the most expensive and richest cities in the world, Abu Dhabi is one of the 7 Emirates and the capital city of the United Arab Emirates. Abu Dhabi is located on an island that is T-shaped and stretches into the Persian Gulf, out of the western coast of the United Arab Emirates. It is the largest of all emirates with an increasing population of 2.23M people just a little behind Dubai which is the most populated city in the UAE. Emiratis make up 20% of its population.
As the capital of the United Arab Emirates, Abu Dhabi houses many offices and buildings that belong to government officials, including the President of the United Arab Emirates, Sheikh Khalifa Bin Zayed Al Nahyan. As the political, cultural, financial and industrial center of the country, Abu Dhabi is without a doubt, the most developed and richest city in the entire world. The United Arab Emirates holds 10% of the earth’s total oil reserves, and 90% of these reserves are owned by Abu Dhabi. It also produces much of the world’s oil and has served as a safe haven for investors and tourists from across the globe alike.
The Abu Dhabi emirate is also rich in natural beauty. Its island-dotted coastline gives way to a desert interior of fertile oases, scenic wadis, and thousand-foot-high dunes on the edge of the Rub al Khali, or Empty Quarter, a barren tract of sandy wilderness stretching into Oman, Saudi Arabia, and Yemen. In the oases, date palms thrive and forts still stand where caravans once paused along their ancient trading routes and where travelers today will find gardens, spas, museums, and outdoor activities, along with the opportunity to experience Bedouin hospitality.
Today, Abu Dhabi’s prosperity is most notable along its coast, where the skyscrapers, luxury hotels, and landscaped parks of the capital city welcome a mix of tourists, business travelers, foreign workers, and expatriates—all while preserving the Islamic heritage and Arab cultural roots of the Emiratis.