Abu Dhabi

Abu Dhabi is one of the most modern cities in the world. It is the center of government and business life in the UAE, headquarters of the emirates oil operating companies and embassies are based here. The architecture of its modern buildings and sky scrapers is the finest in the Middle East. Abu Dhabi's oil wealth has been wisely utilized to encourage a healthy trade and commerce atmosphere apart from oil industries too. The promotion of tourism and various tourism-related projects will elevate Abu Dhabi to a Singaporean status in the region. Large gardens and parks, green boulevards lining all the streets and roads, sophisticated high-rise buildings, state-of-the-art communication services and transport, the presence of all the international luxury hotel chains, rich shopping malls, cultural centers and events provide tourists a one-of-a-kind experience all the year round.

Abu Dhabi is the largest of the seven Emirates and the Federal capital of the UAE. Its long coastline - the shallow waters of the Southern Gulf, extending from the base of the Qatar Peninsula in the west to the border of the emirate of Dubai on the north east, was once the world's best waters for pearling. When the pearling industry declined, oil discovery in the offshore oilfields of the Southern Gulf revived the economy of Abu Dhabi. Abu Dhabi was also the first emirate to export oil from the Umm Shaif offshore field in 1962. On the land, it stretches south to the oases of Liwa where some of the world�s largest sand dunes can be found , and east to the ancient oasis of Al Ain. This makes Abu Dhabi the largest as well as the most populated of all the emirates.

Desert Heritage

The emirate was inhabited as far back as the third millennium BC, but the Abu Dhabi of today only truly came into existence in the latter half of the 18th century when it was first settled by the Bani Yas tribe in 1761.

In the early days of the 20th century the economy of Abu Dhabi was centered around camel herding, date oases, fishing and pearl diving.

The discovery of oil in 1958 and its subsequent export from 1962 produced a sudden upsurge in Abu Dhabi 's prosperity and laid the foundations of today's modern society. Abu Dhabi was the first emirate to export oil and under the leadership of the late and much revered HH Sheikh Zayed bin Sultan Al Nahyan, the subsequent revenues were wisely invested in the infrastructure of the emirate.

Traditions

The city�s progressive vision is tempered with a deep-seated respect for traditions and culture, and tucked away between modern towers are heritage locales that tell tales of Abu
Dhabi �s past.

Priority has been given not only to future development but to rediscovering the past through archaeology, the restoration of buildings, museums, establishing indigenous wildlife parks and much more.

Traditional musicians, calligraphers, artists and craftsmen are encouraged to develop their skills and thereby prevent their ancient crafts from dying out. The artifacts and tools of pearl divers, fishermen and dhow builders are carefully preserved and displayed.

Especially honored is the Bedouin way of life. Even though nomadic societies leave little in the way of permanent structures, the people of Abu Dhabi aspire to the noble traditions and values of their desert ancestors.

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