Abu Dhabi, located to the south of the Persian Gulf, is the capital of the United Arab Emirates (UAE). Abu Dhabi is bordered by Saudi Arabia to the south and west and the Sultanate of Oman to the southeast. The population is estimated at 1.5 million, of which 80% are expatriates. The ruler of Abu Dhabi is Sheikh Khalifa Bin Zayed Al Nahyan, who is also the ruler of the UAE.
Abu Dhabi is one of the world’s largest producers of oil and is considered to be the wealthiest of the seven emirates in terms of per capita income and GDP. At one point, falconry, pearling, camel herding and date production constituted most of the local economy. In recent years, Abu Dhabi’s economy has become diversified to include tourism, real estate and financial services.
The city of Abu Dhabi offers a wide selection of entertainment options. These range from golf courses, shopping malls and spas to cultural activities such as desert safaris and camel riding. Visitors to Abu Dhabi will find a variety of ethnic cuisines available, including Japanese, Italian, French and Persian.
Arabic is the official language of the UAE but many workers come from the UK, Pakistan, India and other Asian countries. Consequently, English, Tagalog and Urdu are widely spoken.
The official currency of the UAE is the Dirham, which is abbreviated to AED (1$ = 3.68 AED).
Religion & customs
The religion of the UAE is Islam. Abu Dhabi is generally conservative, but is nevertheless tolerant when it comes to dress codes. As a sign of respect for local culture and customs, both women and men are advised not to wear revealing clothes in public places. Alcohol is only permitted in hotel restaurants and pubs.
The climate of UAE is sunny and warm year round. An increase in temperature and humidity occurs between the months of May and September, with temperatures averaging over 40°C (104° F). Sand storms are a common occurrence during these months and can drastically reduce visibility. Cooler weather is typical from November through March.