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About Abu Dhabi
 
 

The etymology of Abu Dhabi is uncertain and many possibilities exist. One possibility is that as the area had a lot of ẓaby (antelope, gazelle) it was nicknamed after that. Another story claims that it is named after a man who used to chase antelope, and was named "the man" (in Arabic it would be through the construction "father of the antelope") and then the name caught on for the place. Some Bedouins called the place Umm Ẓaby ("mother of antelope"). However, British archives refer to the city as Abu Dhabi and according to books written by Arab historians and poets, the name was first used more than 300 years ago.

 
Most likely, the name was originally Dhu Ẓabi, meaning "with/possessing antelope". Dhu was perhaps dropped because it was either deemed too heavy or did not match the idiom of the local dialect.

In old times, Abu Dhabi was called milh (Arabic for "salt"), probably because of the salty water. Today this is still the name of an island on the Abu Dhabi coast

 
Abu Dhabi is the capital of and the second largest city in the United Arab Emirates. Abu Dhabi lies on a T-shaped island jutting into the Persian Gulf from the central western coast. The city proper, making up an area of 67,340 km2 (26,000 sq mi), had an estimated population of 860,000 in 2008.
 

Abu Dhabi houses important offices of the federal government, and is the seat for the United Arab Emirates Government and the home for the Emirati Royal Family. Abu Dhabi has grown to be a cosmopolitan metropolis. Its rapid development and urbanization, 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, industrial activities, and a major cultural, and commercial centre due to its position as the capital. Abu Dhabi alone generated 56.7% of the GDP of the United Arab Emirates in 2008. Abu Dhabi is home to important financial institutions such as the Abu Dhabi Securities Exchange, the Central Bank of 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 third most expensive city in the region, and 26th most expensive city in the world. Fortune & CNN stated that Abu Dhabi is the richest city in the world, although this is subjective.


Parts of Abu Dhabi were settled in the 3rd millennium BC and its early history fits the nomadic herding and fishing pattern typical of the broader region. Modern Abu Dhabi traces its origins to the rise of an important tribal confederation, the Bani Yas, in the late 18th century, which also subsequently assumed control of the town of Dubai. In the 19th century the Dubai and Abu Dhabi branches parted ways.

Into the mid-20th century, the economy of Abu Dhabi continued to be sustained mainly by camel herding and the growing of dates and vegetables at the inland oases of Al-Ain and Liwa, and fishing and pearl diving off the coast of Abu Dhabi town, which was occupied mainly during the summer months. At that time most dwellings in Abu Dhabi town were constructed from palm fronds (barasti), with the wealthier families occupying mud huts. The growth of the cultured pearl industry in the first half of the 20th century created hardship for residents of Abu Dhabi as pearls represented the largest export and main source of cash earnings.

 
In 1939, Sheikh Shakhbut Bin-Sultan Al Nahyan granted petroleum concessions, and oil was first found in 1958. At first, oil money had a marginal impact. A few low-rise concrete buildings were erected, and the first paved road was completed in 1961, but Sheikh Shakbut, uncertain whether the new oil royalties would last, took a cautious approach, preferring to save the revenue rather than investing it in development. His brother, Zayed bin Sultan Al Nahyan, saw that oil wealth had the potential to transform Abu Dhabi. The ruling Al Nahyan family decided that Sheikh Zayed should replace his brother as ruler and carry out his vision of developing the country. On 6 August 1966, with the assistance of the British, Sheikh Zayed became the new ruler.

With the announcement by the UK in 1968 that it would withdraw from the Persian Gulf area by 1971, Sheikh Zayed became the main driving force behind the formation of the United Arab Emirates.

 
After the Emirates gained independence in 1971, oil wealth continued to flow to the area and traditional mud-brick huts were rapidly replaced with bank, boutiques and modern high-rises.
 
 
YAS ISLAND  

Yas Island is an island in Abu Dhabi. The island is the site of a US$ 36 billion development project by Aldar Properties. It occupies a total land area of 2,500 hectares, of which 1,700 hectares will be claimed for development. The island holds the Yas Island Circuit, which hosts the Formula One Abu Dhabi Grand Prix since 2009. It will also feature attractions such as Warner Bros. Movie World, a movie theme park by Warner Bros, the Ferrari Theme park Ferrari World Abu Dhabi, hotels including Yas Marina Hotel, a water park, and Yas Mall, the Abu Dhabi destination retail development of 300,000 sq m retail area; links and parkland golf courses, lagoon hotels, marinas, polo clubs, apartments, villas and food and beverage outlets that will create a tourist destination

 
Yas Island was named the World's leading tourism project at the World Travel Awards in November 2009.
 
 
GRAND MOSQUE / SHEIKH ZAYED MOSQUE  

Sheikh Zayed Mosque in Abu Dhabi is the largest mosque in the United Arab Emirates and the eight largest mosque in the world. It is named after Sheikh Zayed bin Sultan Al Nahyan, the founder and the first President of the United Arab Emirates, who is also buried there. The mosque was officially opened in the Islamic month of Ramadan in 2007. The design of the Sheikh Zayed Mosque has been inspired by Mughal and Moorish mosque architecture, the Badshahi Mosque in Lahore and the Hassan II Mosque in Casablanca being direct influences. The dome layout and floorplan of the mosque was inspired by the Badshahi Mosque and the architecture was inspired by both Mughal and Moorish design. Its archways are quintessentially Moorish and its minarets classically Arab. The design of the mosque can be best described as a fusion of Arab, Mughal and Moorish architecture.

 
The Mosque is large enough to accommodate 40,000 worshippers. The main prayer hall can accommodate up to 9,000 worshippers. Two rooms next to the main prayer hall, with a 1,500-capacity each, are for the exclusive use of women.
 

There are four minarets on the four corners of the mosque which rise about 115 m (377 ft) in height. There are 57 domes covering the outside yard and the main building as well. The domes are decorated with white marble and the interior decoration is made of marble. The courtyard is paved with floral marble designs and measures about 17,000 m2 (180,000 sq ft).

 
 
EMIRATES PALACE HOTEL  

Located in the capital of the United Arab Emirates, the magnificent Emirates Palace is a national landmark and one of the most impressive hotels and conference venues ever built. Perfect for corporate and leisure travellers, Emirates Palace offers a variety of luxury services to suit every need, whether you come on vacation with your family or for a business meeting or international conference.

 
Emirates Palace, located on 1.3 km of private white sandy beach and surrounded by 85 hectares of beautifully landscaped gardens, is only 30 min drive from Abu Dhabi airport and 1.5 hours drive from Dubai airport.
 

An enchanting landmark that's a wonder to behold for all who venture through its magnificent gates. Fairytales come to life as your senses are treated to an extraordinary and unforgettable experience. Breathe the air of luxury that fills every corner of this serene paradise. Feel the promise of a majestic experience fit for a king and deserving of an emperor. The Palace boasts 302 Grand rooms and 92 magnificent suites each combining the ultimate in luxury with state of the art technology.

 
   
     
   
     
 
 
 
JEBEL HAFEET MOUNTAIN  

Jebel Hafeet is a mountain primarily in the United Arab Emirates on the outskirts of Al Ain. The mountain actually straddles part of the border with Oman. The mountain rises 1240 meters and offers an impressive view over the city. Jebel Hafeet was a well-known landmark throughout the area's history and is a contemporary tourist attraction. An extensive natural cave system winds through Jebel Hafeet.

 
At the foothills of Jebel Hafeet lies the Green Mubazarrah, a well developed tourist attraction. At the Green Mubazarrah, hot-water springs gush forth in little streams and form a lake. Swimming pools and jacuzzis are scattered all over the Green Mubazarrah. Jebel Hafeet is also home to a wide range of animals including bats, foxes, snakes, etc. It is often incorrectly labeled UAE's highest mountain (as it is certainly the most well-known); this honor actually belongs to an unnamed ca 1910m knoll just across the border from Jebel Bil Ays in Oman. Jebel Yibir is the UAE's highest named peak.
 

The Jebel Hafeet Mountain Road extends for 11.7 km up the mountain, rising 1219 m. With 21 corners and three lanes (two climbing and one descending), the immaculate road was called the greatest driving road in the world by Edmunds.com. The road scales the mountain and ends at a parking lot with only a hotel and a palace belonging to the country's rulers. Part of the Climax of the Bollywood film RACE was shot in the Jebel Hafeet Mountain. Built by Strabag International Cologne, Germany Jebel Hafeet Road is the challenge for cyclists who frequently come over to train. The Jebel Hafeet Mercure Challenge is a yearly road cycling competition taking place in January. National & international riders take part in climbing the 8% average ascent of the mighty mountain.

 
   
     
   
     
 
 
 
MERCURE HOTEL  

Mercure Grand Jebel Hafeet with 124 rooms is a unique mountain oasis resort, located at 915 m on Hafeet Mountain, just a 2hr drive from Abu Dhabi and Dubai. With refined authentic architecture reflecting the magic atmosphere of the region, the hotel offers 2 restaurants, a coffee shop and a bar with breathtaking views of the city. There are also various meeting facilities and recreational activities available such as a health club, 3 swimming pools with water slides, mini golf and a kid’s playground.

 
   
     
   
     
 
 
 
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