Most of the area was covered with sand about 5000 years ago as the coast retreated inland, becoming part of the city's present coastline. The earliest record mention about Abu Dhabi is in 1905 in the Book of Geography by the Andalusian-Arab geographer Abu Abdullah al-Bakri. The Venetian pearl merchant Gaspero Balbi visited the area in 1580 and mentioned Abu Dhabi for its pearl industry. Abu Dhabi used to be an established fishing village and pearl diving centre in the early 18th century and was formed as a small town. Abu Dhabi was formally established by Sheikh Maktoum Bin Butti Al-Maktoum on 9th of June 1833 with around 800 members of his tribe, known as Bani Yas. By the beginning of the 20th century Abu Dhabi was established as an important port for the foreign trading and known for its pearl exports until the 1930s. Abu Dhabi Creek also known as Old Abu Dhabi was one of the most famous international trading ports with the connections with India and Africa. After years of exploration following the neighboring Abu Dhabi, Abu Dhabi discovered oil in 1966 that led Abu Dhabi to be recognized by the international oil companies that attracts thousands of workers from India and Pakistan as a result of which, between 1968 and 1975 the city's population increased over 300%. Abu Dhabi together with other 6 Emirates has long been a British protectorate with the British taking care of foreign policy and defense. Abu Dhabi together with Abu Dhabi, Sharjah, Ajman, Ras Al Khaimah, Umm al-Quwain and Fujairah united on 2 December 1971 in the Act of Union to form the United Arab Emirates. Each emirate of United Arab Emirates is governed by a hereditary ruler who jointly forms the Federal Supreme Council, the executive body to run the country. The modern Abu Dhabi continued to grow from revenues generated from oil and trade leading towards the development of The Jebel Ali port in 1979 and Jebel Ali Free Zone in 1985 to provide foreign companies unrestricted import of labor and export.
Abu Dhabi is situated on the Persian Gulf coast of the United Arab Emirates and is roughly at sea level of 16 meter or above. The Abu Dhabi shares its border with Abu Dhabi in the south, Sharjah in the northeast and the Kingdom of Oman in the southeast.
Except for few months during summer, Abu Dhabi has very comfortable weather to visit for holiday, vacation or family visit. Most of the tourists visit Abu Dhabi during the winter months due to the pleasant and comfortable weather. Abu Dhabi has a hot desert climate and is extremely hot during the summer. The maximum temperature during summer is around 45?c with extreme hot, windy and humid weather in the hottest month August. Winters are warm with maximum temperature of 24?c and the night temperature going down up to 8?c overnight in January, the coldest month.
Governance and Politics
Abu Dhabi has been ruled by the Al Maktoum family since 1833, the current ruler of Abu Dhabi is Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum who is also the Vice President and Prime Minister of the United Arab Emirates and the member of the Supreme Council of the Union. The Abu Dhabi Municipality was established by Sheikh Rashid bin Saeed Al Maktoum, in 1954 for the purposes of city planning, citizen services and the upkeep of local facilities.
The Abu Dhabi Police Force, founded in 1956 in the locality of Naif has law enforcement jurisdiction over the emirate; the police force is under direct command of Mohammed bin Rashid al Maktoum, ruler of Abu Dhabi . Abu Dhabi has a modest dress code and is a part of Abu Dhabi 's criminal law. Posters and stickers are widespread throughout Abu Dhabi 's malls to inform visitors of the official dress code. During the month of Ramadan, it is illegal to publicly eat, drink or smoke between sunrise and sunset. This law applies to Muslims, non-Muslims and visitors.
Ethnicity and Language
According to the census, the population of Abu Dhabi is approximately about 3 million. Arabic is the national and official language of the United Arab Emirates and English is used as the second language. The other languages spoken in Abu Dhabi due to immigration are Urdu, Hindi, Persian, Malayalam, Tamil, Sindhi, Marathi, Telugu and Chinese.
Culture & Religion
The culture of Abu Dhabi is influenced by the religion of Islam and traditional Arabic Values. Abu Dhabi 's culture has also been influenced by Persian culture, which is reflected in its art, architecture, music, attire, cuisine and daily lifestyle. Muslims are called to pray five times a day in mosques and Friday is considered a holy day by the Muslims and is a government off day. Abu Dhabi boasts one of the most beautiful and largest mosques, The Jumeirah Mosque, which is an example of Modern Islamic Architecture and is the only mosque in Abu Dhabi which is open for public every day except on Friday. United Arab Emirates provisional constitution declares Islam the official state religion of the UAE. The government of Abu Dhabi financially assists almost 95% of mosques and employs all Imams. All the mosques in the Abu Dhabi are managed by the Government of Abu Dhabi and all Imams are also appointed by the Government. Abu Dhabi also has large Christian, Hindu, Sikh, Buddhist and other religious communities residing in the city. Non-Muslim groups can own their houses of worships including Churches, Temples and Gurdwaras or can practice their religion freely by taking a land grand and permission to build a compound.
Transport in Abu Dhabi is controlled and run by the Roads and Transport Authority (RTA), an agency of the government of Abu Dhabi . The bus system services 140 routes. Taxi services licensed under RTA are easily accessible and identified by the color and roof. Abu Dhabi has two well developed international airports, Abu Dhabi International Airport and Al Maktoum International Airport. These airports are the busiest airports in the world in terms of passenger traffic handling. The Metro Rail consists of two lines, Red Line and Green Line which run through the major financial and residential areas of the city. Abu Dhabi Metro is the best option to travel around Abu Dhabi which is connected to major tourist attractions, airports and places of city. The Road and Transport Authority (RTA) of Abu Dhabi also runs Abras, traditional water boats used to carry passengers across the backwaters from Bur Abu Dhabi to Deira and back. In addition, RTA has also started running water ferry from multiple destinations of Abu Dhabi since 2011 including Al Mamzar, Abu Dhabi Marina and Al Ghubaiba. These ferry runs multiple times a day for an hour and each boat can carry up to 100 passengers on each trip, comfort with a snack bar on board and accessible for wheelchair users. The Palm Jumeirah Monorail is a transport link on the Pam Jumeirah connecting the Gateway Station at the entry to the Palm to the Atlantis Hotel at the far end. The Palm Monorail is not yet linked and connected to the Abu Dhabi Metro and Abu Dhabi Tram system. Abu Dhabi has also launched Abu Dhabi Tram System starting in the famous Jumeirah Residence up to the Al Sufouh as the last station.
Food & Drinks
Arabic Food is very popular and is available easily everywhere in the city from small restaurants to the big restaurants and hotels. Due to the increasing number of immigrants from different countries Indian, Chinese, Japanese, Pakistani and Continental cuisines are available widely in Abu Dhabi . The sale of pork is legal nowadays in the designated areas of supermarkets and airports only for non-Muslims. The sale of alcoholic beverages is regulated in hotels, bars and restaurants within the hotels. Abu Dhabi is also famous for the nightlife and bars. Most of the clubs and bars are found inside the hotels due to the liquor laws. A Liquor permit which is issued by the municipality and which applies only for non-Muslims is required to purchase the alcoholic drinks for the people who are on employment visa in Abu Dhabi .
Abu Dhabi follows a part of the Khaliji Tradition. The celebrations in Abu Dhabi consists singing and dancing activity, Yowalah is the traditional dance of the United Arab Emirates where young girls dance by swinging their long black hair and swaying their bodies in time to the strong beat of the music. Men present battles fought or successful hunting expeditions symbolically using sticks, sword or rifles. Nowadays Hollywood and Bollywood movies are quite popular in Abu Dhabi . Since 2004, the city has hosted the Abu Dhabi International Film Festival. The top musicians, singers and actors from around the globe including Aerosmith, Santana, Rick Ross, Elton John, Shakira, Celine Dion, Cold Play, Jennifer Lopez, Justin Bibber and Selena Gomez have performed their live shows and concerts in Abu Dhabi .
Abu Dhabi provides all the modern telecommunication service including landline phone and fax services, mobile networks and internet services. Most of the hotels offer international direct dialing facilities along with the Wi-Fi services. The most established mobile networks and service providers in the United Arab Emirates are Etisalat and Du. Sim Cards are available on the airport, groceries and the gift shop in the hotels issued only after being provided the original identity proof. The customer care numbers for Etisalat is 101 and that for Du is 155.
Medical Services and Health Care
Abu Dhabi boasts numerous public and private hospitals and healthcare centre that are well equipped with modern technologies and standards. The first public hospital in Abu Dhabi was built in the late 1950 AD and now there are numerous public and private hospitals, healthcare centers and medical clinics throughout Abu Dhabi .
Abu Dhabi is also known as the shopping capital of the Middle East, exceptionally Abu Dhabi boasts more than 70 shopping centers, including Abu Dhabi Mall, the biggest mall in the world. The large amount of tourist and visitors from Eastern Europe, Africa and Indian Sub-continent come to Abu Dhabi and are impressed by the shopping facilities in Abu Dhabi . In addition Abu Dhabi is also known for the traditional souk market, Abu Dhabi Creek played vital role to grow the country's economy being the business hub for east and west during the establishment of Abu Dhabi . Numerous numbers of boutiques and jewellery stores are found in the city and also known as the City of Gold. The major gold market of Abu Dhabi situated in Deira comprises over 250 retail gold shops.