Discover Abu Dhabi

About Abu Dhabi

Abu Dhabi is the largest emirate of the United Arab Emirates. It makes up nearly 87 per cent of the country’s total landmass and includes the capital – the city of Abu Dhabi, home to more than 1.3 million people.

Established in 1971, the UAE is a federation of seven emirates with two separate levels of government. Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan, the ruler of the Emirate of Abu Dhabi, is also the president of the UAE.

The Emirate of Abu Dhabi holds 9 per cent of the world’s proven oil reserves and almost 5 per cent of the world’s proven supplies of natural gas. Nevertheless, the government of Abu Dhabi has an ambitious plan to diversify the local economy over the next 20-30 years to make sure the emirate continues to grow in a sustainable way.

Since 2010, New York University Abu Dhabi – founded in partnership between NYU and the Emirate of Abu Dhabi – has enjoyed and contributed to the rich mix of perspectives and the passion for innovation unique to this city.


The Louvre Abu Dhabi (pictured)

The origins of the Louvre Abu Dhabi date back to 2007 when France and the UAE came together to develop a new kind of cultural institution. The result is a museum rooted in universal human values, the first of its kind in the region. Louvre Abu Dhabi represents the dynamic nature of the contemporary Arab world, while celebrating the region’s vibrant multicultural heritage. Louvre Abu Dhabi opened in 2017.

Grand Mosque (pictured)

No journey through Abu Dhabi’s cultural highlights would be complete without a stop at the Sheikh Zayed Grand Mosque. Envisioned as a fusion of styles from different Muslim civilisations and a celebration of cultures across the world, the mosque is a symbol of Abu Dhabi’s tolerance and diversity. With 1,000 pillars and 80 marble domes, the building is a masterpiece of architecture and a true celebration of Islamic culture, creativity and ambition.

Qasr Al Hosn (pictured)

Qasr Al Hosn is the oldest and most significant building in Abu Dhabi, holding the city’s first permanent structure – the watchtower. Built in the 1790s, the commanding structure overlooked the coastal trade routes and protected the growing settlement established on the island. Qasr Al Hosn is comprised of two iconic buildings, the Inner Fort and the Outer Palace. Over the centuries, it has been home to the ruling family, the seat of government, a consultative council and a national archive; it now stands as the nation’s living memorial and the narrator of Abu Dhabi’s history.

Yas Island

Yas Island is Abu Dhabi’s premiere entertainment destination, a 15-20 minute drive from Saadiyat Island.

  • Yas Marina Circuit – host to the annual F1™ Etihad Airways Abu Dhabi Grand Prix.
  • Yas Marina – home to super yachts, restaurants and bars.
  • Ferrari World – the world’s first Ferrari-branded theme park featuring the world’s fastest rollercoaster and 20 other exhilarating and educational rides and attractions.
  • Yas Waterworld – a futuristic waterpark that spans the area of 15 football pitches.
  • Yas Mall – Abu Dhabi’s biggest and the UAE’s second-largest shopping centre.


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