Abu Dhabi

About Abu Dhabi



Skylines and views

Downtown, Al Reem Island, Yas Island, East part


Sheikh Zayed Mosque
Southeast Abu Dhabi









Corniche Road, WTC


Marina/S Central

Presidential Palace, Emirates Palace, Etihad Towers, Al Marina, Marina Mall


Heritage Village




Al Reem Island

Sowwah Island


Ferrari World
Yas Island

  East Abu Dhabi
North Abu Dhabi
Capital Gate, Yas Island


Population: 921 000 (metro 2 200 000 )

Country: United Arab Emirates (UAE)
Capital of U.A.E.
2014 (January)

Area: km²
Abu Dhabi
Founded year: Settlement 1700s, city 1900s
Tallest building: World Trade Center Residences (381m)

ABOUT Abu Dhabi

Abu Dhabi is the capital of the United Arab Emirates, and the second largest city. Abu Dhabi is also the largest of the seven emirates. It is situated on several islands right next to the Persian Gulf, with a shoreline along Corniche Lake. It is a very glamorous city, with shiny new supertall skyscrapers, wide boulevards, large highways, luxury hotels, malls, beautiful parks with palms and a very nice and long beach right in downtown with a beautiful beach walk called Corniche. Since the royal family lives in Abu Dhabi, that also is the political power of UAE, you find numerous huge royal palaces, some of them only temporary residences and one under construction that will be the largest residential building in the world. Just like Dubai, Abu Dhabi is a city where you find very futuristic and innovative architecture, many world records and some of the buildings are among the tallest in the Middle East. You can also find the largest and most beautiful mosque in the UAE, the only one open for tourists. Many more projects and skyscrapers are under construction or planned for the future!

Abu Dhabi, that means "father of gazells", is a very new city, and one of the world's fastest growing, about 70 years ago it was only a small fishing village! Before the discovery of oil in 1958, pearl trade was the main business. Large parts of the city is situated on islands, and it is a very spread out city with urban sprawl and long distances between the attractions. In 2007, Abu Dhabi was stated the richest city in the world!


We visited Abu Dhabi as a half daytrip with a guided tour from Dubai.

I found Abu Dhabi more beautiful, wealthier and greener then its big brother Dubai. Abu Dhabi is actually a richer emirate then Dubai, and Sheikh Khalifa, that is also the president of the UAE (and has named Dubai's Burj Khalifa), has spent a lot of effot on making the city green. There were even artificial woods outside the city, in the desert! So I wish we could spend more time there, but the tour was very short. Just like or even more then Dubai, you get an artificial feeling when visiting the city, almost like a computer made charmless but very good looking utopia, especially since the city is also very clean and the crime rate is very low.

We were caught up at our hotel in Dubai by a white minivan of older model on a Monday morning. The guide was really nice and experienced. He had roots from India and the driver had roots from Pakistan. He actually compared Dubai with Mumbai. We were only six persons in the van together with an older Finish couple.

We visited the impressive Sheikh Zayed Mosque, that must be one of the world's most beautiful newer buildings, Mirage design center (a design arts center for very expensive arts that the salesman wanted us to buy), had lunch (pizza) in the Marina Mall, that looked like any other exclusive mall in the world, the historic Heritage Village (situated at the seashore, where we learned about the history of A.D.) and a short visit to the ultramodern theme park Ferrari World on Yas Island in the Eastern outskirts. We also made a short stop at the beautiful beach road Corniche, the guide van drew us fastly through Downtown, while I tried to make very fast snapshots of the skyscrapers and streetscenes, not a very easy task. Originally it was planned that we should go inside the so called "7 star" Emirates Palace Hotel, but that was cancelled because members of the royal family was there!