Boasting three main regions – the UAE capital and its surrounds, Al Ain or the Eastern Region and Al Dhafra, the emirate is a destination of geographic diversity, where visitors can explore natural islands, vast deserts, modern cityscapes, rocky heights, cooling oases and pristine beaches.
Abu Dhabi is geographically located on the north-eastern part of the Arabian Gulf in the Arabian Peninsula. Abu Dhabi’s coastline extends to over 373 miles and occupies a significant percentage of the landmass. The total land area of Abu Dhabi emirate is 26,000 miles which comprises mostly of desert, including part of the Empty Quarter, Rub Al Khali and salt flats/sabkha.
Abu Dhabi has nearly 200 small islands. Sadiyat, Al Futaisi and Sir Bani Yas Island are some of the major islands in the emirate. The city is connected to the mainland by three main bridges Maqta bridge, Mussafah bridge and Sheikh Zayed bridge.
Jebel Hafeet is the highest mountain in the emirate touching 0,8 miles, which lies to the south of the city of Al Ain.
A relatively short time ago, Abu Dhabi emirate was little more than an empty, albeit beautiful, desert inhabited by nomadic tribes, with a sprinkling of villages around the more fertile oases. The economy was based around pearl diving, fishing and date palm civilization. Meaning ‘Father of the Gazelle’ in Arabic, Abu Dhabi was founded when a wound antelope led a wandering tribe to a fresh water, on an island with no more than 300 palms (‘barasti’) huts, a few coral buildings and the Ruler’s fort. This simple island settlement has since been transformed into the modern, cosmopolitan city of Abu Dhabi and the high-rise capital of the United Arab Emirates.