About Abu Dhabi

ON DECEMBER 2ND 2011, THE UNITED ARAB EMIRATES CELEBRATED ITS 40TH NATIONAL DAY

Abu Dhabi is the largest of the seven emirates making up the United Arab Emirates, occupying almost 87% of the country's total area. The city of Abu Dhabi, which sits on an island in the Gulf, is the capital of both the Emirate and the UAE.

Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan is the hereditary ruler of Abu Dhabi and his leadership is supported by the Abu Dhabi Executive Council, which is chaired by His Highness Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi and Deputy Supreme Commander of the Armed Forces of the UAE, Sheikh Mohammed bin Zayed Al Nahyan.

Abu Dhabi started its history as a small pearl-diving community, but the discovery of oil in 1958 transformed the emirate's economy into one of the strongest in the world. Abu Dhabi now holds approximately nine per cent of the world's proven oil reserves and almost five per cent of the world's natural gas.

However, as a result of the government's economic diversification strategy, non-oil and gas GDP now constitutes 64% of the UAE's total GDP. Over the past 10 years Abu Dhabi has invested heavily in industry, real estate, tourism and retail. An enhanced transport infrastructure including a new port, expanded airport and a proposed rail link between Abu Dhabi and Dubai are all in various stages of development.