ABU DHABI WEATHER

Info Abu Dhabi

introduction

Abu Dhabi is the capital and the second most populous city in the United Arab Emirates (the most populous being Dubai), and also capital of Abu Dhabi emirate, the largest of the UAE's seven member emirates. Abu Dhabi lies on a T-shaped island jutting into the Persian Gulf from the central western coast. 

Abu Dhabi is one of the most modern cities in the world. With a population of just under 1.5 million, Abu Dhabi is the headquarters of numerous oil companies and embassies. With only 420,000 citizens in the entire emirate, each has an average net worth of $17 million (Dhs. 64M). The city features large gardens and parks, green boulevards lining all the streets and roads, sophisticated high-rise buildings, international luxury hotel chains and opulent shopping malls.

Long viewed as a staid bureaucratic outpost entirely lacking in neighboring Dubai's pizzazz, things started to change radically in 2004 after long-ruler Sheikh Zayed passed away and his son Sheikh Khalifa took over. In a bid to attract tourism and investment, land sales to foreigners were allowed and restrictions on alcohol were loosened.

Abu Dhabi's rapid development and urbanisation, coupled with the relatively high average income of its population, has transformed the city into a large and advanced metropolis. Today the city is the country's center of political and industrial activities, and a major cultural and commercial centre, due to its position as the capital. Abu Dhabi accounts for about two-thirds of the roughly $400-billion United Arab Emirates economy.

info
POPULATION : City: 1,031,992 
FOUNDED : 
TIME ZONE : UAE standard time (UTC+4)   
LANGUAGE : Arabic (official), Persian, English, Hindi, Urdu
RELIGION : Islam
AREA : 972 km2 (375 sq mi)
ELEVATION :
COORDINATES : 24°28′N 54°22′E
SEX RATIO : Male: 70%  
 Female: 30%
ETHNIC : Emirati 19%, other Arab and Iranian 23%, South Asian 50%, other expatriates (includes Westerners) 8%
AREA CODE : 2
POSTAL CODE :
DIALING CODE : +971 2
WEBSITE : www.abudhabi.ae

Tourism

Abu Dhabi is the federal capital and center of government in the United Arab Emirates. It is the largest city of the Emirate of Abu Dhabi and one of the most modern cities in the world.

With a population of just under 1.5 million, Abu Dhabi is the headquarters of numerous oil companies and embassies. With only 420,000 citizens in the entire emirate, each has an average net worth of $17 million (Dhs. 64M). The city features large gardens and parks, green boulevards lining all the streets and roads, sophisticated high-rise buildings, international luxury hotel chains and opulent shopping malls.

Long viewed as a staid bureaucratic outpost entirely lacking in neighboring Dubai's pizzazz, things started to change radically in 2004 after long-ruler Sheikh Zayed passed away and his son Sheikh Khalifa took over. In a bid to attract tourism and investment, land sales to foreigners were allowed and restrictions on alcohol were loosened.

Several massive projects are also under way. Yas Island hosts Abu Dhabi's Formula 1 track and the Ferrari World theme park, while the upcoming $28 billion cultural zone of Saadiyat Island and its centerpieces the Louvre and Guggenheim museums are scheduled to open in 2015 and 2017 (respectively). It remains to be seen how well the strategy will work but the city is certainly experiencing a construction boom.


Orientation

Most of Abu Dhabi is on a wedged-shaped Island connect by two bridges to the mainland.

Street addresses in Abu Dhabi are simultaneously very logical and hopelessly confusing. Many roads have traditional names, like "Airport Rd", which may not correspond to the official names, like "Maktoum St", and the city is divided into traditional districts like "Khalidiyya". However, by recent decree, the city has been split up into numbered "zones" and "sectors", with all roads in each sector numbered, First St, Second St, etc., and the vast majority of street signs only refer to these. The system of main streets is straight forward enough once you realize that the odd numbered streets run across the island and the even numbers run along it. So First St is in fact the Corniche, and the odd numbers continue out of town to 31st St which is near the new Khalifa Park. Airport Rd is Second St and the even numbers continue to the east through to 10th St by Abu Dhabi Mall. On the west side of Airport Rd, the numbers go from 22nd Street to 32nd St by the new Bateem Marina. Alas, confusion is caused by the local streets, which are on green signs (main streets are on blue signs) and are also called First, Second etc. Most locals opt to ignore the system entirely, and the best way to give instructions is thusnavigating by landmarks, if taking a taxi, odds are you will get to "behind the Hilton Baynunah" much faster than "Fifth Street, Sector 2".


SHOPPING

Abu Dhabi is a compulsive shopper's dream. There are several malls, most of which have the same stores as other malls. Besides establishments aimed at locals, malls also include popular foreign chain stores, as well as designer places. Many visitors will be surprised at the female fashion dichotomy - while local custom calls for women to be covered in public, most stores sell short skirts and halter tops alongside the more sedate floor-length skirts and high-necked shirts.

Abu Dhabi Mall (in Tourist Club Area, adjacent to the Beach Rotana Hotel.). a three story shopping mall 

Marina Mall (in the Water Breaker area near the magnificent Emirates Palace. It also contains one of two Carrefour hypermarkets in town.). boasts a musical fountain and ceilings that thunder and rain.

Yas Mall. Opened in 2014 next to Ferrari World on Yas Island. This is the biggest mall in Abu Dhabi and the 16th biggest mall in the world.It has the first Lego store in the UAE. It is connected to Ferrari World. 

Al Wahda Mall (in the center of downtown (11th and 4th Streets)). a large, modern mall. Stores are high-end, the food court is extensive, and the LuLu Hypermart in the basement is probably the largest grocery and dry goods store in, well, anywhere. 

Khalidiya Mall. Khalidiya mall is a nice place to visit. The droll fashion stores may grip you for maybe several seconds, but then the obvious lack of things to do kicks in. However, the food court is popular, alongside New York Fries, Chili's and a Dunkin' Donuts + Baskin Robbins.
Downstairs there is an extortionate Krispy Kreme and Starbucks, and a what looks to be an Indian/Arabian cuisine restaurant, which seems good but looks to be unpopular. 

Boutik (on Reem Island). A mall with still many empty spaces to be filled, but it already has a supermarket, cafe, restaurant, and a playground, among others.

There are also many small, independent stores around the city. On the bottom floor of one building, a person can purchase fancy chocolates, computer parts, antiques, and clothing. It is better to purchase things like carpets, art, native jewelry, and antiques at the independent or souk-like places than at the malls, as the price will be lower and the shopkeepers more willing to haggle.

Bargaining is a big part of shopping in the Emirates, but be prudent. Don't bargain at Marks and Spencer or Hang Ten. Save your discounting skills for independent shops dealing in antiques and the like.

Shopping in most places can be frustrating, as the clerks will follow you around the store. This is partly due to their concept of what constitutes good service, and partly because there is a shoplifting problem. Most will not be intrusive, but some employees can be very pushy and overly obsequious. Smile and thank them often, and you're more likely to be left alone after a bit.


THINGS TO SEE

Abu Dhabi offers little in the way of historical or cultural sights but it certainly isn’t lacking in attractions and many of them are free.

Sheikh Zayed Grand Mosque , Second Shaikh Rashid Bin Saeed. The 8th largest mosque in the world. On Fridays, it is closed to the public and open only for worshippers. You can get there by public bus (bus 54).  Make sure to ask the bus driver to let you know once you get there. The public bus stop is 100 meters before the mosque and after that is no stop for the next 5 km. The Mosque Centre offers several free tours through the mosque every day. Times vary on a daily basis, so check the homepage. As it is a place for worshippers, dress conservatively. In particular, women need to cover their head, and if they have sandals, also their ankles. Appropriate black dress is available at the mosque. You will avoid the need to queue for the clothing if you wear solid shoes, a long dress or long pants, and take a scarf to cover your head/hair. Clothing is also available for men, but will likely be unnecessary. Even when taking photos outside the mosque, women who are inappropriately dressed will be challenged by security. 

Qasr al-Hosn . The oldest stone building in Abu Dhabi, this small fort was first constructed in 1761 and served as the royal palace from the late 18th century until 1966. The site is currently surrounded by boards, and the building itself is not open to the public. 

Corniche. Abu Dhabi's spectacular waterfront stretches for miles from the Breakwater near Marina Shopping Mall almost up to the Mina Zayed port. It has a walkway for the entire length, and certain stretches have sandy beaches. There are also many activities like go-cart riding, playgrounds and even stages for shows. All this against a backdrop of the impressive towers of downtown Abu Dhabi. Come in the evening and you feel as if the whole of Abu Dhabi have come here for their evening walk.

Flagpole. At 123m, this is among the world's tallest flagpoles, and you won't miss the massive UAE flag hanging off it. On Marina Island across from Marina Mall. 

Abu Dhabi has several large green spaces, many of which include play areas and equipment for children, and the city is studded with lovely fountains, swathes of neon light, and the occasional sculpture.

Khalifa Park (off Al Salam St (8th) near the Grand Mosque). The best park by far, built at a cost of $50 million. Has its own aquarium, museum, train, play parks and formal gardens. 

Cultural Events The Abu Dhabi Cultural Centre has become a landmark in the Emirates and holds cultural events and workshops throughout the year. It has a well-stocked library, children's programs, art exhibitions, benefits, and other culture-related activities that are the hallmark of any city. It's well worth a look.

History

Abu Dhabi is full of archeological evidence that points to civilizations, such as the Umm an-Nar Culture, having been located there from the third millennium BCE.Settlements were also found farther outside the modern city of Abu Dhabi but closer to the modern city of Al Ain. There is evidence of civilizations around the mountain of Hafeet (Jebel Hafeet). This location is very strategic because it is the UAE’s second tallest mountain, so it would have great visibility. It also contains a lot of moisture in its springs and lakes, which means that there would have been more moisture thousands of years ago.

The origin of the name "Abu Dhabi" is uncertain. Meaning "Father of the Gazelle", when literally translated from Arabic, it probably referred to the few gazelles that inhabit the emirate.

The Bani Yas bedouin were originally centered on the Liwa Oasis. This tribe was the most significant in the area, having over 20 subsections. In 1793, the Al Bu Falah subsection migrated to the island of Abu Dhabi on the coast of the Persian Gulf due to the discovery of fresh water there. One family within this section was the Al Nahyan family. This family makes up the rulers of Abu Dhabi today.

Abu Dhabi worked in the pearl business and traded with others. According to a source about pearling, the Persian Gulf was the best location for pearls.

In the 19th century, as a result of treaties (known as "truces" which gave the coast its name) entered into between Great Britain and the sheikhs of the Arab States of the Persian Gulf, Britain became the predominant influence in the area. The main purpose of British interest was to protect the trade route to India from pirates, hence the earlier name for the area, the "Pirate Coast". After piracy was suppressed, other considerations came into play, such as a strategic need of the British to exclude other powers from the region. Following their withdrawal from India in 1947, the British maintained their influence in Abu Dhabi as interest in the oil potential of the Persian Gulf grew.

In the 1930s, as the pearl trade declined, interest grew in the oil possibilities of the region. On 5 January 1936, Petroleum Development (Trucial Coast) Ltd (PDTC), an associate company of the Iraq Petroleum Company, entered into a concession agreement with the ruler, Sheikh Shakhbut bin Sultan al Nahyan, to explore for oil. This was followed by a seventy-five-year concession signed in January 1939.

In 1962, the company discovered the Bu Hasa field and ADMA followed in 1965 with the discovery of the Zakum offshore field. Today, the main producing fields onshore are Asab, Sahil and Shah, and offshore are al-Bunduq, and Abu al-Bukhoosh.

Climate

Abu Dhabi has a hot desert climate.

Sunny blue skies can be expected throughout the year. The months of June through September are generally extremely hot with maximum temperatures averaging above 38 °C (100 °F). During this time, sandstorms occur intermittently, in some cases reducing visibility to a few meters.

The cooler season is from November to March, which ranges between moderately hot to cold. This period also sees dense fog on some days. On average, January is the coolest month in the year, while July and August are the hottest.

 ClimateJanFebMarAprMayJunJulAugSepOctNovDec
 
Daily highs (°C)24.126.029.534.539.340.842.142.940.436.531.126.3
Nightly lows (°C)13.214.617.520.823.826.128.829.526.623.218.715.8
Precipitation (mm)7.021.214.56.11.3001.5000.35.2

Abu Dhabi mean sea temperature

JanFebMarAprMayJunJulAugSepOctNovDec
22.2 °C (72.0 °F)20.6 °C (69.1 °F)22.4 °C (72.3 °F)25.0 °C (77.0 °F)29.0 °C (84.2 °F)31.6 °C (88.9 °F)32.7 °C (90.9 °F)33.8 °C (92.8 °F)33.4 °C (92.1 °F)31.5 °C (88.7 °F)28.3 °C (82.9 °F)24.5 °C (76.1 °F)

Geography

The city of Abu Dhabi is on the northeastern part of the Persian Gulf in the Arabian Peninsula. It is on an island less than 250 metres (820 ft) from the mainland and is joined to the mainland by the Maqta and Mussafah Bridges. A third, Sheikh Zayed Bridge, designed by Zaha Hadid, opened in late 2010. Abu Dhabi Island is also connected to Saadiyat Island by a five-lane motorway bridge. Al-Mafraq bridge connects the city to Reem Island and was completed in early 2011. This is a multilayer interchange bridge and it has 27 lanes which allow roughly 25,000 automobiles to move per hour. There are three major bridges of the project, the largest has eight lanes, four leaving Abu Dhabi city and four coming in.

Economy

The UAE’s large hydrocarbon wealth gives it one of the highest GDP per capita in the world and Abu Dhabi owns the majority of these resources – 95% of the oil and 92% of gas. Abu Dhabi thus holds 9% of the world’s proven oil reserves (98.2bn barrels) and almost 5% of the world’s natural gas (5.8 trillion cu metres).Oil production in the UAE was in the region of 2.3m barrels per day (bpd) in 2010, and projects are in progress to boost production to 3m bpd. In recent years the focus has turned to gas as increasing domestic consumption for power, desalination and reinjection of gas into oil fields increases demand.

There has also been a drive to promote the tourism and real estate sectors with the Abu Dhabi Tourism Authority and the Tourism and Development Investment Company undertaking several large-scale development projects. These projects will be served by an improved transport infrastructure with a new port, an expanded airport and a proposed rail link between Abu Dhabi and Dubai all in the development stages.

Abu Dhabi is the wealthiest emirate of the UAE in terms of Gross Domestic Product (GDP) and per capita income. More than $1 trillion is invested worldwide in this city alone. In 2010, the GDP per capita also reached $49,600, which ranks ninth in the world after Qatar, Liechtenstein and Luxembourg and many others. Taxation in Abu Dhabi, as in the rest of the UAE, is nil for a resident and for a non-bank, non-oil company.

Abu Dhabi's government is looking to expand revenue from oil and gas production to tourism and other sorts of things which would attract different types of people. This goal is seen in the amount of attention Abu Dhabi is giving to its International Airport. The airport, in 2009, experienced a 30%+ growth in passenger usage.

Subdivisions

 Neighborhoods

  • Al Bateen
  • Al Dhafrah
  • Al Falah
  • Al Karama
  • Al Khubeirah
  • Al Lulu Island
  • Al Madina
  • Al Manaseer
  • Al Manhal
  • Al Maqtaa
  • Al Markaziyah
  • Al Meena
  • Al Moroor
  • Al Mushrif
  • Al Muzoon
  • Al Nahyan
  • Al Qubesat
  • Al Ras Al Akhdar
  • Al Reem Island
  • Al Rehhan
  • Al Rowdah
  • Bani Yas
  • Al Zaab
  • Al Zahiyah
  • Al Zahraa
  • Al Khalidyah
  • Bain Al Jisrain
  • Hideriyyat
  • Khalifa City
  • Marina Village
  • Masdar City
  • Mohammed Bin Zayed City
  • Saadiyat Island
  • Shakhbout City
  • Officers City
  • Qasr El Bahr
  • Qasr El Shatie
  • Yas Island

United Arab Emirates - Travel guide

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