Abu Dhabi is the capital of the United Arab Emirates though it is the second most populous city in the territory. It is one of the busiest and best cities in the Middle East to get into since it does offer an exotic climate and a culture that can be considered as truly diverse. With several nationalities establishing an influx in the territory, it ensures that Abu Dhabi would continue to be a diverse melting pot that would continue to flourish in the foreseeable future.
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For first-time visitors to Abu Dhabi, here are some fascinating facts and trivia which would make your stay enjoyable.
Tips and Things to Know about Abu Dhabi, UAE
Do take note of the local customs and traditions as well so you wouldn’t get into any trouble with the authorities.
- Abu Dhabi is the largest emirate in the territory and comprises 80 percent of the total land area.
- It is an archipelago which has 200 islands, the most popular islands being Yas, Sir Bani Yas and Saadiyat and are also among the most curious in the territory.
- Translated, the name Abu Dhabi literally means “Father of the Gazelle” – owing to the local lore.
- You know that Abu Dhabi is in the desert, but did you know that it is one of the world’s largest importers of construction-grade sand?
- The territory enjoys an astounding 360 days of sunny weather – so be ready with your sun blocks and your umbrellas to shield your skin from the sun!
- Those seeking adventure better head to the Rub Al Khali or the Empty Quarter Desert for some wadi (dry riverbed) explorations and sand dune surfing.
- Sir Bani Yas is another beautiful island in the archipelago – and is pretty remote – 240 kms away. It used to be a royal hunting ground and is still teeming with wildlife.
- Jebel Hafeet is the highest peak of Abu Dhabi and is within easy range in Al Ain oasis.
- Al Ain Oasis is also the birthplace of the UAE’s first President – the late Sheikh Zayed bin Sultan al Nahyan.
- The first time an F1 Grand Prix was held in the dark it was in fabled Yas Marina Circuit in Abu Dhabi in 2014.
- The Yas Marina Circuit is considered as the most technologically advanced circuit in the world and also one of the most expensive to build – at an estimated USD 1 Billion.
- The Sheikh Zayed Grand Mosque probably has the largest hand-knotted carpet in the world.
- The world’s first indoor theme park dedicated to Ferraris and everything about them, Ferrari World Abu Dhabi opened its doors in 2010. It is an architectural marvel as well as its roof mimics the style of a Ferrari GT double curve body shell.
- The Formula Rosso, the world’s fastest roller coaster ride, clocks speeds of 240 km/h in 5 seconds and constitutes an amazing and thrilling ride.
- Don’t be too excited with the number of luxury cars in display – Bugattis, Ferraris, Lamborghinis, Maseratis and the like are usually among the ones plying the roads of Abu Dhabi – and some haven’t been introduced anywhere else yet.
- The Capital Gate, one of the many architectural wonders in the territory holds the distinction as the most lopsided building in the world. Leaning at an unbelievable 18 degrees, it boasts of spectacular views of Abu Dhabi.
- There are gold dispensing ATMs in the territory. And it is starting to get traction in other places as well.
- Yas Waterworld is quite unique in the word – boasting of 45 rides and attractions, of which, 5 are unique to the place.
- Abu Dhabi boasts of the world’s largest parabolic trough solar energy power stations – the Shams Solar Power Station.
- Abu Dhabi has a huge number of sea cows in its waters. The dugong, as it is popularly known, is being cared for by the Emiratis.
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While we all know that Abu Dhabi is one of the richest territories in the world, isn’t it quite refreshing to note that there is a side of the territory that is quite fascinating and totally different?