Abu Dhabi, by far the largest emirate, is ruled by the Al Nahyan family. It occupies 67,340 square kilometres or 86.7% of the total area of the country. The emirate is primarily a vast desert area with about two dozen islands in the coastal waters, including the island where the city of Abu Dhabi is located, plus six sizeable islands further out in the Arabian Gulf. The population of the emirate is concentrated in three areas: the capital city, Abu Dhabi; Al Ain, an oasis city located near the Hajar Mountains; and the villages of the Liwa oases.
With a plethora of islands, more than 400 kilometres of pristine coastline, tranquil oases, UNESCO World Heritage Sites, modern cityscapes, rocky, mountain- like heights, and awe-inspiring deserts, Abu Dhabi offers a diversity of visitor experiences.
Visitors can tour former palaces, forts, one of the world’s largest mosques, renovated oases, desert camps and experience falconry, camel trekking and Arabia’s famed hospitality. From Abu Dhabi city’s famous Corniche to the Oasis City of Al Ain and the massive dunes of the western region’s Empty Quarter desert in Al Gharbia, culture, history and adventure are encapsulated in the emirate. Experience the architectural prowess of the Sheikh Zayed Grand Mosque, enjoy the peace and tranquillity of a stroll through Al Ain’s cooling oasis, or marvel at the history of an emirate dotted with ancient forts and historic sites – several of which have been listed as official UNESCO World Heritage Sites.
Sheikh Zayed Grand Mosque: This architectural work of art is one the world’s largest mosques, with a capacity for an astonishing 40,000 worshippers.
Emirates Palace: A real iconic Abu Dhabi landmark, this luxurious hotel blends Arabian splendour with the latest technology to create a magical and memorable experience.
Yas Viceroy: A true architectural triumph, this five star iconic hotel is the only one in the world to straddle an F1 race track being breathtakingly built half on land and half over water.
Etihad Towers: A dramatic architectural statement, this five tower complex invites residents and visitors to live, work, stay shop and dine in one destination with panoramic city and Arabian Gulf views.
Capital Gate: Drive down Khaleej Al Arabi Street and you will see a modern day challenger to the Leaning Tower of Pisa.Capital Gate, developed by Abu Dhabi National Exhibitions Company, has been certified as the ‘World’s Furthest Leaning Man Made Tower,’ by the Guinness World Records.
Qasr al Hosn: Abu Dhabi’s symbolic birthplace, Qasr al Hosn is the emirate’s first permanent structure, which was home to the emirate’s ruling Al Nahyan family.
Al Jahili Fort: The picturesque Al Jahili Fort is one of the UAE’s most historic buildings. It was erected in 1891 to defend the city and protect precious palm groves.