Abu Dhabi (emirate)

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أبو ظبي
Abu Dhabi
Saudi-Arabien Oman Iran Katar Oman Oman Abu Dhabi Dubai Dubai Adschman Adschman Adschman Schardscha Schardscha Schardscha Schardscha Fudschaira (Emirat) Fudschaira (Emirat) Fudschaira (Emirat) Fudschaira/Schardscha Umm al-Qaiwain (Emirat) Ra’s al-Chaima (Emirat) Ra’s al-Chaima (Emirat) Ra’s al-Chaima (Emirat)The emirate of Abu Dhabi in the United Arab Emirates
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The emirate of Abu Dhabi in the United Arab Emirates
Flags of the United Arab Emirates
coat of arms
coat of arms
Basic data
Country United Arab Emirates
Capital Abu Dhabi
surface 67,340 km²
Residents 2,330,000 (2012)
density 35 inhabitants per km²
ISO 3166-2 AE-AZ
emir Chalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan

Coordinates: 23 ° 31 '  N , 53 ° 53'  E

The Emirate of Abu Dhabi ( Arabic إمارة أبو ظبي, DMG Imārat Abū Ẓaby ) is the largest of the seven emirates of the United Arab Emirates and has around 2.33 million inhabitants (with a proportion of foreigners of around 80%) on 67,340 square kilometers. By far the largest city and capital of the emirate is Abu Dhabi , which is also the capital of the United Arab Emirates.

History of the Emirate of Abu Dhabi

The emirate was founded in 1791 as a settlement near a freshwater spring by the Bedouin tribe of the Bani Yas under Shachbut bin Dhiyab after it was discovered by his father Dhiyab bin Isa . They moved their headquarters to Abu Dhabi in Qasr Al Hosn . The reason was the increasing expansion of the Wahhabis from the Najd , which was also directed against the Bedouins on the Gulf coast. In 1833, Dubai broke away from the Emirate of Abu Dhabi under the Al Maktum clan.

The rise of the emirate began under Sheikh Zayed bin Chalifa (1855–1908). He managed to maintain sovereignty over the British claim to power. Abu Dhabi developed into an important center of the pearl trade. The power struggles that broke out after his death were only ended under Sheikh Shachbut (1928–1966). However, with the introduction of Japanese cultured pearls in 1930, pearl fishing as an important economic pillar for the country collapsed. Only with the beginning of oil production and the replacement of Schachbut by his brother Sheikh Zayed bin Sultan Al Nahyan (1966-2004) was the emirate's economy able to develop again.

On December 2, 1971, Great Britain released the former Trucial States , including Abu Dhabi, into independence. Under the leadership of the Emirates Abu Dhabi, the United Arab Emirates were founded from the former Trucial States Abu Dhabi, Dubai , Sharjah , Ajman , Umm al-Qaiwain and Fujairah . On February 10, 1972, Ras al-Khaimah joined the federation as the seventh and last former Trucial State .

On January 1, 1974, Abu Dhabi partially nationalized the oil industry. The state of Abu Dhabi left the manufacturing companies 40 percent. Sheikh Zayed , who had been president of the UAE since 1971, was elected for a further five years on December 2, 1976 and was re- elected every five years until his death on November 2, 2004. The Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) was established on May 25, 1981 in Abu Dhabi.


Political system

The emirate of Abu Dhabi is an absolutist monarchy . There is no elected parliament, the Abu Dhabi National Consultative Council consists of 60 members from leading tribes and families. In the traditional Majlis , residents can turn to the ruler directly. Since 1971 Abu Dhabi has been integrated into the federal system of the United Arab Emirates (UAE), a federation of seven semi-autonomous emirates (with a constitution from 1971). The Emir of Abu Dhabi has a right of veto at the federal level and is traditionally President of the UAE.

The Abu Dhabi Executive Council is Abu Dhabi's own central government apparatus. The Executive Council supports the ruler of the emirate in preparing development plans for Abu Dhabi and in formulating and implementing laws at the emirate and federal level.


Chalifa bin Zayid Al Nahyan , current ruler of Abu Dhabi


Map of the Emirates Abu Dhabi with the highlighted regional breakdown

With the exception of the cities, the mangrove vegetation on the coastline and a small rocky area near al-Ain , the emirate consists almost entirely of sandy desert. From an administrative point of view, Abu Dhabi is divided into two regions: the Western Region and the Eastern Region, which in turn are led by official representatives of the ruler.

The most important cities and towns in the Emirate of Abu Dhabi are (population at the 2005 census):


Abu Dhabi is the wealthiest emirate in the UAE in terms of both gross national income and per capita income . The emirate owns 10% of the world's oil reserves and has global investments of more than $ 1 trillion. The per capita income is 63,000 US dollars, making it the third highest in the world after Luxembourg and Norway. Abu Dhabi plans 29% of all future Gulf Cooperation Council projects and is playing an increasingly important role in the global economy. The emirate's state investment fund , the Abu Dhabi Investment Authority ( ADIA ), is the world's largest stand-alone fund in terms of total investment volume, valued at $ 875 billion. Almost all income from the state oil deposits is collected in a kind of mega-investment fund and invested in Germany and abroad. The values ​​that have accumulated in the meantime are so great that the Emirate of Abu Dhabi (sometimes in cooperation with the smaller UAE partners) can effortlessly join the international financial flows. The influential ADIA Council is headed by Sheikh Chalifa bin Zayid Al Nahyan , ruler of the Emirate of Abu Dhabi and at the same time head of state of the United Arab Emirates. There are also the more themed sovereign wealth funds Mubadala Development Company (MDC) and International Petroleum Investment Company (IPIC) and Aabar Investments .

In recent years the emirate has been focusing on an economic diversification program to reduce reliance on oil and natural gas. The diversification program focuses on industry, real estate and retail, but above all on tourism. The Abu Dhabi Tourism Authority (ADTA) and Tourism and Development Investment Company (TDIC) have made huge investments, including in the multiple postponed Louvre Abu Dhabi and Guggenheim Museum Abu Dhabi projects.

Due to the emirate's immense cash reserves and diversified global holdings, analysts assume that in the event of a debt crisis in the neighboring emirate, Dubai, its state-controlled investment funds would prevent an economic collapse in Dubai.

Project sustainability

In response to the dwindling oil and gas reserves, the emirate is anticipating what will come after that. From 2008 the eco-city of Masdar will be built west of the international airport . The internationally planned large housing estate and planned city for around 50,000 residents, which is as self-sufficient as possible , will rely entirely on renewable energies and will house a new university as its core, which will be one of the first universities in the world to be fully dedicated to the topic of sustainability .



The emirate of Abu Dhabi is connected to the most important cities in the region and the Liwa oases by a well-developed motorway and road network . In addition, a motorway runs west through Saudi Arabia to Doha , the capital of Qatar . The motorways are well developed, almost completely illuminated at night and planted with date palms and bushes. Large amounts of drinking water are obtained from seawater (desalination process ) for greening .

Power supply

There is no interconnected network of power plants with the other emirates ( island network ); Nevertheless, the security of the electricity supply in the Emirate of Abu Dhabi is very high. An electricity network for the countries of Kuwait , Saudi Arabia , Qatar and the UAE is currently under construction or in planning. The line is routed along the Gulf coast .

Most power plants are combined combined cycle power plants with the process steam being decoupled to a desalination plant for drinking water production. However, lately people have been thinking that due to the high number of desalination plants, the salt concentration of the Persian Gulf could rise so much in about 10 years that drinking water will no longer be possible. In this case, a pipeline to the Emirate of Fujairah could draw on the waters of the Arabian Sea .

In the west of the emirate, not far from the border with Saudi Arabia, the country's first nuclear power plant, the Barākah nuclear power plant , has been under construction since July 2012 . Four APR-1400 nuclear reactors imported from South Korea will be built.


Since the 2009 season , a Formula 1 race has been held annually as the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix on the Yas Marina Circuit .

The most successful football clubs from Abu Dhabi are al Ain , al-Wahda , al-Dhafra and al-Jazira , which play in the UAE Arabian Gulf League .


  • Ayne-Marie Leitch u. a .: Abu Dhabi Explorer. The Complete Resident's Guide . Explorer Group, 2006;

Web links

Wiktionary: Abu Dhabi  - explanations of meanings, word origins, synonyms, translations
Commons : Abu Dhabi  - album with pictures, videos and audio files
 Wikinews: Abu Dhabi  - on the news

Individual evidence

  1. Page no longer available , search in web archives: scad.ae@1@ 2Template: Dead Link / www.scad.ae
  2. ^ Abu Dhabi Report 2010
  3. ^ The richest city in the world , on money.cnn.com
  4. Dubai denies debt refinancing concerns (Eng.), At www.bi-me.com
  5. Jan Oliver Löfken: Mecca for climate protectors. heise online, April 15, 2009, accessed on April 22, 2009 .