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Abu Dhabi History, United Arab Emirates

Although UAE is a newer country compared to its neighbor, the capital city of Abu Dhabi have see a decent amount of history leading to its role as one of the largest oil-producing countries of the world.

As of 2008, the city’s population is at a manageable number of 1 million people while the country continues its rise. 

Modern Abu Dhabi has its origins together with the confederation, the Bani Yas, in the late 18th century. Camel herding, production of dates and vegetables at the inland oases of Al Ain and Liwa Oasis, and fishing and pearl diving off the coast of Abu Dhabi city sustained the economy of Abu Dhabi until the middle of the 20th century. Most houses were constructed of palm fronds, while the wealthier families occupied the mud huts.

However, the economy started to struggle when there was an unprecedented boom in the cultured pear industry owing to its role as primary export. Sheikh Shakhbut Bin-Sultan Al Nahyan financed oil exploration projects in 1939 leading to its discovery in 1958. However, at first, the discovery of oil did not have that much of an effect.

Although a few low-rise concrete buildings were erected, the effects of the importance of oil were still unfelt. However, with its increasing popularity, the economy likewise grew. In fact, the first paved road was completed in 1961. However, Sheikh Shakhbut, uncertain what the future of the oil industry holds, took a more cautious approach, by saving the revenue rather than investing it. It was his brother, Zayed bin Sultan Al Nahyan, who saw the promise of oil wealth and the potential to transform Abu Dhabi.

The ruling family of Al Nahyan decided to replace the conservative brother with the more risk-taker one. On August 6, 1966, Sheikh Zayed became the new ruler with the assistance of the British. By 1971, Sheikh Zayed became the main driving force behind the formation of the United Arab Emirates after the British left the Persian Gulf. Due to its history of struggles, as well as economic stability, one would not help but wonder how they were able to rise to tourism fame. Its rich history and recent creation of wealth from oil production has recently contributed to the rise in tourism.

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Abu Dhabi City Ratings

  • Rating63%
    City Rank274
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  • Food: rated for 80%
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