Abu Dhabi History

Learning a little of the Abu Dhabi history will really enhance your stay in the area. 

The United Arab Emirates is proudly Islamic in culture and is a growing, progessive and exciting region with so much for you to discover.


Abu Dhabi History in Brief

The UAE is comprised of seven emirates (each named after its main town) – Abu Dhabi, Ajman, Dubai, Fujairah, Ras Al Khaimah, Sharjah and Umm Al Quwain. 

Abu Dhabi is geographically the largest emirate, Dubai the second, both with similar population sizes in excess of 4 million. 

The UAE shares borders with Saudi Arabia and Oman 

Best known for its growing metropolis cities of Dubai and Abu Dhabi. 

Originally consisting of Bedouin Tribes the area was influenced culturally by the teachings of the Arab Empire, the Turks, the Mongols and the Ottomans. 

Local UAE currency for trade dates back to 300BC 

It became popular with the British and Portuguese due to its strategic position between India and Europe. 

Late 1700s, water is discovered on Abu Dhabi Island and the ruling Al Nahyan family move from Liwa Oasis. The city grew and became a the most powerful emirate. 

The UAE coastline was once known as ‘Pirate Coast’. The British bought down the piracy in the 1800’s and formed a treaty with local rulers for safe waters. 

Abu Dhabi , under the rule Sheikh Zayed bin Mohammed (Zayed the Great) and other emirates accepted British Protection in 1890s and became known as Trucial States (Trucial Coast). 

Oil reserves were discovered in Abu Dhabi in 1958 and in 1966 Dubai also discovered oil. 

British departed in 1971 along with the name Trucial States and the federation of the United Arab Emirates was born. The UAE joined the UN and Arab League at this time. 

The leaders of the new federation elected the ruler of Abu Dhabi, His Highness Sheikh Zayed bin Sultan Al Nahyan to be their president. On his passing in 2004, his eldest son His Highness Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan, was elected to take over the presidency. 

The UAE is governed by the Supreme Council of Rulers (hereditary rulers of the seven emirates). The Council meet four times a year. 

The Supreme Council elect the President (Chief of State) and Vice President from among its members for five year terms. 

The President appoints a Prime Minister (currently Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum). 

The Federal National Council (FNC) is an assembly of 40 representatives and reports to the Supreme Council and consults on imitating laws and changing policy.

The current population of the UAE has reached 8.19 million and is continuing to grow at a rapid rate despite the global downturn according to UAEinteract.

For more Abu Dhabi history facts and figures, check out wikipedia - Abu Dhabi.

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