With a skyline featuring a 35-storey Capital Gate building which leans 18 degrees (compared to just 3.97 degrees for the Leaning Tower of Pisa), Abu Dhabi is the capital city of the United Arab Emirates (UAE). The UAE is located at the southeast end of the Arabian Peninsula in the Persian Gulf.
Mercer’s 2016 Quality of Living Survey for cities ranks Abu Dhabi in 81st place–second-highest overall ranking for quality of life among African and Middle Eastern cities trailing only Dubai–UAE’s most populous city. The annual survey compares 230 cities from around the globe based on 39 factors including political, economic, environmental, personal safety, health, education, transportation and other public service factors.
Abu Dhabi is the African and Middle Eastern region’s most highly rated city on the personal safety factor, finishing as the 23rd safest city worldwide. New York City is used as the benchmark for all comparisons.
In 2017, Abu Dhabi placed first on the Numbeo Safety Index which compares the psychological perception of residents on how safe they are from crime.
The UAE exported an estimated US$149.5 billion worth of goods around the globe in 2016. Over half of all UAE exports are oil and petroleum gas. The highest value UAE exports also include gold, petroleum gas, diamonds, unwrought aluminum, ethylene polymers and jewelry according to the International Trade Centre.
Capital Facts for Abu Dhabi, UAE: Quick Reference
Capital landmarks: Emirates National Auto Museum, Al-Hosn Palace, Sheikh Zayed Grand Mosque, Aldar HQ Building, Etihad Modern Art Gallery and the Capital Gate
Demonym for a Abu Dhabi resident: Abu Dhabian
Population: 1,695,000 (Abu Dhabi)
Density: 5,468 people per square mile (2,111 per square kilometer)
Population: 5,927,482 (United Arab Emirates)
Density: 184 people per square mile (71 per square kilometer)
GDP: US$178.3 billion in 2014 (Abu Dhabi)
GDP per person: $61,009
Note: The above GDP metrics are on a Purchasing Power Parity basis and are in U.S. dollars.
Official currency used in Abu Dhabi: UAE dirham
Brookings Institution, Global Metro Monitor Report (includes GDP data). Accessed on February 24, 2017
Central Intelligence Agency, Middle East: United Arab Emirates. Accessed on February 24, 2017
CityMetric, Where are largest cities in the world? 2015 edition. Accessed on February 24, 2017
Demographia, World Urban Area, 12th Annual Edition. Accessed on February 24, 2017
International Trade Centre, Trade Map. Accessed on February 24, 2017
Mercer, Western European Cities Top Quality Of Living Ranking ‒ Mercer . Accessed on February 24, 2017
Numbeo, Crime Index 2017. Accessed on March 10, 2017
Official Government Website, Abu Dhabi eGovernment Portal. Accessed on February 24, 2017
Wikimedia Commons, City Flags. Accessed on February 24, 2017
Note: Some city flags were unavailable. If so, attribution belongs to Wikimedia Commons for pertinent country flags.
Wikipedia, Abu Dhabi. Accessed on February 24, 2017
Wikipedia, Mercer Quality of Living Survey. Accessed on February 24, 2017
Wikipedia, United Arab Emirates. Accessed on February 24, 2017
Including built-up urban areas surrounding the city core, Abu Dhabi has a land area of 310 square miles (803 square kilometers) which served as home to an estimated 1.7 million inhabitants in 2015.
The UAE’s national borders cover 32,278 square miles (83,600 square kilometers) and has a population of 5.9 million people.
Population density is much more intense within UAE’s capital city with an average 5,500 Abu Dhabians per square mile (2,100 per square kilometer).
For the United Arab Emirates at the national level, people density drops severely to an average 184 people per square mile (71 per square kilometer).
United Arab Emirates broke free from the United Kingdom on December 2, 1971. Residents celebrate Independence Day as a public holiday each December 2.