Abu Dhabi Facts

Interesting Facts about Abu Dhabi

The unit of currency in the United Arab Emirates is the Dirham (AED). It is permanently pegged to the U. S. Dollar at 3.68 AED/USD.

An annually renewable Liquor License is required for residents to purchase libations at the few outlets in the country. This requirement is waived for visitors in the resorts and libations are readily available.

Things to See in Abu Dhabi

  • Downtown

  • Abu Dhabi History

    There is evidence of settlers in the southeast corner of the Arabian Peninsula since 3000 B. C. although it is likely that nomadic Bedouins crisscrossed the area well before then. Most of the early settlers were herders and fishermen. Several tribes formed along family groups in the area and many skirmishes ensued between them for access to the scarce desert resources. Abu Dhabi (Father of the Gazelle) was inhabited by the Bani Yas tribes who exploited the pearl rich waters just offshore. Abu Dhabi became a trading port to exchange pearls for other goods with neighboring territories. The rise in popularity of cultured pearls depressed the economy of the area and the formerly warring tribes decided to call a truce and cooperate.

    In the 1850's, this loose association of sheikdoms allied themselves with the British who agreed to provide protection and administrative services.The area officially became a British Protectorate in 1892 and in 1952 the sheikdoms solidified their federation by establishing the Trucial States Council and the area became known as the Trucial States until independence in 1971.

    The discovery of oil in the early 1960's changed the lot of the Trucial States forever. As the oil revenue starting to roll in, the British were losing their investments to larger American oil companies and announced their intention to terminate the Protectorate in 1971. With this news, then ruler of Abu Dhabi, Sheikh Zayed bin Sultan Al Nahyan realized something had to be done to secure the federation of the seven states after the British had left. Through efforts of diplomacy and foresight on Sheikh Zayed's part, there was a peaceful birth of a new nation in 1971 when the British officially left, the United Arab Emirates.

    Sheikh Zayed is credited as the architect of the new country. He decided to invest the oil revenues to build infrastructure that would transform the U.A.E. into a modern country that would ultimately raise his fellow citizens' quality of life. His vision resulted in great success. Where there were literally mud huts merely 40 years ago stands a modern world class city today.

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