About Abu Dhabi
With anultra-modern infrastructure which befits its status as the economic andpolitical hub of the UAE, Abu Dhabi perfectly combines its role as a businessand tourist destination. From shopping in luxury malls to bartering intraditional souqs; from enjoying the miles of golden beaches, to relaxing inone of the city's many public parks; from the fine dining of the city's 5-starrestaurants to the unique pleasure of the desert safari - the options reallyare endless.
The city of Abu Dhabi is on the southeastern side of the Arabian Peninsula, adjoining the Persian Gulf. It is on anisland less than 250 metres (820 ft) from the mainland and is joined tothe mainland by the Maqta and Mussafah Bridges. A third, Sheikh Zayed Bridge, designed by Zaha Hadid, opened in late 2010. Abu Dhabi Island is alsoconnected to Saadiyat Island by a five-lane motorway bridge. Al-Mafraq bridge connects the city to Reem Island and was completed in early 2011. This isa multilayer interchange bridge and it has 27 lanes which allow roughly 25,000automobiles to move per hour. There are three major bridges of the project, thelargest has eight lanes, four leaving Abu Dhabi city and four coming in.
Most ofAbu Dhabi city is located on the island itself, but it has many suburbs on themainland, for example: Khalifa City A, B, and C;
Politics Under the rule of the Department of Municipal Affairs, Abu Dhabi Central Capital District has its own local government. Members are selected through the emir. Councils such as the Abu Dhabi Urban Planning Council and the Regulation and Supervision Bureau are responsible for infrastructure projects in the city. Finances are mainly through the state government.
Abu Dhabi is the wealthiest emirate of the UAE in terms of Gross Domestic Product (GDP) and per capita income. More than $1 trillion is invested worldwide in this city alone. In 2010, the GDP per capita also reached $49,600, which ranks ninth in the world after Qatar, Liechtenstein and Luxembourg and many others. Taxation in Abu Dhabi, as in the rest of the UAE, is nil for a resident and for a non-bank, non-oil company. Abu Dhabi is also planning many future projects sharing with the Cooperation Council for the Arab States of the Gulf (GCC) and taking 29% of all the GCC future plannings. The United Arab Emirates is a fast-growing economy: in 2006 the per capita income grew by 9%, providing a GDP per capita of $49,700 and ranking third in the world at purchasing power parity. Abu Dhabi's sovereign wealth fund, the Abu Dhabi Investment Authority (ADIA), currently estimated at US$875 billion, is the world's wealthiest sovereign fund in terms of total asset value. Etihad Airways maintains its headquarters in Abu Dhabi.
Abu Dhabihas a diverse and multicultural society. The city's cultural imprint as asmall, ethnically homogeneous pearling community was changed withthe arrival of other ethnic groups and nationals—first bythe Iranians in the early 1900s, andlater by various Asian and European ethnicities in the 1950s and 60s. Abu Dhabihas been criticized for perpetuating a class-based society, where migrant workers are in the lower classes, and suffer abuse which "is endemic tothe system". Despite the diversity of the population, only minor andinfrequent episodes of ethnictensions,primarily between expatriates, have been reported in the city. Major holidays in Abu Dhabiinclude Eid al Fitr, which marks the end of Ramadan, Eid ul-Adha which marks the endof Hajj, and National Day (2 December), which marksthe formation of the United Arab Emirates.
CustomsThe combination of international influences anda strong commitment to local heritage hascreated an intriguing mix of new and old.