Home to the Grand Mosque,many beaches and amazing water parks,race tracks,beautiful hotels…Abu Dhabi is in the process of change and significant development. 60 years ago, it was mostly desert. We were in a helicopter so were able to see it all from the air.
Abu Dhabi is the capital and the second largest city of the United Arab Emirates in terms of population and the largest of the seven member emirates of the United Arab Emirates. Abu Dhabi lies on a T-shaped island jutting into the Persian Gulf from the central western coast. The city proper had a population of 921,000 in 2013.
In the early 1960s, oil was discovered in Abu Dhabi, an event that led to quick unification calls made by UAE sheikdoms. Sheikh Zayed bin Sultan Al Nahyan became ruler of Abu Dhabi in 1966 and the British started losing their oil investments and contracts to U.S. oil companies.
By 1966 it became clear the British government could no longer afford to govern what is now the United Arab Emirates.
The rulers of Abu Dhabi and Dubai decided to form a union between their two emirates independently, prepare a constitution, then call the rulers of the other five emirates to a meeting and offer them the opportunity to join. It was also agreed between the two that the constitution be written by December 2, 1971. On that date, at the Dubai Guesthouse Palace, four other emirates agreed to enter into a union called the United Arab Emirates. Ras al -Khaimah joined later, in early 1972.
In the beginning of the 1960s, the first oil company teams carried out preliminary surveys and the first cargo of crude was exported from Abu Dhabi in 1962. As oil revenues increased, the ruler of Abu Dhabi, Sheikh Zayed bin Sultan Al Nahyan, undertook a massive construction program, building schools, housing, hospitals and roads. When Dubai”s oil exports commenced in 1969, Sheikh Rashid bin Saeed Al Maktoum the ruler of Dubai, was also able to use oil revenues to improve the quality of life of his people.