|See ABBREVIATIONFINDER for how AE can stand for United Arab Emirates.
Abu Dhabi, Emirate (Principality) of the Persian Gulf, the largest of the
seven United Arab Emirates; 67,350 km2, 2.12 million residents
(2011). The city of Abu Dhabi and the emirate have undergone rapid development
since the oil discovery in the 1950's; from being a community of pearl fishermen
and Bedouins, it has become one of the most modern societies in the Arab world.
It is governed exclusively by emir Khalifa bin Zayed bin Sultan Al Nahyan (b.
1948), but only a minority of the population are his subjects; 80% are
foreigners who perform most of the tasks in the country. They come mainly from
India and Pakistan, but also from Iran, Egypt, Europe, USA and Japan. The
standard of living is very high, especially among the country's own citizens and
the experts called. The school and health services are well developed, as is the
infrastructure. Agriculture and industry are under construction. Abu Dhabi has
approximately 9% of the world's oil reserves (92.6% of the total oil in the United
Arab Emirates), and enough for more than 100 years of production at 2003 level.
Oil exports contribute a quarter of the balance of payments, and the second
largest source of revenue is returns on the investments made by the emirate in
Europe and America. In 1996, in an effort to diversify the country's revenue
base, the construction of a free trade area on Saadiat, an island not far from
Abu Dhabi city, began. The inspiration for this came from the success of
neighboring Dubai Dubai with free trade zones.
The climate is extremely hot and rainy; the country's very large energy
consumption is used ia. for air conditioning and freshwater supply (desalination
The emirate was in 2000-tfKr. part of ancient Magan, whose trade extended
from Mesopotamia to Indus. In particular, copper was shipped from the Oman
Mountains. The island of Umm an-Nar was the port and trading place. Here and in
the oasis al-Buraymi, in 1958 Danish archaeologists began exploring a culture
that spread throughout the Oman Peninsula. Stone-built communal tombs, clay and
stone houses and towers, oasis use, copper and painted pottery characterize the
Umm an-Nar culture.