Desert Landscape

About Abu Dhabi

Abu Dhabi refers simultaneously the capital city of the United Arab Emirates, the island on which most of the city is located, as well as largest of the seven emirates that make up the country. Since the discovery of oil in the UAE some 50 years ago, Abu Dhabi has rapidly blossomed into a modern city.

The population of 80% expats from all over the world gives it a distinctly international flavour. There is no set working day in Abu Dhabi. Though the numerous malls may be open all day, many smaller businesses are closed for an afternoon break, typically from 2-4. The Islamic holy day is Friday, with  the weekend falling on Friday and Saturday. Local time is GMT +4, with no daylight savings time. Summers are very hot and extremely humid, while winter months are cool and mostly pleasant, though sandstorms regularly mar the sky with a beige haze. A rain/sandstorm combo can make for a bit of a mess, including flooded muddy streets.

With the rapid growth in Abu Dhabi is constant change! People come and go. Businesses open and close. Buildings pop up or are razed to the ground. Chocolate chips can available in every supermarket one week, and the next cannot be found anywhere. To appreciate living in Abu Dhabi, one needs patience, flexibility and a sense of humour.