Abu Dhabi, the capital of the United Arab Emirates, sits off the mainland on an island in the Persian (Arabian) Gulf. Its focus on oil exports and commerce is reflected by the skyline’s modern towers and shopping megacenters such as Abu Dhabi and Marina malls. Beneath white-marble domes, the vast Sheikh Zayed Grand Mosque features an immense Persian carpet, crystal chandeliers and capacity for 41,000 worshipers.
It houses federal government offices, is the seat of the United Arab Emirates Government, home to the Abu Dhabi Emiri Family and the President of the UAE, who is from this family. Abu Dhabi’s rapid development and urbanization, coupled with the relatively high average income of its population, has transformed the city into a large and advanced metropolis. Today the city is the country’s center of political and industrial activities, and a major cultural and commercial center, due to its position as the capital. Abu Dhabi accounts for about two-thirds of the roughly $400-billion United Arab Emirates economy.
Abu Dhabi is full of archaeological evidence that points to civilisations, such as the Umm an-Nar Culture, having been located there from the third millennium BCE. Settlements were also found farther outside the modern city of Abu Dhabi but closer to the modern city of Al Ain. There is evidence of Bronze Age Hafit period civilisation around the mountain of Hafeet (Jebel Hafeet). This location is very strategic because it is the UAE’s second tallest mountain, so it would have great visibility. It also contains a lot of moisture in its springs and lakes, which means that there would have been more moisture thousands of years ago
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