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Abu Dhabi fact file

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All you need to know about the emirate: from GDP and inflation to the cost of a taxi ride and pint of beer

What is the UAE?
The United Arab Emirates (UAE) is an independent sovereign state founded in 1971. Located in the Persian Gulf, the federation comprises seven emirates – Abu Dhabi, Dubai, Sharjah, Ajman, Umm Al-Quwain, Ras Al-Khaimah and Fujairah – each with its own ruling family of sheikhs. The ruler of Abu Dhabi, Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan, is also the de facto president of the UAE

Population of the UAE 4.5 million, of which just 20 percent are Emirati nationals

About Abu Dhabi
Abu Dhabi is the largest of the emirates, constituting roughly 90 per cent of the UAE’s land mass, with 94 per cent of the federation’s oil reserves. Abu Dhabi City is the capital of the UAE

Abu Dhabi City
The city is mostly located on Abu Dhabi Island, which is roughly the size of Manhattan. Current plans for the expansion of the city, laid out by the government in Plan Abu Dhabi 2030 see it more than quadrupling in size, spreading out extensively to both the mainland and neighbouring islands, including Saadiyat Island and Al Reem Island

Ruler Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan
Area 93 per cent desert; 5 per cent green (including 1.2 per cent land use for agriculture); 2 per cent salt flats. 200 offshore islands and 700 km of coastline
Population of Abu Dhabi 1.6 million
Estimated population in 2025 2.11 million
Population of Abu Dhabi City 630,000

Before the discovery of oil in 1958, Abu Dhabi’s main industries were pearl diving, fishing and dhow trading in coastal areas, with the inland farming of dates. Oil revenue now accounts for more than one third of the GDP. Abu Dhabi tops the list for GDP per capita in the world, which hit over £40,000 in 2006. Source: MEED

GDP of Abu Dhabi £110 billion
Real GDP growth 8.3 per cent
Inflation 8 per cent
Sheikh Khalifa’s personal fortune An estimated £15 billion

Oil and gas
94 per cent of the UAE’s oil reserves are in Abu Dhabi, and 9.2 per cent of the world’s proven oil reserves (98.7 billion barrels). Abu Dhabi produces 2.5 million barrels a day and holds 4 per cent of the world’s proven gas reserves

Non-oil GDP
After oil, Abu Dhabi’s second-largest industry sector is the construction market at 7 per cent. Other sectors include tourism, financial services, manufacturing, wholesale and retail trade. Source: IMF and Middle East Association

Total value of real estate under development in Abu Dhabi £160 billion. Source: ADTA (Abu Dhabi Tourism Authority)

The Abu Dhabi government is investing an estimated £13-17 million to promote the emirate as a luxury tourist destination. According to the Abu Dhabi Tourism Authority (ADTA), Abu Dhabi expects to attract three million visitors per year by 2015. British nationals currently account for 35 per cent of foreign tourists. Source: UAE Yearbook 2008

Cost of living:

Coffee 10 AED (£1.70)

Hotel room*** 350 AED (£60)

1-bed flat rental (central) 10,000 AED per month (£1,694)

10 minute taxi ride 5 AED (£0.85)

Dinner for two (with wine) 400 AED (£68)

Cinema Ticket 30 AED (£5)

Tank of Petrol 90 AED (£15)

Pint of beer 30 AED (£5)

Doctor’s visit 100-250 AED (£17 - £42)

School fees 10,000-60,000 AED per year, per child (£1,693-£10,157)

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