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When the United Arab Emirates was formed in 1971, Abu Dhabi became the UAE’s high rise political and administrative capital. Crude oil production spurred lighting-fast growth in both population and development. Today Abu Dhabi’s per capita income is among the highest in the world.
Abu Dhabi is the largest of the seven emirates in both size and population at some 2.3 million. According to figures released by Statistics Centre-Abu Dhabi, nearly 80 percent are non-citizens. As a result, although Abu Dhabi is rooted in Arabian tradition, it is a hospitable international destination.
English is widely spoken, dress codes are liberal and the cultural scene is a quickly expanding one, as tolerant as it as diverse. Starchitect-designed outposts of the Louvre by Jean Nouvel and the Guggenheim by Frank Gehry are on track for high profile openings.
In its three regions, Abu Dhabi encompasses cityscapes, desertscapes and some 200 islands. The city of Abu Dhabi is the power base, most of it concentrated on an island jutting into the Persian Gulf and anchored by a dense downtown center. Shopping is luxe and tax-free. Among the most visited sites is the Sheikh Zayed Grand Mosque. Opened in 2007, this monumental structure of 80 domes and one thousand columns is a landmark, able to accommodate 40,000 worshippers.
As the emirate expands its economy, schools of higher learning have supported that effort. This multicultural city hosts a number of international schools including branches of New York University, Massachusetts Institute of Technology and the Paris-Sorbonne.
The Eastern Region, Al Ain, is about 90 minutes’ drive from Abu Dhabi City. It is an ancient settlement and one recognized as a UNESCO World Heritage Site. The Western Region, Al Gharbia, is largely desert and makes up most of the emirate’s land mass. It is a place of dramatic scenery: a historic oasis town and a playground for off-road adventures.
Bespoke villas, beachfront townhouses and homes with golf course and sea views are sought-after. In Abu Dhabi City, neighborhoods near the Corniche, a popular waterfront area of bikeways, pedestrian walkways and cafes, are in high demand for their community feel, security and proximity to the beach. International buyers can own property on a freehold basis in designated investment zones.
Browse our collection of luxury homes for sale in Abu Dhabi, and connect with a Sotheby’s International Real Estate agent who can assist you in finding the home for your unique needs.