Living in Abu Dhabi
Abu Dhabi is the largest of seven Emirates in the UAE Federation ruled by President Sheikh Khalifa Bin Zayed Al Nahyan. The city of Abu Dhabi is the capital of the UAE and hosts almost 1.8 million residents with a continually growing population.
Abu Dhabi is a dynamic, safe and beautiful city which is making rapid strides to become a true cultural center of the Gulf Region. It already offers much in music and the arts. The development of Saadiyat Island Cultural District, which will house an extension of the Louvre, the Guggenheim Museum, new concert halls, theatres, and biennale grounds will make Abu Dhabi a destination for art lovers from everywhere. Architects such as Frank Gehry, Zaha Hadid, Tado Ando and Jean Nouvel will create an extraordinary environment which is planned to be completed in 2016.
Abu Dhabi is located along the south eastern tip of the Arabian Peninsula. The city is usually warm and sunny in winter and hot and humid during the summer months. Winter daytime temperatures average a very pleasant 26°C, although nights can be relatively cool, between 12–15°C. Summer temperatures are in the mid-40s, but can be higher. Rainfall is sparse and sometimes does not happen for a year or more. In most years it rains during the winter months, usually in February or March, but occasionally earlier. Some years are totally dry and it is only through the regular formation of dew that vegetation can survive.
The United Arab Emirates in general and Abu Dhabi in particular have experienced a huge boost in their economy. Even in the present economic climate, infrastructure, business and academic institutions are growing rapidly. New residencies, shopping malls and satellite cities have opened up over the past decade. Prices have risen as well but the standard of living for expatriates is good and the cost of living is not high compared to Europe, North America or many parts of Asia.
The growth of Abu Dhabi was partially a result of building new malls, cinemas and developing existing leisure facilities. The most famous malls in Abu Dhabi are Abu Dhabi Mall, Marina Mall and Al Wahda Mall. Well-known shops and international brands operate in these malls. Shopping has become a pleasure in Abu Dhabi; you tend to find all your need at relatively low cost (there is no sales tax). Most shopping centers are open from Sunday – Saturday between 10 am and 10 pm, except for some shops on Friday mornings when the Friday prayer takes place.
The location of Abu Dhabi makes it easy to travel to the Mediterranean and Europe, Africa and Asia, and the entire Middle East. Many families take full advantage of this while they are here. They also organize trips, such as weekend excursions to resort hotels, desert camps with camel rides, arts and craft fairs.
Some other links that you may find interesting:
April: Staff Kayaking Trip
ABU DHABI 2011 - DEFINITIVE VERSION, English intro from Beno Saradzic on Vimeo.