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Concept: The Desert City—Abu Dhabi

Abu Dhabi is the capital city of the Emirate of Abu Dhabi and also the capital of the United Arab Emirates (UAE). It is a well-planned metro city with important landmarks and skyscrapers.

Location:

  • Abu Dhabi is located on the coast of the Persian Gulf in the central-western region of the UAE.
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Weather and climate:

  • The weather in Abu Dhabi is quite hot and humid.
  • Summers are long and extremely hot.
  • The place does not receive sufficient rainfall throughout the year.
  • Winters are short but more comfortable and windier.
  • Sandstorms are frequent as the city is located at the eastern end of the Arabian Peninsula.
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Local cuisine:

The local cuisine of this city is heavily influenced by people of different countries who have migrated here. Meat is a major component of Abu Dhabi cuisine, including chicken, goat and lamb.

Some popular dishes of Abu Dhabi are—

  • Harees: It is a famous food prepared with coarsely ground wheat and seasoned meat.
  • Lavash: A thin flat bread made with flour.
  • Dejaj salona: It is an Emirati-style chicken stew with vegetables.
  • Madrouba: A porridge-like dish made with mashed cooked rice and chicken.
  • Falafel: A type of deep-fried mashed chickpea balls.
  • Hummus: A dip made with chickpeas, lemon juice, tahini and olive oil.
  • Shawarma: It is made with seasoned and grilled lamb or chicken wrapped in pita bread.
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Geography:

  • Abu Dhabi is surrounded by deserts.
  • There are a few oases on the city's outskirts, among which Liwa is the most famous due to its contribution to the cultivation of dates.
  • Tourists go on desert safaris or camping in the sand dunes, which gives them an unforgettable and adventurous experience.
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Vegetation:

  • Being an arid place and due to less rainfall, not many plants grow in Abu Dhabi or its surroundings.
  • However, cactus and date palm grow pretty well here.
  • The cactus is a leafless spiny plant that can survive in the harsh and hot climate of the desert.
  • Date palm is a very common tree in all the countries of the UAE and is the staple fruit of that region.
  • Date palm trees grow well near the oases because of water.
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Language spoken:

  • The official language of Abu Dhabi is Arabic.
  • The local people speak a different dialect of Gulf Arabic.
  • The city is a melting pot as many visitors and workers from different countries come here.
  • English is also widely spoken here.
  • The other languages spoken in Abu Dhabi are Persian, Balochi, Pashto and Hindi.
  • Except for international schools, the language of instruction is Arabic for all subjects.
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Religion:

  • Abu Dhabi is a Muslim majority area.
  • Almost 80% of the population follows Islam.
  • Apart from Muslims, a small number of Christians and Hindus live there.
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Traditional attire:

1. Men’s attire:

Kandura: It is a traditional dress worn by Emirati men. It is an ankle-length long, white, full-sleeve tunic. A white vest is worn beneath the Kandura.

Agal: It is a type of headband used by Emirati men that is black in colour and looks like a chord.

Bisht: It is a loose-fitting, ankle-length cloak used by Emirati men. The colour may vary from black or brown, or beige. This dress is worn on special occasions like weddings or festivals. Emirati Sheikhs and other notable people wear bisht.

Shemagh: It is a head and neck scarf that protects the head from sunburn and sandstorms. It has either a black and white or a red and white fishnet pattern. Shemagh is tied with agal to secure its placement.

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2. Women’s attire:

Hijab: It is a headscarf of variable colours used by Muslim women to cover their hair and neck. A hijab has two parts—one scarf to cover the head and the other one to cover the neck.

Niqab: It is a type of veil for covering the face and head but keeping the eyes uncovered.

Burqa: It is a loose garment that covers the entire body from the head to the toe.

Abaya: It is a loose-fitting, long-sleeved dress worn by Muslim women. It is used with a hijab or niqab.

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Why is Abu Dhabi important?

Abu Dhabi plays a vital role in many sectors, making it a global hub and attracting many people worldwide.

  • Abu Dhabi is conveniently located between two continents—Asia and Europe, creating a crucial link and connecting the important countries.
  • Abu Dhabi has 95% of the oil and 92% of the natural gas resources of the UAE. It makes Abu Dhabi an economically important country.
  • It has high-quality medical care and academic institutions.
  • One of the world's most advanced ports, the Khalifa Port is located in Abu Dhabi.
  • There are prospective opportunities that motivate industrialists worldwide to set up their businesses in Abu Dhabi.
  • Plenty of job opportunities encourage migrant workers to gather here.
  • Lastly, it is a spectacular tourist spot and attracts travellers from all over the world.

New Words:

Gulf: A part of a sea or ocean that extends into the land.

Peninsula: A piece of land that extends from the mainland and is surrounded by water.

Emirati: An inhabitant of the United Arab Emirates is called an Emirati.

Tahini: It is a Middle-eastern dip made with ground sesame seeds.

Sandstorm: Occurs in deserts when strong winds are accompanied by strong clouds of sand.

Oasis: A fertile patch of land within a desert that has water.


Did You Know?

  • The currency of Abu Dhabi is called Dirham, and its subunit is called Fils.
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  • The most famous monument of Abu Dhabi is the Sheikh Zayed Mosque.
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  • The UAE comprises seven emirates: Abu Dhabi (the capital), Ajman, Dubai, Fujairah, Ras-Al-Khaimah, Sharjah and Umm-Al-Quwain.
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