Abu Dhabi City is the United Arab Emirates' capital - a gleaming and modern, yet distinctly Arab city, situated on a T-shaped island in the Persian Gulf.
What was once a small fishing village is now a sprawling and immensely wealthy city that owes its rapid growth to the pearling and oil industries. Under Zayed the Great, who ruled the emirate in the second half of the 19th century, Abu Dhabi emerged as the most powerful Trucial Coast sheikhdoms. On independence in 1971 these British protectorates became the United Arab Emirates - and the country hasn't looked back.
While not as cosmopolitan as Dubai emirate, Abu Dhabi is a much-more liveable city. Among the oil companies and embassies are broad boulevards, world-class hotels and luxury boutiques that are testament to the city's affluence and confidence.
Abu Dhabi still maintains parts of its heritage. Pretty mosques dot the capital and the Al-Hosn Palace, or White Fort, with its whitewashed walls, is just as eye-catching as the sparkling skyscrapers. The fish market and dhows at the Al'Dhafra wharf give a glimpse of Abu Dhabi as it was before the oil boom, while also being an excellent vantage point for a panoramic view of the city's modern skyline.