Abu Dhabi is the capital of the United Arab Emirates. When translated from Arabic, Abu Dhabi means, “Father of the Gazelle.” Here are 10 more fun facts about Abu Dhabi.
- Designed by a Japanese architect
- The Yas Marina Circuit
- Living on renewable resources
- The Capital Gate Building
- Ferrari World
- Humpback dolphins
- The world’s largest desert
- And the world’s largest carpet
- Air-conditioned bus stops
- The safest city in the world
Designed by a Japanese architect
Abu Dhabi’s beautifully modern design is down to Japanese architect Katsuhiko Takahashi. In 1967, Sheikh Zayed, who was president at the time, proposed a revamping of the city to modernise it. Katsuhiko Takahashi worked closely with Sheikh Zayed to design the city, and helped spearhead the project, until the Abu Dhabi we see today was built. Initially, the city was only supposed to house 40,000 people. Today, 1.48 million people inhabit the city.
The Yas Marina Circuit
The Yas Marina Circuit, where the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix is held, is estimated to have cost AED 3.6 billion to construct. The 5.55 km track covers 21 hectares, has 21 turns, and can be split into 2 separate tracks so that 2 races can be simultaneously hosted. It is hailed as the most technologically advanced circuit in the world.
Living on renewable resources
Masdar City, a planned city project in Abu Dhabi, will be the world’s first fully sustainable city. Set to be completed in 2030, the city will be powered by renewable energy sources, and be home to 50,000 people. A field of 22-hectares holds 87,777 solar panels, which will provide energy for the city. It will not completely carbon-neutral, which was the original aim, but, it will set an example to all cities across the world.
The Capital Gate Building
The Capital Gate Building stands 35 stories high and has over 16,000 square meters of office space. It leans at an 18-degree angle, which makes it the furthest leaning building in the world. It is commonly known as the Leaning Tower of Abu Dhabi, as it leans 14 degrees more than the Leaning Tower of Pissa.
Opened in 2010, Ferrari World is a theme park dedicated to the luxury sports car of the same name. As you walk from ride to ride there are banners that explain how Ferrari started and how the car rose to fame. Each ride at the park is a thrill, and you can expect to encounter every twist, turn, and high speed that you would expect from a Formula One race. The main event is ‘Formula Rossa’. Hailed as the world’s fastest rollercoaster, it covers 2.2 km and reaches speeds of over 240 kmph. It is certainly a ride for thrill-seekers.
The coastal waters of Abu Dhabi provide favourable conditions for the Indian humpback dolphin. It is estimated that 2,000 humpback dolphins roam the waters of Abu Dhabi, which is the most significant number of these aquatic mammals that can be found anywhere in the world. Asides from Abu Dhabi, you can find the Indian humpback whale in South Africa, Kenya, and Mozambique.
The world’s largest desert
Abu Dhabi thrives amongst the world’s largest contiguous desert, known as the Empty Quarter Desert. Spanning over 1,000 km, the terrain is covered by sand dunes of a reddish-orange colour. The daily average temperature of the Empty Quarter Desert is 47 degrees, so the fauna found is limited to arachnids and rodents.
And the world’s largest carpet
In the Sheikh Zayed Grand Mosque, the largest carpet in the world can be found. It spreads roughly 60,570 square feet and weighs 35 tons. Taking over a year to complete, it took the work of over a thousand weavers to create this masterpiece. When the mosque opened, it was not only home to the largest carpet in the world, but also the largest chandelier. Unfortunately, this title has changed, but it still holds the title of the largest chandelier in a mosque.
Air-conditioned bus stops
The average temperature in Abu Dhabi is 29.6 degrees, meaning that the city can become incredibly hot and uncomfortable. To combat this, air-conditioned bus stops have begun to pop-up across the city. These bus stops are fitted with air conditioning, seats, and top to bottom see-through glass panes, that help travellers stay cool on their journeys.
The safest city in the world
Abu Dhabi was ranked the safest city in the world in 2018, 2019, and 2020. In 2018, they won the title with 86.46 points out of 100. This score was topped the year after when they achieved 88.26 points. In 2020, Abu Dhabi managed to hold onto its title. The ranking is based on user feedback who reported how serious they felt crime was in the city, how safe they feel, and whether they have concerns about being attacked due to discrimination.
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