Essential Info for Abu Dhabi

Population: About 2.7 million

Geography: The city of Abu Dhabi is on the northeastern part of the Persian Gulf in the Arabian Peninsula. Most of Abu Dhabi city is located on the island itself, but it also has many suburbs on the mainland.

Political system: Abu Dhabi is an emirate and the capital of the United Arab Emirates (UAE), which is a federation of seven constitutional monarchies/emirates. Traditionally, the ruler of Abu Dhabi is also the president of the UAE.

Major religions: Islam. Other religions are tolerated, but proselytising is illegal.

Main languages: Arabic is the official language, but English is widely spoken.

Money: The currency of Abu Dhabi is the Dirham (AED), divided into 100 fils. ATMs are widely available and credit cards are accepted in most establishments. Expats are able to open a bank account in Abu Dhabi.

Tipping: A 10 percent fee is usually added to restaurant bills, but this rarely makes it to the serving staff, so leaving an additional cash tip on the table may be a good idea. It is customary to round up taxi fares to the nearest AED 5 and giving an additional AED 10 to hairdressers and beauty therapists is appreciated. 

Time: GMT +4

Electricity: 220 and 240 volts, 50Hz. The square three-pin plugs are the most frequently used.

Internet domain: .id

International dialling code: +971 for UAE, plus (0)2 for Abu Dhabi.

Emergency contacts: In case of emergency expats can dial 999.

Transport and driving: Cars drive on the right-hand side. Seat belts are mandatory and children under 10 must sit in the rear seats. Expats must get a local driving license once they acquire their residence visa. Holders of a driving license issued by the US, UK, Australia, New Zealand, Canada and most European countries do not need to take a driving test.

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