Abu Dhabi, the capital city of the United Arab Emirates • Earth.com

Abu Dhabi, the capital city of the United Arab Emirates

Today’s Image of the Day from NASA Earth Observatory  features an astronaut photograph of Abu Dhabi, located on the coast of the Persian Gulf.

Abu Dhabi is the capital and the second-most populous city of the United Arab Emirates (UAE). It is also the capital of the Emirate of Abu Dhabi, the largest of the UAE’s seven emirates. 

Abu Dhabi possesses around 9% of the world’s proven oil reserves and about 5% of the world’s natural gas. Consequently, oil exports have fueled its rapid development and provided substantial wealth.

“Prior to the formation of the UAE in the 1970s, Abu Dhabi was a municipality of less than 62,000 people. The region experienced a rapid population increase over the past five decades due to its role in the petroleum and financial industries, which enabled the city’s population to grow to about 1.5 million people by the early 2020s,” said NASA.

The city places a strong emphasis on promoting Emirati culture and heritage. It hosts numerous events, festivals, and has several museums and cultural centers.

“The landscape of the Abu Dhabi emirate is mainly composed of wind-blown sand, mangroves, rocky outcrops, and intertidal flats. The Abu Dhabi Sabkha, visible along the coastline as brown, non-vegetated land, was produced by wind erosion of ancient dunes and the deposition of tidal sediments,” said NASA.

“Sabkhas are flat coastal areas that are characteristically high in salt. The abundance of salt in the soil limits the ability of vegetation to develop on the sabkha.”

“In contrast to the barren sabkha, green mangrove forests are present along the coastline as well. Mangrove forests are regions of shrubs and trees with dense root systems that protect the intertidal zones from coastal erosion.”

Image Credit: NASA Earth Observatory 

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