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Abu Dhabi also has the largest population of the seven emirates.
In June 2011, it was estimated to be 2,120,700 people, of which, 439,100 people (less than 21%) were Emirati citizens, Abu Dhabi is the capital city of the emirate, after which it is named, as well as the capital of the federation.
It adjoins the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia and the Sultanate of Oman.In 1939, Sheikh Shakhbut Bin-Sultan Al Nahyan granted petroleum concessions, and oil was first found in 1958. A few low-rise concrete buildings were erected, and the first paved road was completed in 1961, but Sheikh Shakbut, uncertain whether the new oil royalties would last, took a cautious approach, preferring to save the revenue rather than investing it in development.His brother, Sheikh Zayed bin Sultan Al Nahyan, saw that oil wealth had the potential to transform Abu Dhabi.With the announcement by the UK in 1968 that it would withdraw from the Persian Gulf area by 1971, Sheikh Zayed became the main driving force behind the formation of the United Arab Emirates.After the Emirates gained independence in 1971, oil wealth continued to flow to the area and traditional mud-brick huts were rapidly replaced with banks, boutiques and modern highrises.
Monuments such as The Sheikh Zayed Grand Mosque, Qasr Al Hosn and the Heritage Village add to the city’s historical charm whereas the Yas Island and Capital Gate are the recent developments.