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Living in Abu Dhabi


About Abu Dhabi Abu Dhabi Campus Location and Address
Housing in Abu Dhabi Abu Dhabi Schools

About Abu Dhabi

Abu Dhabi is the largest of the seven emirates that make up the United Arab Emirates. Abu Dhabi, the city, is also the federal capital.  It lies on a T-shaped island jutting into the Arabian Gulf from the central western coast.

The latest census in 2005 indicates a population of 1.29 Million.  About 80% of the population are expatriate - foreigners from other Arab countries, the Indian sub-continent, Britain, Europe, US, Canada, Australia and many more. Abu Dhabi city is located at 24.4667° N 54.3667° E.  It is about an hour and forty five minute drive on a multilane highway to Dubai.

Al Ain is Abu Dhabi's second largest urban area with a population of 348,000 and is located 150 kilometers inland in the eastern region.  It is famous as an oasis city and as the birthplace of the late Sheikh Zayed. Al Ain is connected to Abu Dhabi and Dubai by a fast highway taking about an hour and a half from either city.  In former days, the trip was done by camels taking five days.

Both onshore and offshore, Abu Dhabi has 10% of the world's known oil reserves and 4% of the natural gas reserves.  Abu Dhabi has 90% of the U.A.E. oil reserves which, at current rates of production, are expected to last for another 100 years.  In contrast, Dubai has about 10% of the reserves expected to last for only another ten years.  With the impact of the oil and gas industry, Abu Dhabi became the wealthiest of the seven emirates.  Abu Dhabi and Dubai contribute 80% to the GDP of the country.

Abu Dhabi is pursuing alternative commerce and business to diversify the economy.  Plans are in place to increase tourism to the emirate, although they are not as far along in development as Dubai.  The exquisite Emirates Palace Hotel & Conference Center opened its doors in 2005, putting Abu Dhabi on the luxury hotel map for world class travelers and events. Etihad Airways based in Abu Dhabi, is designated the National Airline of the United Arab Emirates and one of the fastest growing airlines in the world. 

For more information about Abu Dhabi, go to the Abu Dhabi Tourism site.

Housing in Abu Dhabi

At ZU, we work to secure accommodation for you and your resident family members just prior to your arrival.  The rental market in Abu Dhabi is very tight and highly competitive.  Rents have escalated rapidly in recent years with surging demand and rising costs. 

Most people in Abu Dhabi live in apartments.  Apartments in Abu Dhabi tend to be in high-rises of about twenty floors.  Curiously, most apartment buildings in Abu Dhabi were built with no or very little parking.  Those with cars tend to jockey for parking on the surrounding streets.  For those living in the center of Abu Dhabi, most places are easy to access with a quick (and cheap) taxi ride or by foot. 

However, as we have a new campus under construction outside the city center near the airport and, due to the severe shortage of housing in the city center, the University is increasingly having to rent housing units for faculty and staff which are located outside the main city of Abu Dhabi.  These units are typically in newly-created residential areas which may still be under construction, approximately thirty to forty minutes from the current, main Abu Dhabi campus.  If you are housed in one of these areas, you will need to rent or buy a car to enable you to get to and from work each day.

Typically apartments in Abu Dhabi do not have built-in wardrobes in the bedrooms.  Wardrobes to hang clothing will probably have to be purchased as separate furniture items.  Also appliances (fridge, stove or cooker, washer, dryer, etc) are generally not included in the rental and must also be purchased.

Many apartments buildings have restrictions on pets, with cats being more acceptable than dogs.

Very few apartment in Abu Dhabi have gyms and swimming pools.  Luckily, there is a range of beach, health, golf and sports clubs to investigate for sport, leisure and recreation.

Abu Dhabi Campus Location and Address

The Abu Dhabi campus is located in the northwest part of Abu Dhabi, along Hazza Bin Zayed Street, south of the main bus terminal.

The mailing address for the Abu Dhabi campus is:

Zayed University
PO Box 4783
Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates
Telephone: (9712) 445-3300
Fax: (9712) 443-4847

Click here for a map of the Abu Dhabi campus location.

Google Earth users can download a zipped placemark to the Abu Dhabi campus here. You will need Google Earth to view the unzipped file.

Abu Dhabi Primary and Secondary Schools

Abu Dhabi Nursery Schools

Abu Dhabi Primary and Secondary Schools


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