Exhibition World - Abu Dhabi Supplement | Page 7

Abu Dhabi

Sheikh Zayed Grand Mosque
Ruler of Abu Dhabi . This in turn led to the formation of the United Arab Emirates in 1971 , where Abu Dhabi joined with neighbouring emirates Dubai , Sharjah , Ajman , Umm Al Qwain and Fujairah . Ras Al Khamiah joined the fold a year later .
With Sheikh Zayed as President , he led the entire country forwards at a truly rapid pace , which saw the UAE become founder member of the regional GCC in 1981 .
Throughout the 1980s and 1990s Abu Dhabi evolved at pace , with the construction of the Al Maqta Bridge joining the island to the mainland , a network of highways began to link the nation together . Al Ain , Abu Dhabi ’ s Garden City , became just a 90-minute drive from Abu Dhbai , whereas before it would have taken days on camel back to get there .
Across Abu Dhabi ’ s main city , skyscrapers and hotels began to appear . The famous Corniche , which runs the length of the western edge of the island , became a centre point for the thriving city ’ s culture .
Zayed Al Nahyan , became both the ruler of Abu Dhabi and President of the UAE . Carrying on his father ’ s work , Sheikh Khalifa continued to improve Abu Dhabi as a destination , and in 2007 the now iconic Sheikh Zayed Grand Mosque opened its doors . It was also around this time that Abu Dhabi National Exhibition Centre opened to event organisers and so began a journey which put the emirate on the global MICE map .
Since then , Abu Dhabi has cemented itself as a leading destination for all manner of events . In 2009 , Yas Marina Circuit held its first Formula 1 Grand Prix , making it the first country in the region to host a race . Since then , the Formula 1 Etihad Airways Abu Dhabi Grand Prix has become the regular season finale , attracting tens of thousands every year .
In 2017 , Louvre Abu Dhabi opened on Saadiyat Island , establishing the emirate firmly as a cultural hub in the region , and in 2020 , Abu Dhabi was again at the centre of progress as the Abraham Accords was signed between the UAE and Israel , marking the first public normalisation of relations between an Arab country and Israel in the 21st Century .

“ Al Ain , Abu Dhabi ’ s Garden City , is now just a 90-minute drive , whereas before it would have taken days on camel back .”

Abu Dhabi today
Abu Dhabi launched Etihad Airways in 2003 , opening itself up to the world like never before . However , a year later , HH Sheikh Zayed bin Sultan Al Nahyan passed away , and his son , HH Sheikh Khalifa bin
Al Maqta Bridge www . exhibitionworld . co . uk Supplement | 7