Abu Dhabi - Yas Marina Circuit

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26.11.2023 | Abu Dhabi - Yas Marina Circuit

Key Facts

Location: 54.204020


83,600 sq km (32,278 sq miles).

9,269,612 (2016).

99 per sq km.


Abu Dhabi.


Federation of seven autonomous emirates. The highest federal authority is the Supreme Council of Rulers comprising the absolute rulers of the seven emirates. Decisions reached by the council must have the agreement of at least five members, including Abu Dhabi and Dubai, the two largest members. The council appoints a president to act as head of state. There are no political parties.


The UAE sits at the top right hand corner of the Arabian Peninsula bordered by Oman in the east and Saudi Arabia in the south. All of the Emirates bar one sit on the on the Persian Gulf opposite Iran, and cover a distance spanning 650 km (404 miles) along the coastline. Fujairah is the only Emirate that sits on the Gulf of Oman. The UAE covers an area of 83,600 sq km (32,300 sq miles), Abu Dhabi covers 87% of the country's land mass, which has a consistent terrain of mainly desert. It is home to native animals such as gazelles and the Arabian oryx, which was reintegrated into the area 40 years after it was hunted to extinction. Whilst 80% of the land mass is desert, other ecological terrain includes mountain areas and marine coastal areas.


The highest recorded point in the country is an unnamed peak stretching 1,910m (6266ft) high near the Jabal Bil Ays in Oman (but within the UAE border). The lowest point is at the Persian Gulf. The country only has 3.8% forest and woodlands due to the arid conditions. In an oasis is it common to find date palms, acacia and eucalyptus trees. Sand storms are common in the UAE, and this can cause traffic on the roads due to the poor visibility.

Off the coast of Fujairah the waters are rich in calcium carbonate, and make the ideal breeding ground for coral reefs such as alveopora coral, African pillow coral, brain coral, raspberry-rice coral and more. The marine life in the area is rich due to these diverse coral formations and species in the area include Arabian carpet sharks, areloate groupers, black-finned melon butterfly fish, blacktip reef sharks, parrot fish and even whale sharks, which can be spotted by snorkellers and divers between the months of April and July.

Language: Religion:

The vast majority of Emirati nationals are muslims, approximately 90% Sunni and 10% Shia. The UAE follows a policy of tolerating existence of other religions, through the Ministry of Tolerance. Based on the latest Ministry of Economy census in 2005, 76% of the total population is Muslim, 9% Christian, and 15% are recorded as other (mainly Hindu).

Time: Social Conventions:

The UAE is an Islamic country and women may feel more comfortable when dressed modestly. Even though foreign women can dress as they please, covering the shoulders and knees is a requirement in public areas like shopping centres and also during periods of religious significance. Men are also expected to dress with respect. Homosexuality and adultery are both illegal and while non-married couples aren’t lawfully permitted to stay together in the same hotel room, it is common practice and rarely enforced.

Alcohol is tolerated, with non-Muslims allowed to drink alcohol in the cities’ plentiful hotel bars and restaurants (except for Sharjah). Tourists are permitted to bring four litres of alcohol into the country, though under 20s are not allowed to drink alcohol or buy cigarettes. It is illegal for everyone to eat, drink or smoke in public during daylight hours of the holy month of Ramadan, and on the day or eve of days of national importance, alcohol isn’t sold and bars are shut. As in all Muslim countries, it’s best to keep displays of affection private – kissing or embracing in public is not only considered disrespectful, it could lead to police caution or even arrest. Holding hands is generally fine, but swearing, rude gestures and drink driving are all punishable by imprisonment. Drugs are a strict no-no and could land you in serious trouble. It’s worth checking what medicine and painkillers you bring into the country, as even some common pain medications like codeine are prohibited.


220 volts AC, 50Hz. British-style plugs with three square pins are standard.

Head of Government:

Vice President and Prime Minister of the United Arab Emirates and Ruler of Dubai Crown Prince Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid al-Maktoum since 2006.

Head of State:

President Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed al-Nahyan since 2004.

Recent History:

It can be fascinating to examine the UAE’s foray into the modern world when only decades ago, the country was occupied by desert roaming, nomadic Bedouin tribes, who enjoyed simple existences in fishing villages and the peaceful, expansive desert.

The Bedouin people traded with merchants from Iran, China and India before the arrival of Europeans in the 1400s. From the late 1400s, the Portuguese had control over much of the coastal emirates. But in an 1892 treaty, the sheiks that had control over what we now know as the UAE gave up much of their foreign relations power to the British government.

Trading of the UAE’s "black gold" (crude oil) – the source of the country’s infallible wealth - commenced in 1962, after years of hardship that followed the downfall of the pearling industry in the 1930s. It was soon obvious that the British government could no longer administer and protect the emirates, so in March 1971 the treaties ended and the nine Persian Gulf sheikdoms began negotiations to form a union of Arab emirates. On 2 December 1971, Abu Dhabi and Dubai joined forces with four other emirates to form the United Arab Emirates. Sheikh Zayed bin Sultan Al Nahyan, the former ruler of Abu Dhabi, became the UAE’s first president. After he passed away in 2004, his eldest son, Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan, took over and he has been president ever since.

● The Dubai police force use Lamborghinis and Ferraris so that they can catch speeders.
● Dubai has no address system and no postal codes. For a package to arrive at the desired location, the sender would have to leave instructions about the destination of the package, or send it to a PO Box.
● The world’s fastest roller coaster is housed at Ferrari World, Abu Dhabi’s indoor theme park.