Once you get airborne, you realize that most of Abu Dhabi city is located on an island itself, but it has many suburbs on the mainland. The Emirate of Abu Dhabi’s land surface measures 67,340 square kilometres, which is equivalent to about 88% of the UAE’s total land area. Only less than 29% of the emirate is inhabited, with the remaining vast expanses covered mainly by desert and arid land.
The airport is located near the coast, and like most of the Middle East, the coastal areas contain pockets of wetland and mangrove colonies. Abu Dhabi's dozen or so islands, mostly small and uninhabited like the ones pictured, have been designated as sanctuaries for wildlife. The rest of the desert is laying on an oil bed!
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