The United Arab Emirates is a country consisting of 7 different emirates, or principalities. Abu Dhabi is the capital and chief center of commerce. The UAE population in 2010 was estimated as slightly over 8 million of whom only 13% were UAE nationals or Emiratis. The majority of the population is from Southern Asia and provides the work force for the service industry and related businesses.
Sheikh Zayed Grand Mosque in Abu Dhabi is the third largest mosque in the world and can accommodate over 40,000 worshippers. The main prayer hall can hold 7000 people. There are seven German chandeliers incorporating millions of Swarovski crystals.
The skyline of Abu Dhabi showcases some amazing architecture as does its sister city, Dubai. Currently the tallest building in the world is Burj Khalifa, 2717 feet high, overlooking the city of Dubai. It is also home to one of the most famous hotels in the world, Burj al Arab, whose sail-like design is unique.
Though modern, fantastic architecture is the norm, there are still pockets with an Old World feel such as the colorful markets with their array of spices, fabric, shoes and gold.