Abu Dhabi is the largest of all seven emirates with an area of 67,340 square kilometers, equivalent to 86.7 per cent of the country's total area, excluding the islands. It has a coastline extending for more than 400 kilometers and is divided for administrative purposes into three major regions.

The first region encompasses the city of Abu Dhabi which is both the capital of the emirate and the federal capital. Sheikh Zayed, President of the UAE resides here.

The parliamentary buildings in which the federal Cabinet meets, most of the federal ministries and institutions, the foreign embassies, state broadcasting facilities, and most of the oil companies are also located in Abu Dhabi, which is also the home of Zayed University and the Higher Colleges of Technology.

Major infrastructural facilities include Mina (Port) Zayed and Abu Dhabi International Airport. The city also has extensive cultural, sport and leisure facilities, together with the wonderfully engineered Abu Dhabi Corniche which offers many kilometers of risk-free walking, cycling, jogging and roller-blading along the seashore of Abu Dhabi Island.

Architecturally speaking the city is also a fascinating place where older buildings such as small mosques have been preserved and sit comfortably in the shade of futuristic modern skyscrapers.

Abu Dhabi's second region, known as the Eastern Region, has as its capital Al Ain city. This fertile area is rich in greenery with plenty of farms, public parks and important archaeological sites. It is also blessed by substantial groundwater resources which feed into numerous artesian wells.

Points of particular interest in this region are the Ain Al Faydah Park, Jebel Hafit, and the leisure park at Al Hili, Al Ain Zoo and Al Ain Museum. This is also a cultural and educational centre and site of the UAE's first university, the UAE University, which includes among its many faculties a vibrant medical school. Internal transport is facilitated by a superb road network and Al Ain is connected to the outside world through Al Ain International Airport.

In addition to th mainland regions of Abu Dhabi there are a number of important islands within the emirate including Das, Mubarraz, Zirku and Arzanah, near where the main offshore oil fields are located. Closer inshore are Dalma, Sir Bani Yas, Merawah, Abu al-Abyadh and Saadiyat, together with many other islands.