The oil reserves of the UAE are estimated to be 98 billion barrels, 92 billion of which belong to Abu Dhabi. Within the space of 50 years, oil has transformed the capital from a fishing village into, according to the Sovereign Wealth Fund, the richest city in the world. With US$773 billion in cash in the bank and over US$10 trillion invested, it's little wonder that this wealthy emirate is able to splash the cash.
The Founding of Abu Dhabi
The media across the region agonise over reserves reaching their peak and whether modern technologies such as fracking will reduce the dependency on Arab oil. Given that the economies of the Gulf rely to a lesser or greater extent on oil and gas – just look at the hit the UAE took when the 2010 oil glut saw oil prices fall from US$125 per barrel to a mere US$30 in 2016 – this is one issue that can't be left to insha'allah (God's will). As such, Abu Dhabi and its neighbours are busy diversifying their economies and actively exploring alternative technologies (most notably in pioneering Masdar City) to ensure they exchange today's black gold for tomorrow's sound future.
The Road to the Oil Boom
You only have to sniff the air during the F1 race weekend at Yas Marina Circuit to recognise that Abu Dhabi is a capital city that celebrates its fuel.