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Middle East and Africa

Middle East and Africa
The Middle East is a region that roughly encompasses Western Asia. The term is considered to be Eurocentric and used as a synonym for Near East, in opposition to Far East. The corresponding adjective is Middle-Eastern and the derived noun is Middle-Easterner. The largest ethnic group in the middle east are Arabs, with Turks, Turkomans, Persians, Kurds, Azeris, Copts, Jews, Maronites, Assyro-Chaldeans, Circassians, Armenians, Druze and numerous other ethnic groups forming other significant populations.
Africa is the world's second-largest and second-most-populous continent. At about 30.2 million kmē (11.7 million sq mi) including adjacent islands, it covers six percent of the Earth's total surface area and 20.4 percent of the total land area. With 1.0 billion people (as of 2009, see table), it accounts for about 15% of the world's human population. The continent is surrounded by the Mediterranean Sea to the north, both the Suez Canal and the Red Sea along the Sinai Peninsula to the northeast, the Indian Ocean to the southeast, and the Atlantic Ocean to the west. The continent includes Madagascar and various archipelagoes. It has 54 fully recognized sovereign states ("countries"), 9 territories and three de facto states with limited recognition.

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Abu Dhabi

Background

Abu Dhabi is the capital and the second largest city of the United Arab Emirates in terms of population and the largest of the seven member emirates of the United Arab Emirates. Abu Dhabi lies on a T-shaped island jutting into the Persian Gulf from the central western coast. The city proper had a population of 621,000 in 2012. Abu Dhabi houses important offices of the federal government, and is the seat for the United Arab Emirates Government and the home for the Abu Dhabi Emiri Family and the President of the UAE from this family. Abu Dhabi has grown to be a cosmopolitan metropolis. Its rapid development and urbanisation, coupled with the relatively high average income of its population, has transformed Abu Dhabi to a larger and advanced metropolis. Today the city is the country's center of political, industrial activities, and a major cultural, and commercial centre due to its position as the capital. Abu Dhabi alone generated 56.7% of the GDP of the United Arab Emirates in 2008.

History
Abu Dhabi is full of archeological evidence pointing to civilizations having been located there from the 3rd millennium BC, such as the Umm an-Nar Culture. Settlements were also found further out of the modern city of Abu Dhabi but close to the modern city of Al Ain. There is evidence of civilizations around the mountain of Hafeet (Jebel Hafeet). This location is very strategic because it is the UAE’s second tallest mountain so it would have great visibility and it contains a lot of moisture in the form of springs and lakes today, which means there would have been even more back thousands of years ago.

Culture
Abu Dhabi has a diverse and multicultural society. The city's cultural imprint as a small, ethnically homogenous pearling community was changed with the arrival of other ethnic groups and nationals — first by the Iranians in the early 1900s, and later by Indians and Pakistanis in the 1960s. Abu Dhabi has been criticized for perpetuating a class-based society, where migrant workers are in the lower classes. Despite the diversity of the population, only minor and infrequent episodes of ethnic tensions, primarily between expatriates, have been reported in the city. Major holidays in Abu Dhabi include Eid al Fitr, which marks the end of Ramadan, Eid ul-Adha which marks the end of Hajj, and National Day (2 December), which marks the formation of the United Arab Emirates.

Education
Abu Dhabi is home to international and local private schools and universities, including government-sponsored United Arab Emirates University in Al-Ain, New York University, Higher Colleges of Technology, New York Film Academy, Paris-Sorbonne University Abu Dhabi and Abu Dhabi University in Abu Dhabi. These boast several languages that make up the population of the city. For example, the Abu Dhabi Indian School follows the CBSE Indian syllabus. INSEAD, the prestigious international business school, established a campus in February 2010, offering an Executive MBA and executive education courses. New York University opened a government-sponsored satellite campus in Abu Dhabi in September 2010. Abu Dhabi Education Council (ADEC) maintains a comprehensive after-school program for interested and talented jiu-jitsu students. The Abu Dhabi Jiu-Jitsu Schools Program began in 2008 under the patronage of H.H. Sheikh Zayed Bin Mohammed Al Nahyan, who is a keen Brazilian jiu-jitsu competitor. The program launched in 14 schools for pupils in grades 6 and 7 and has since expanded to 42 government schools, with 81 Brazilian coaches brought in as instructors.

Transportation
Abu Dhabi International Airport (AUH) is the city's main aviation hub and the second busiest airport in the UAE, serving 9.02 million passengers in 2008, up 30.2% on 2007. Its terminal spaces are dominated by Etihad Airways which is the UAE's national carrier and the country's second largest airline. A new terminal opened in 2009 with total capacity reaching 12 million passengers per annum by 2011. Development work has also started on a new passenger terminal, to be situated between the two runways and known as the Midfield Terminal. The new mega-midfield terminal complex will be capable of handling an additional 20 million passengers a year initially and then later, as Abu Dhabi develops as a major Middle East transport hub, up to 50 million passengers a year, thus providing a major competition to Dubai International Airport. The 5.9-million-square-metre (1,500 acres) terminal will initially include 42 gates, rising to more than 90 gates on completion of the airport.

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