Abu Dhabi Timeline


1760 - The Baniyas Tribe finds fresh water in Abu Dhabi and settles on the island

1761 - A watchtower was built to protect the Abu Dhabi fresh water.

1793 - The watchtower later expanded to a small fort called "Old Fort" (also known as the Al Hosn Palace / White Fort), then developed as the residence of ruling family. 

1835 - Maritime Truce signed between the Trucial States and Britain

1897 - Abu Dhabi falls under the protection of Britain

1958 - Oil is found and production begins on Das Island

1961 - Abu Dhabi’s first paved road is constructed

1962 - Abu Dhabi begins exporting oil

1966 - Sheikh Zayed bin Sultan Al Nahyan becomes ruler of Abu Dhabi

1971 - Britain withdraws from the Arabian Gulf. The United Arab Emirates is born, with HH Sheikh Zayed bin Sultan Al Nahyan as the leader. The UAE joins the Arab League.

1973 - The UAE launches a single currency, the UAE dirham

1981 - The GCC is formed, with the UAE as a founding member

1986 - Abu Dhabi Duty Free opens at Abu Dhabi International Airport

2003 - Etihad, Abu Dhabi’s official airline is launched

2004 - Sheikh Zayed bin Sultan Al Nahyan dies and is succeeded as ruler of the UAE by his son, Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan

2005 - Emirates Palace Hotel opens to the public

2005 - Abu Dhabi announces that it will open a licensed branch of the Louvre on Saadiyat Island

2006 - Announcement of Abu Dhabi Metro Project  to be completed by 2015.

2007 - Abu Dhabi announces its own F1 Grand Prix, to be held for the first time in 2009

2007 - Sheikh Zayed Bin Sultan Al Nahyan Mosque (Grand Mosque) opens 

2008 - Metered taxi operation regulated, by phasing out old gold colour taxis with silver colour taxis.  

2008 - Department of Transport introduces public bus transport service in Abu Dhabi. 

2009 - Yas Marina Circuit, hosts Abu Dhabi's first Formula 1 race on Yas Island 

2010 - Ferrari World opened on Yas Island

2013 - Yas Waterworld opened on Yas Island