Located on an island in the Arabian Gulf, Abu Dhabi is the dynamic capital city of both the Emirate of Abu Dhabi and the United Arab Emirates. It has a highly diverse and international population — 80 percent of its inhabitants are "ex-pats," coming from some 150 countries around the globe. Reflecting that diversity, NYUAD faculty and staff themselves represent 49 countries, speaking many languages and coming from varied backgrounds and experiences. They are a cosmopolitan workforce in a cosmopolitan city.
Much like any cosmopolitan metropolis, both street and pedestrian traffic are lively in Abu Dhabi. Locals and ex-pats alike frequent shopping malls, restaurants, sports facilities, and the waterfront area known as the Corniche. English is widely used in Abu Dhabi, and signs for roads, shops, restaurants, and most businesses are written in both Arabic and English. The city has great beaches and there are many parks. Boating and water sports are very popular along the Gulf coast.
Abu Dhabi has a wide range of international private schools catering to the needs of its very diverse global population. In addition to two American schools, there are also Canadian, British, French, and Indian international private schools. Between Abu Dhabi and its neighboring emirates, shopping opportunities abound, from the traditional date and fish markets to the most contemporary of shopping malls that carry many recognizable brands of food, clothing, electronics, and more. All of these destinations are easily accessible via the city's network of inexpensive taxis. Many people also buy or lease cars.
Recent additions to Abu Dhabi's growing cultural scene — a classical music season, an annual film festival, and an annual international art fair, for example — contribute to a comfortable and fulfilling lifestyle for members of the NYUAD community.