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Largest constituent emirate (pop., 2005 prelim.: 1,292,119) of the United Arab Emirates. Bounded to the north and west by the Persian Gulf, to the south and southwest by Saudi Arabia, and to the east by Oman, it has an area of 28,210 sq mi (73,060 sq km). It has numerous offshore islands, and internally it partially surrounds Dubayy and has a short boundary with Al-Shariqah (Sharjah). Since the 18th century the Al Bu Falah, a clan of the Banu Yas confederation, has held power. In 1761 they found wells of potable water at the site of Abu Dhabi city, and they made their headquarters there from 1795. In the 19th century territorial conflicts with Muscat (Masqat) and Oman and with the ancestors of the Sa'ud dynasty (which now rules Saudi Arabia) led to border disputes that have remained largely unsettled. Abu Zaby signed an agreement with Great Britain in 1892, placing its foreign affairs under British control. When Britain withdrew from the Persian Gulf in 1968, the emirate and the other Trucial States formed the United Arab Emirates. Its rich oil fields make it and Dubayy the federation's two most prosperous emirates.
Variants of ABU ZABY
Abu Zaby or Abu Dhabi
This entry comes from Encyclopædia Britannica Concise. For the full entry on Abu Zaby, visit Britannica.com.
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