It is the capital and the second most populous city of the United Arab Emirates (the most populous being Dubai), and also capital of the Emirate of Abu Dhabi, the largest of the UAE's seven 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 1.5 million in 2014.
The city of Abu Dhabi is on the northeastern part of the Persian Gulf in the Arabian Peninsula. It is on an island less than 250 metres (820 ft) from the mainland and is joined to the mainland by the Maqta and Mussafah Bridges. A third, Sheikh Zayed Bridge, designed by Zaha Hadid, opened in late 2010. Abu Dhabi Island is also connected to Saadiyat Island by a five-lane motorway bridge. Al-Mafraq bridge connects the city to Reem Island and was completed in early 2011. This is a multilayer interchange bridge and it has 27 lanes which allow roughly 25,000 automobiles to move per hour. There are three major bridges of the project, the largest has eight lanes, four leaving Abu Dhabi city and four coming in.
Most of Abu Dhabi city is located on the island itself, but it has many suburbs on the mainland, for example Khalifa City A, B, and C Al Raha Beach, Al Bahia City A, B, and C, Al Shahama, Al Rahba, Between Two Bridges, Baniyas, Shamkha, AL Wathba and Mussafah Residential
Abu Dhabi has a hot desert climate. Sunny blue skies can be expected throughout the year. The months of June through September are generally extremely hot and humid with maximum temperatures averaging above 38 °C (100 °F). During this time, sandstorms occur intermittently, in some cases reducing visibility to a few meters.
The cooler season is from November to March, which ranges between moderately hot to mild. This period also sees dense fog on some days. On average, January is the coolest month in the year, while August is the hottest. Since the Tropic of Cancer passes through the emirate, the southern part falls within the Tropics. However, despite the coolest month having a 18.8 °C (65.8 °F) average, its climate is far too dry to be classed as tropical.
Abu Dhabi has a diverse and multicultural society. The city's cultural imprint as a small, ethnically homogeneous pearling community was changed with the arrival of other ethnic groups and nationals—first by the Iranians in the early 1900s, and later by various Asian and European ethnicities in the 1950s and 60s. Abu Dhabi has been criticized for perpetuating a class-based society, where migrant workers are in the lower classes, and suffer abuse which "is endemic to the system". 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.