Al Dhafra, Abu Dhabi

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Al Dhafra Region[1]

Arabic: مِنْطَقَة ٱلظَّفْرَة

Western Region
Arabic: ٱلْمِنْطَقَة ٱلْغَرْبِيَّة
Dunes near Liwa Oasis in the region of Ar-Rub' Al-Khali (The Empty Quarter)
Flag of Al Dhafra Region[1]
Coat of arms of Al Dhafra Region[1]
Coat of arms
Location of the Western Region in the Emirate of Abu Dhabi[2]
Location of the Western Region in the Emirate of Abu Dhabi[2]
Coordinates: Coordinates: 23°39′N 53°42′E / 23.650°N 53.700°E / 23.650; 53.700
Country United Arab Emirates
Emirate Abu Dhabi
SeatMadinat Zayed
 • TypeAbsolute monarchy
 • EmirKhalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan
 • Ruler's Representative of the Western Region of the Emirate of Abu DhabiHamdan bin Zayed bin Sultan Al Nahyan
Time zoneUTC+4 (UAE standard time)
 • Summer (DST)UTC+4

Al Dhafra Region (Arabic: مِنْطَقَة ٱلظَّفْرَة‎, romanizedMinṭaqah aẓ-Ẓafrah), known until 2017 as "Al Gharbia" or the "Western Region" (Arabic: ٱلْمِنْطَقَة ٱلْغَرْبِيَّة‎, romanizedAl-Minṭaqah al-Gharbiyyah),[1][2] is one of three Municipal Regions in the Emirate of Abu Dhabi. Forming the western part of the United Arab Emirates, it is by far the largest region by area, occupying 71 % of the emirate's total area, yet the smallest by population and population density, and thus a rather remote region of the Emirate of Abu Dhabi, similar to the Eastern Region.[3] The capital of Al Dhafra Region is Madinat Zayed[4] (Bida Zayed). The new official name was already the historical name of the westernmost region of former Trucial Oman, which was Dhafrah.[5] It is significant for its natural resources, particularly gas and petroleum. Its reserves of hydrocarbons account for 90% of the Emirate's reserves, which in turn account for 90% of the country's reserves, and are important for the local economy.[6]


The Region had a population of 202,154 as of the Census of 2010 (including Islands Region with 17,646). With a given population density of 6, the area of the region could be calculated at 33,700 square kilometres (13,000 square miles).[7] Other official sources, however, state an area of 59,760 square kilometres (23,070 square miles), or an 83 percent share of the emirate total of 72,000 square kilometres (28,000 square miles).[8]

This region comprises seven townships, with population figures of the 2005 census of population (109,000 for the region):[9]

Al Gharbia's coastal communities are served with six Western Region Ports built, developed and managed by Abu Dhabi Ports Company (ADPC). These include Mugharrag, Al Sila, Sir Bani Yas, Dalma and Marfa Ports. The ports support local industries like fishing, tourism, logistics and leisure activities as well as facilitating the transport of people and goods to offshore islands.[10]

Wildlife and prehistory[edit]

7 million-year-old fossilized footprints of elephants have been discovered at the site named "Mleisa 1" near Al Gharbia.[11][12] Within the area of Baynunah, a camel-slaughter site dating to about 6,000 years ago was discovered.[13]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b "Khalifa renames Eastern and Western Regions". WAM. Gulf News. 2017-03-16. Retrieved 2017-03-18.
  2. ^ a b c Statistical Yearbook of Abu Dhabi 2018 (pdf), Statistics Centre – Abu Dhabi, 2018, p. 171, retrieved 2019-05-15
  3. ^ "Regional location maps (eastern and western regions of Abu Dhabi emirate)". Ask Explorer. Retrieved 2019-03-22.
  4. ^ "Al Gharbia". The Report Abu Dhabi 2010. Oxford Business Group. 2010. p. 171. ISBN 978-1-9070-6521-7.
  5. ^ John Gordon Lorimer: Gazetteer of the Persian Gulf, Vol. II, S, 412ff.
  6. ^ The Report Abu Dhabi 2016. Oxford Business Group. 2016-05-09. p. 14. ISBN 978-1-9100-6858-8.
  7. ^ Abu Dhabi Statistical Yearbook 2011, Population and Demography[permanent dead link]
  8. ^ GIS at Western Region Municipality Archived 2013-12-14 at the Wayback Machine, page 8
  9. ^ Abu Dhabi Report
  10. ^ "Abu Dhabi Ports Company's Western Region Ports". Archived from the original on 2013-10-27. Retrieved 2013-07-07.
  11. ^ "Les éléphants préhistoriques aussi sociables que leurs congénères actuels - Communiqués et dossiers de presse - CNRS". (in French). Retrieved 2018-10-11.
  12. ^ "Des empreintes de 7 millions d'années racontent les éléphants d'autrefois". Futura (in French). Retrieved 2018-10-11.
  13. ^ "Annual Report 2017" (pdf), Department of Culture and Tourism – Abu Dhabi, 1: Culture, pp. 28–29, 2017, retrieved 2019-03-09

External links[edit]