Open Journal of Social Sciences

Volume 9, Issue 2 (February 2021)

ISSN Print: 2327-5952   ISSN Online: 2327-5960

Google-based Impact Factor: 0.94  Citations  

The Abnormal Population Growth and Urban Sprawl of an Arabian Gulf City: The Case of Abu Dhabi City

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DOI: 10.4236/jss.2021.92017    201 Downloads   1,136 Views  


Abu Dhabi is the capital city of the United Arab Emirates. The capital went through a radical transformation from a nomadic settlement before the 70s of the 20th century to a metropolis that ranked as the worlds fourth favorite city in 2013. It became “the safest city in the world” for the fourth time in January 2020. Abu Dhabi and other Arabian Gulf cities have evolved rapidly in the second half of the 20th century, due to investment of oil and gas revenues. Abu Dhabis population has been growing significantly at an average annual rate of 5.2% during the last two decades. To this end, the total population of the city has grown rapidly by 1000% over the last 42 years. According to the first census conducted in 1975, the total population of Abu Dhabi was 120,000 inhabitants, which increased in 2019 to more than 1.3 million. This increase makes Abu Dhabi’s population one of the fastest growing cities in the world in terms of annual population growth rate. Abu Dhabi city is a good example of a rapidly developing city. Until 1969 the city was characterized by its slow-growth economy. Its population lived in traditional houses made of palm fronds with poor infrastructure. The rapid development of the city transformed Abu Dhabi from a small poor and isolated fishing village into a global financial and leisure center. Its built-up area increased from only 54 square kilometers in 1975 to 758 square kilometers in 2019. This rapid spread (1300% in 44 years) makes the city one of the fastest growing cities in the world. The researcher applied the topical approach with the use of analytical and cartographic techniques to reach the aims of the study to understand the issue of population growth and its effect on urban sprawl in Abu Dhabi city during the period 1960 to 2019 which has been fuelled by economic growth and technological advancements.

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Elessawy, F. (2021) The Abnormal Population Growth and Urban Sprawl of an Arabian Gulf City: The Case of Abu Dhabi City. Open Journal of Social Sciences, 9, 245-269. doi: 10.4236/jss.2021.92017.

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