The city of Abu Dhabi is located on an island in the Persian Gulf off the central west coast. Most of the city and emirate are on the mainland and connected to the rest of the country. In 2021, the Abu Dhabi metropolitan area had an estimated population of 1.5 million, compared to 2.9 million in the Emirate of Abu Dhabi in 2016.The Abu Dhabi Investment Authority is headquartered in the city and was the third largest sovereign wealth fund in the world as of 2022. Abu Dhabi alone manages assets worth more than $1 trillion in collaboration with various sovereign wealth funds based there.

Abu Dhabi houses local and federal government offices and is the seat of the United Arab Emirates Government and the Supreme Petroleum Council. The city is the seat of the President of the United Arab Emirates, a member of the Al Nahyan family. Abu Dhabi's rapid development and urbanization, coupled with huge oil and gas reserves and production and relatively high average incomes, have made it a large, developed metropolis.It is the country's political and industrial center as well as the most important cultural and commercial center. Abu Dhabi accounts for about two-thirds of the United Arab Emirates' economy, worth around $503 billion.