This chapter includes the following articles.
Al Gharbia encompasses the western part of the emirate of Abu Dhabi and, at 35,250 sq km (59% of Abu Dhabi emirate), is also larger than any other emirate in the UAE. The government’s strategy for the development of the region is laid out in Plan Al Gharbia 2030. Priority sectors for development include energy, desalination, petrochemicals, tourism and food production, with major infrastructure now under way in the form of a new motorway from Al Mafraq, near Abu Dhabi City, through Al Gharbia via Ruwais, Mirfa, Barakah and Sila, to Al Ghweifat on the Saudi border. Tourism is seen as key for the region, with various events drawing visitors including a water sports festival in Mirfa and the Liwa Date Festival, the 11th edition of which took place in July 2015. The latter attracts 70,000 people annually. This chapter contains an interview Sheikh Hamdan bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Ruler’s Representative in the Western Region.