Before the 1960s, Abu Dhabi was only a bleak fishing and pearling village. Now everything is modern, sleek and shiny and makes up 85% of the total area of the UAE. It has become the richest and most politically important of the UAE's seven emirates. It is a big city for doing business and considered safe and secure for foreigners as long as you avoid demonstrations and political gatherings. It has been accused of being a soulless place, but to be honest it does have its attractions. Some key attractions are the Al-Hosn Palace used by the Cultural Foundation, the beautiful Capital Garden of the Corniche, and the Women's Craft Centre where you will be able to shop for some very detailed souvenirs.