According to legend, the City of Abu Dhabi was
founded around 1760, following the discovery of
a freshwater spring on the island by a Bani Yas
hunting party who were following the tracks of a
gazelle. Their chief, Sheikh Dhiyab bin Isa, who
lived in the Liwa crescent, ordered a settlement
to be established. His son and successor, Sheikh
Shakhbut bin Dhiyab, moved his headquarters to Abu
Dhabi around 1795, building a fort on the island that
today, much enlarged, survives as the Qasr al-Hosn.
The settlement became the Emirate’s capital as it
emerged in the 19
century, deriving its economic
importance from the pearling banks offshore.
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