Abu Dhabi is full of archeological evidences that point to civilizations, such as the Umm an-Nar Culture, having been located there since the third millennium BCE. Settlements were also found farther outside the modern city of Abu Dhabi but closer to the modern city of Al Ain. There is evidence of civilizations around the mountain of Hafeet (Jebel Hafeet). This location is very strategic because it is the UAE’s second tallest mountain, so it would have great visibility. It also contains a lot of moisture in its springs and lakes, which means that there would have been more moisture thousands of years ago.
Origin of the name Abu Dhabi
The origin of the name "Abu Dhabi" is uncertain. Meaning "Father of the Gazelle", when literally translated from Arabic, it probably referred to the few gazelles that inhabited the emirate. According to Bilal al-Budoor, assistant under-secretary for Cultural Affairs at the Ministry of Culture, Youth and Community Development, "The area had a lot of dhibaa [deer (plural)], and was nicknamed after that." An old story tells about a man who used to chase deer [dhabi (deer - singular)] and was named the "father" of the animal. Abu Dhabi's original name was Milh "salt", possibly referring to the salty water of the Persian Gulf, or the ancient salt marshes that surround the city.
Some Bedouins called the city Umm Dhabi (mother of deer), while British records refer to the place as Abu Dhabi. According to some historical accounts, the name Abu Dhabi was first used more than 300 years ago. The first word of Abu Dhabi is pronounced "Bu" by inhabitants on the city's western coast. In the eastern part of the city, the pronunciation is "Abu".