Ruwais Area Guide 2024

Dictricts Ruwais Area Guide 2024
~12 min


Nestled in the Al Dhafra region of Abu Dhabi, Al Ruwais stands as a testament to the emirate's remarkable development. Situated approximately two hours away from the bustling city of Abu Dhabi, this small town has evolved from its roots as a small fishing headland into the modern industrial complex in the region.

At the heart of Ruwais lies the Ruwais Refinery, a critical component of Abu Dhabi's booming oil and gas industry and one of the most modern industrial complexes in the region. The town's strategic location on the western side of the United Arab Emirates positions it as a key player in the nation's industrial landscape.

Ruwais has grown from a remote desert site into a self-contained industrial town, hosting major facilities such as the Ruwais Housing Complex, designed to accommodate ADNOC employees. This housing complex, known as Al Ruwais City, not only meets the seasonal living needs of the workforce but also boasts a range of lifestyle amenities, transforming the area into a vibrant community.

History of Ruwais

The captivating history of Ruwais unfolds in the early 1970s when visionary plans were laid to transform a remote desert site into a self-contained industrial town. This ambitious endeavor was strategically geared to fulfill the downstream requirements of Abu Dhabi's booming oil and gas industry, setting the stage for the evolution of Ruwais.

At the heart of Ruwais' historical narrative is the inauguration of the complex in 1982. This momentous event was presided over by Sheikh Zayed bin Sultan Al Nahyan, the late President of the UAE and Ruler of Abu Dhabi. His visionary leadership played a pivotal role in the remarkable development and prosperity of Abu Dhabi. The Ruwais Refinery, operated by Takreer, became the focal point of this industrial oasis, contributing significantly to the emirate's economic growth.

From its humble beginnings as a remote desert site, Ruwais has evolved into a dynamic and self-sufficient industrial town. The town's growth has mirrored the expansion of Abu Dhabi's oil and gas industry, with the Ruwais Refinery serving as a cornerstone. The inauguration in 1982 marked a turning point, propelling Ruwais into the forefront of the nation's industrial landscape.

Geography and Environment

Nestled in the heart of the Western Region of the Emirate of Abu Dhabi, Ruwais boasts a unique geographical setting. The city, located approximately 240 km west of Abu Dhabi City, stands as a testament to the harmonious coexistence of industry and nature. The landscape is dominated by the iconic Ruwais Refinery, a key player in Abu Dhabi's industrial development.

Ruwais experiences a hot desert climate, akin to its counterpart, Abu Dhabi. July stands out as the hottest month, with average maximum temperatures surpassing 40°C. Sandstorms, though intermittent, add a touch of drama to the landscape, at times reducing visibility to a few meters.

Key Attractions

  • ADNOC Beach Club. Nestled nearby, the ADNOC Beach Club stands as a premier attraction, offering a serene escape along the coastal shores. Visitors can indulge in leisure activities, enjoying the scenic beauty and tranquility that the beach club provides.

  • Ruwais Mall. A hub of retail therapy and entertainment, Ruwais Mall is a must-visit destination. Boasting a diverse range of shops, dining options, and recreational facilities, the mall caters to both residents and visitors. It serves as a vibrant center for socializing and shopping in the heart of Ruwais.

  • Heritage Village. Immerse yourself in the rich cultural tapestry of Ruwais by exploring the nearby Heritage Village. This attraction offers a glimpse into the traditional aspects of Emirati life, showcasing historical artifacts, traditional crafts, and architectural elements that echo the heritage of the region.

Tips for visiting include

  • Best Time to Visit. Plan your visit to Ruwais during the cooler months, typically from November to March, to enjoy more comfortable temperatures for outdoor activities.

  • Ticket Information. Admission details for attractions like ADNOC Beach Club may vary, so it's advisable to check respective websites or contact the venues directly for the latest information.

  • Cultural Insights. When exploring Heritage Village, consider engaging with local guides to gain deeper insights into the cultural and historical significance of the exhibits.

Culture and Lifestyle

Ruwais, rooted in the heart of the UAE, reflects a unique blend of modernity and traditional Emirati culture. The town's cultural fabric is woven with threads of hospitality, respect, and a strong sense of community. Residents of Ruwais often engage in traditional practices, preserving the rich heritage that defines the Emirati way of life.

The lifestyle in Ruwais is influenced by its industrial character, with a significant portion of the population employed in the oil and gas sector. This industrial backdrop has shaped a cosmopolitan community, bringing together individuals from diverse backgrounds to create a dynamic and inclusive social tapestry.


  1. ADNOC Schools stand as pillars of education near Ruwais, providing quality learning experiences to students. These schools are instrumental in shaping the academic journey of the community, offering a comprehensive curriculum and a conducive environment for intellectual growth.

  2. Al Abbas Bin Abdel Muttalib School adds to the educational tapestry of Ruwais, catering to the learning needs of local students. With a commitment to academic excellence, this nearby institution plays a vital role in shaping the future of the youth in the community.

  3. Asian International Private School is another educational facility in Ruwais, offering a platform for students to explore a diverse range of subjects and skills. The school's commitment to holistic development contributes to the intellectual and personal growth of its students.

  4. Amra Bint Abdel Rahman School stands as a testament dedication to providing educational opportunities for its residents. This nearby institution plays a crucial role in imparting knowledge and fostering a positive learning environment.

Medical Facilities

  • Al Dhannah Hospital in Ruwais is a key healthcare facility providing a range of medical services. As a prominent medical center in the town, it contributes to the overall well-being of the community, offering access to various specialties and healthcare resources.

  • ADNOC Clinic in Ruwais is another vital healthcare establishment. Supported by the Abu Dhabi National Oil Company (ADNOC), this clinic plays a crucial role in providing medical services to the community. Its presence underscores the commitment to the health and welfare of ADNOC employees and residents in Ruwais..

Accommodation Options

  1. Apartments. For those seeking a more compact living space, apartments in Al Ruwais provide a convenient and cost-effective option. The average price for a 2-bedroom apartment is around AED 50K per annum, making it an affordable choice for individuals or small families.

  2. Villas. For those who prefer more space and luxury, villas in Al Ruwais offer an attractive alternative. The average annual rent for a spacious 8-bedroom villa is approximately AED 300K, providing ample room for larger families or individuals looking for a more expansive living environment.


  1. Remal Hotel stands as a welcoming retreat near Ruwais, offering a blend of comfort and convenience. Known for its warm hospitality, the hotel provides a range of amenities for guests, including comfortable accommodations, dining options, and leisure facilities.

  2. Danat Jebel Dhanna Resort. Nestled in the picturesque surroundings of Ruwais, Danat Jebel Dhanna Resort is a luxurious escape by the coast. The resort offers an array of well-appointed rooms and suites, each designed for maximum comfort.

  3. Dhafra Beach Hotel is a coastal gem, providing guests with a seaside oasis near Ruwais. The hotel boasts comfortable accommodations with scenic views of the beach, creating a tranquil atmosphere for relaxation.

  4. Anantara Desert Islands Resort & Spa is an upscale retreat situated near Ruwais on Sir Bani Yas Island. Known for its luxurious offerings, the resort features well-appointed rooms, exquisite dining options, and a range of spa and wellness facilities.


  1. Bus Network Overview. The town's bus network, encompassing routes such as X87, X88, 780, 880, 881, 882, 884, and 890, operates from Sunday to Saturday. With services starting at 7 am and running until 11:30 pm, these buses cover diverse routes. Some operate within the housing complex, while others connect passengers to Sir Bani Yas Island ferry station, Ghuweifat border, Abu Dhabi city, Ghayathi, and Al Mirfa.

  2. Key Bus Stations. Main bus stations, including Ruwais Mall Bus Station, ADNOC Bus Station, Ruwais Hospital Bus Station, and West Market Bus Station, serve as pivotal points for commuters. These stations streamline the travel experience, providing easy access to various parts of Ruwais.

  3. Abu Dhabi to Ruwais Travel Time. For those commuting from Abu Dhabi to Ruwais, the X88 bus offers a convenient option with a journey time of approximately 4 hours. Alternatively, private transportation, such as a car or taxi, significantly reduces travel time to around 2 hours.

Special Events

In the close-knit community of Ruwais, special events play a crucial role in fostering unity and enhancing the quality of life. While it's a small industrial town, various events cater to diverse interests and needs, creating a sense of belonging among residents.

  1. Community Gatherings. Regular community events, ranging from educational seminars to medical check-ups, serve as platforms for residents to come together. These events are typically organized throughout the year, addressing different aspects of community life.

  2. Camps and Awareness Sessions. Specialized events, such as camps and awareness sessions, are conducted periodically. These aim to educate and engage the community on various topics, contributing to the well-being and knowledge enhancement of the residents.

Practical Information

  1. Currency. The local currency used in Ruwais, as in the rest of the United Arab Emirates, is the UAE Dirham (AED). It is advisable to have some local currency for small purchases, although major establishments often accept international credit cards.

  2. Language. Arabic is the official language in Ruwais and throughout the UAE. English is widely spoken, especially in urban areas and business settings, making communication convenient for international visitors.

  3. Climate. Ruwais experiences a hot desert climate, characterized by high temperatures. Visitors should be prepared for extremely hot weather, particularly during the summer months, and stay hydrated. Lightweight, breathable clothing and sunscreen are recommended.

  4. Local Services. Essential services, including medical facilities, supermarkets, and pharmacies, are available in Ruwais. It's advisable to familiarize yourself with the locations of these services to ensure easy access when needed.

Safety Considerations and Emergency Contact Information

  1. Safety Tips. While Ruwais is generally safe, it's essential to observe common safety practices. Stay hydrated, especially in the heat, and adhere to local laws and customs. Keep valuables secure, and be cautious in unfamiliar areas.

  2. Emergency Contact Information. In case of emergencies, the following contact information is vital:

    • Police: 999

    • Ambulance: 998

    • Fire Department: 997

  3. Health and Medical Services. NMC Ruwais Hospital and other medical facilities provide essential health services. In case of non-emergency medical needs, contact the hospital or nearby clinics.

  4. Traveling Around. Use reputable transportation services, and if needed, hail a taxi from designated stands. The X88 bus route connects Ruwais to Abu Dhabi, providing a reliable means of transportation.

  5. Cultural Sensitivity. Respect local customs and traditions. Dress modestly, particularly when visiting religious sites. Avoid public displays of affection, especially during the holy month of Ramadan.


Ruwais stands as a testament to industrial development and progress in the Middle East. From the hydro cracker complex Ruwais Refinery to Ruwais Fertilizer Industries, the town's industrial landscape reflects its vital role in the national economy. While the town is relatively small, the contemporary Ruwais community paints a dynamic picture of a developed and diverse area.

For those intrigued by the interplay of Ruwais industrial plants and the marine terminal, the town offers a glimpse into a unique facet of the United Arab Emirates. The handful of nearby areas complement the town's landscape, providing residents and visitors with parks and spaces for outdoor activities. To truly grasp the essence of Ruwais, one must experience its developed infrastructure and industrial prowess firsthand—a journey worth undertaking for those seeking a nuanced perspective on the UAE's industrial landscape.


  • 1.

    How long does it take to get from Dubai to Ruwais?

    The travel time from Dubai to Ruwais is approximately 3 hours by car. The journey duration may vary based on factors such as traffic conditions and the specific starting point in Dubai, but under normal circumstances, a car trip would take around 3 hours to cover the distance between the two locations.

  • 2.

    Which emirate is Ruwais?

    Ruwais is located in the Emirate of Abu Dhabi, which is one of the seven emirates that make up the United Arab Emirates (UAE). Specifically, Ruwais is situated in the Al Dhafra region of Abu Dhabi.

  • 3.

    What is the population of Ruwais?

    As of 2018, the population of Ruwais is reported to be approximately 25,000. Keep in mind that population figures can change over time due to factors such as migration, urban development, and other demographic trends.

  • 4.

    What recreational and community facilities are available in Ruwais?

    Ruwais and nearby areas may offer a range of recreational facilities, including swimming pools, squash courts, and parks for outdoor activities. The town is designed to cater to the needs of its residents, providing a well-rounded community experience alongside its industrial complexes.

  • 5.

    How is Ruwais connected to other parts of the UAE?

    Ruwais is connected to Abu Dhabi and other areas through its bus network, including routes like X87, X88, and others. Travelers can also use private transportation like taxis, and the X88 bus provides a direct link to Abu Dhabi with a travel time of approximately 4 hours.

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Update date: 06/24/2024