Abu Dhabi: The Abu Dhabi Municipality is renaming Sowwah Island as Al Maryah Island.

Al Maryah Island occupies a unique location in the midway between the current business area of Abu Dhabi, and the forthcoming projects at Al Reem Island, Mina Zayed and the new cultural district at Saadiyat Island.

The step aims to showcase the economic and urban importance of the area in keeping with its geographical location and historical background.

According to a press release on Wednesday, the renaming of the island comes in the context of the continued attention to embed the true heritage values and cement the pillars of the public legacy, besides culminating the areas with deeply rooted historical values along the UAE. It also echoes the efforts made to revive the districts and regions to measure up to the sweeping development drive seen by Abu Dhabi City in all walks of social, economic and urban life.

Selecting the name Al Maryah is a clear testament to the importance as well as the distinguished location of the area; as it is in close proximity to Abu Dhabi Island. The renaming of the Island also depicts a trend of giving authentic names to the historical areas in Abu Dhabi Emirate. The new name (Al Maryah) denotes a historical village in Liwa Oasis, Abu Dhabi Emirate, inhabited by abundant numbers of Purebred Arabian Oryx called (Al Maryah). The place was dotted with springs of fresh water and various species of birds.

Through history, the area witnessed several episodes of development & growth, with demographic colonies emerging with the development of towns & oasis; which bear witness to the comprehensive development drive seen by the UAE.

Al Maryah depicts the deeply rooted affinity between the pillars & ingredients of the UAE heritage as Al Maryah is also a name of sand grouse; which is an integral element of the desert terrain of the UAE and its natural diversity.

Etymologically, the word Al Maryah refers to Marj, from which the word Al Marijah developed to indicate a place where pastures, plants and various greens spread, along with various types of flora as well as different forms of wildlife, and desert terrain featuring autonomous local animals.

Various kinds of wild and desert plants spread there, along with fresh water. The UAE nationals reverted the "gym" in (Almarjah) to the "Yaa" to correspond with the original local dialect and national identity, expressing their history and thus pronounced through generations as Al Maryah.

It is worth mentioning that Al Maryah Island, formerly known as Sowwah Island, is currently witnessing an extensive urban and modern upswing through undertaking a fully integrated, mixed-use development spanning an area of 114 hectares. The Island was selected by the Urban Planning Council (UPC) in Abu Dhabi to be the new Central Business District (CBD) of the capital.

The Island is being developed in phases. The first phase, Sowwah Square,featuring 180,000 square meters of Grade A office space is integrated within a luxury leisure, shopping and dining precinct.

Al Maryah Island will also include many service and recreational facilities made to the global standards including public parks, footpaths, high-class hotels, various entertainment means; and public facilities such as restaurants and shopping centers in addition to many international medical facilities such as Cleveland Clinic Abu Dhabi.

Benchmarked at the best standards and specifications, Al Maryah Island is a unique commercial and entertainment hub at both regional and global levels.

Our prudent leadership has assigned great care in making this Island an investment destinations open to all investors including UAE nationals, GCC, Arab and foreign investors in accordance with the principle of Musataha (sharing), thus involving investors in constructing urban, recreational and tourism projects

The Island has a unique location, giving it a strategic dimension rendering it a crucial hub in Abu Dhabi. The Island is characterized by its outstanding architecture, which integrates seamlessly with the city structure thanks to its giant, modern, high-level and multi-purpose infrastructure, thus ensuring a civilized and classy pattern of life and opening up broad prospects for economic development, the business community and requirements of commerce and tourism.

In the same context, the Municipality of Abu Dhabi of City has started to change all relevant signage and updated the information in the GIS database of relevance to the Island to bear the new name as well as informed all relevant authorities to use the new name.