Abu Dhabi: Around 2,000 kilometres of coastline will be revamped in Abu Dhabi as plans to accommodate the capital’s economic, environmental and cultural aspects without conflict are under way.
The Urban Planning Council (UPC) alongside the Department of Municipal Affairs (DMA), the Department of Transport (DoT) and a number of other institutions are adopting several new strategies that have never been used before for maritime spatial planning.
The names of 214 islands off the coast of Abu Dhabi are being standardised as officials collect data that is thousands of years old to document information on these islands.
Speaking during the second Maritime Plan 2030 Charette that took place in the capital on Monday, Amer Al Hammadi, Executive Manager for Planning and Infrastructure at the UPC said: “We are taking a look at three scenarios. We will choose the best features of each of these and come up with a hybrid plan that ensures that there is no conflict between all parties involved. This will also mean that some parts of the coastline will have a multi-purpose while taking environmental factors such as bird migration into consideration.”
In order to prepare for the planning process, a great deal of data collection was required. Around six months consisted of gathering as much information as possible from a number of parties about the emirate’s maritime domains.
“The waters are constantly changing and so the plans we adopt have to be adaptive. They have to take into consideration weather conditions, environmental conservation, heritage values and other key factors. It is a complicated process but we are around 70 per cent into completion of these plans which we expect to be done by mid-2014,” Al Hammadi said.
“Surprisingly, we found a lot of garbage on our coastlines from ships passing by. Many seagoers are unaware that the waters we have are shared. We found water bottles from neighbouring countries and other more farther areas,” he added.
The two-day charette will hear inputs from experts and other stakeholders making this undertaking a unique one in comparison to the manner in which other countries take on maritime spacial planning, the official revealed.
“Out of the 40 countries currently going through maritime spatial planning, the UAE is among five nations to set up three scenarios to choose from and listen to their stakeholders before the plan is finalised,” Al Hammadi added.