Dubai: His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice-President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai, on Saturday launched the Dubai 2040 Urban Master Plan that maps out a comprehensive future map for sustainable urban development in the city. Aligned with the UAE’s vision for the next 50 years, the Plan is focused on enhancing people’s happiness and quality of life.
The plan focuses on reinforcing Dubai’s competitiveness as a global destination by providing a wide diversity of lifestyle and investment opportunities for citizens, residents and visitors over the next 20 years. Designed to realise Sheikh Mohammed’s vision to make Dubai the city with the world’s best quality of life, the plan aims to provide the highest standards of urban infrastructure and facilities.
Sheikh Mohammed said the visionary development journey started by the late Sheikh Rashid bin Saeed Al Maktoum in the sixties continues to guide Dubai’s evolution into a city that promotes the greatest human values and possibilities and an environment where people from around the world can thrive.
“Our strategic development plans are focused on creating the best possible environment and infrastructure to enhance the community’s happiness and wellbeing and support the fulfilment of the greatest human aspirations for both our citizens and people from around the world. Our goal is to create a truly inclusive environment that not only meets the needs of Dubai’s diverse population, but also inspires them to tap into their creative and innovative capacities and realise their true potential," Sheikh Mohammed said.
“By constantly striving to raise benchmarks and implementing diligent strategic planning, we have joined the ranks of the world’s leaders in various spheres and sectors. With a clear vision and a deep understanding of what it takes to succeed in an evolving global environment, we continue to work to shape an even greater future rich with opportunities,” Sheikh Mohammed added.
The launch of the Plan was attended by Sheikh Maktoum bin Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Deputy Ruler of Dubai; Sheikh Ahmed bin Saeed Al Maktoum, President of the Dubai Civil Aviation Authority, Chairman of Dubai Airports and Chairman and Chief Executive of Emirates Airline and Group; Sheikh Ahmed bin Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Chairman of Dubai Media Council; members of the Dubai 2040 Urban Master Plan Higher Committee, and leaders from Dubai government.
The new Master Plan is the seventh such plan developed for the emirate since 1960. Between 1960 and 2020, the population of Dubai has multiplied 80 times from 40,000 in 1960 to 3.3 million by the end of 2020 and increased in cultural diversity to include people from over 200 nationalities. The urban and built area of the emirate increased 170-fold from 3.2 square km in the same period.
Enhanced quality of life
The Plan envisages upgrading Dubai’s urban areas, with development mainly focused on five key centres. Some of the key priorities include improving the efficiency of resource utilisation, developing vibrant, healthy and inclusive communities, and doubling green and leisure areas as well as public parks to provide a healthy environment for residents and visitors.
The new Master Plan also seeks to provide sustainable and flexible means of mobility as well a foster greater economic activity and attract foreign investments to new sectors. Other objectives include enhancing environmental sustainability, safeguarding the emirate’s cultural and urban heritage and developing a comprehensive legislation and planning governance model.
Five urban centres
The Dubai Urban Master Plan is focused on development and investment in five main urban centres (three existing and two new centres) that support growth of economic sectors and increased job opportunities for its diverse population, in addition to providing an wide range of lifestyle facilities that cater to the needs of all sections of the population. The existing urban centres include Deira and Bur Dubai, historic areas that highlight the emirate’s tradition and heritage; the business and financial heart of the city encompassing Downtown and Business Bay; the hospitality and leisure centre encompassing the Dubai Marina and JBR that serves as an international tourism and leisure hub. The two new centres include Expo 2020 Centre, an economic and growth hotspot featuring affordable housing and a focal point for the exhibitions, tourism and logistics sectors; and Dubai Silicon Oasis Centre, a science and technology and knowledge hub that drives innovation, digital economy development and talent generation.
Equitable access to facilities
The new Master Plan has defined an integrated approach to the development of the urban centres by providing equitable access to facilities, services and opportunities across the city for all residents.
According to recent studies, the number of Dubai residents is expected to increase from 3.3 million in 2020 to 5.8 million by 2040, while the day-time population is set to increase from 4.5 million in 2020 to 7.8 million in 2040. The Master Plan focuses on utilising available spaces within the limits of the current city and concentrating development in existing urban areas. Easily accessible integrated service centres will be established across Dubai to ensure that the needs of all sections of the population are catered to. The plan seeks to raise the quality of life of the city while increasing population densities around key mass transit stations.
Growth rooted in sustainability
Along with its Urban Master Plan 2040, Dubai will issue an integrated and flexible urban planning law that supports sustainable development and growth, taking into consideration the future aspirations of the emirate’s diverse population. The Master Plan features a model for integrated governance of the urban planning system that streamlines the mutual relationships and responsibilities of all stakeholders.
The new Plan will raise the efficiency of development and promote the optimal utilisation of the infrastructure by developing vacant urban spaces. The Master Plan aims to encourage mass transit use, walking, cycling and the use of flexible means of transportation, besides developing a comprehensive planning database to support decision-making and enhance transparency.
The Plan also seeks to develop integrated sustainable housing complexes to meet the needs of citizens. The 2040 Urban Master Plan will develop integrated communities according to the highest planning standards, with green spaces, commercial centres and recreational facilities aimed at enhancing human well-being