Dubai: Launched as a framework for the city to continue its developments and systematically meet its aspirations, the Dubai Strategic Plan (DSP) 2021 aims to reinforce Dubai’s positioning as a global centre and destination across a number of fields.

The DSP 2021 is a continuation for the success of DSP 2015, which was launched in 2007 by His Highness Shaikh Mohammad Bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice-President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai.

The Dubai Plan 2021 framework addresses, simultaneously, all the issues and initiatives that will enable Dubai to become a trailblazer in the world for its quality of life and excellence in governance. Milestones such as the hosting of the World Expo 2020 and other initiatives such as Dubai the Capital of Islamic Economy, My Community — which aims to transform Dubai into a city that is friendly to people with disabilities, Dubai Smart City, and Dubai Government towards 2021, in addition to many others, will contribute to make Dubai a role model for the world.

According to the Dubai Plan 2021 report, the development of the Dubai Plan 2021 framework was based on extensive research covering local, federal, and international sources. The first reference point was Shaikh Mohammad’s vision for the UAE to be “Number 1.” The approach also took into account Shaikh Mohammad’s aspirations for Dubai in various sectors as expressed through various media, and local and international events.

The team working on developing the Dubai Plan 2021 researched theoretical models for the development of cities. The team also examined various benchmark cities that relate to Dubai geographically, economically, and socially. These cities include Singapore, London, New York, Helsinki, Barcelona, Melbourne, Hong Kong, and Kuala Lumpur among others. The performance of these cities, and the areas in which each of them excelled, was used to assess Dubai’s performance vis-a-vis those sectors and areas.

Digital brainstorming session

There were multifarious approaches to gathering the opinions and feedback from key sectors and individuals that went into the foundational concept of DSP 2021. Government of Dubai entities were engaged through workshops at the beginning of the year to arrive at the strategic framework and related Key Performance Indicators (KPIs). These will be used to assess and understand Dubai’s current standing on one hand, and to measure its progress in achieving its targets and goals on the other. The Dubai Plan 2021 framework and KPIs were subsequently endorsed by the Sector Committees, and approved by the Executive Council in May 2014.

The next phase of the Dubai Plan 2021 development collected data and information — in collaboration with all Dubai government entities and the Dubai Statistics Centre — to prepare for conducting a comprehensive situation analysis that will assess Dubai’s current performance and identify key gaps.

Apart from government entities, the development of DSP2021 included a number of interactions of different segments of society. University students participated in a “Dubai … the Future” workshop which brought forth a number of ideas reflecting their priorities and aspirations. These ideas were documented and used as a key input in the development of the various elements of the DSP 2021 plan.

A digital brainstorming session was conducted through the plan’s social media platforms that engaged all segments of society as well as social media users globally. This brainstorm contributed a large number of ideas that were used to enrich DSP2021.

Results of a series of workshops with local and global experts in various fields (social, economic, urban etc) that identified global mega-trends and its potential impact on the region and the emirate were also incorporated into the DSP 2021.

These workshops were followed with the Dubai Plan 2021 Creative Labs, conducted in November over a period of four days, which involved thought leaders and experts from government, private sector, and civil society.

The Labs were highlighted by the visit of Shaikh Hamdan Bin Mohammad Bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Crown Prince of Dubai and Chairman of the Dubai Executive Council, who was presented with some of the key findings and outputs. Shaikh Hamdan reiterated the importance of keeping the people of Dubai and their happiness at the heart of Dubai Plan 2021.