Dubai 2040
Under the Dubai 2040 Urban Master Plan, green and recreational spaces and areas dedicated to public parks will double in size to serve the growing number of number of residents and visitors. Image Credit: Twitter/@HHShkMohd

Dubai: The road map for Dubai was set in the sixties when Sheikh Rashid bin Saeed Al Maktoum envisioned the emirate’s evolution into a city that promotes the greatest human values and possibilities and an environment where people can thrive.

Following his vision, His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai, launched the Dubai 2040 Urban Master Plan that maps out a comprehensive future map for sustainable urban development in the city.

The plan focuses on strengthening Dubai’s competitiveness as a global destination by providing diverse lifestyle and an array of investment opportunity for citizens, residents and visitors over the next 20 years. In other words, the plan aims to provide the highest standards of urban infrastructure and facilities.

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Image Credit: Dubai Media Office

“Drawing inspiration from global best practices and adapting them to local needs and requirements, we have created a development model that offers the best possible quality of life and creates the conditions for sustainable prosperity,” said Sheikh Mohammed. “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.”

Years of expertise and preparation

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.

The plan forecasts upgrading Dubai’s urban areas, with development mainly focused on five key centres. The existing urban centres include:

  • Deira and Bur Dubai, historic areas that highlight the emirate’s tradition and heritage;
  • Business and financial heart of the city - Downtown and Business Bay;
  • Hospitality and leisure centre - the Dubai Marina and JBR that serves as an international tourism and leisure hub

The two new centres include:

  • Expo 2020 Centre, a hotspot featuring affordable housing and a focal point for the exhibitions, tourism and logistics sectors;
  • Dubai Silicon Oasis Centre, the technology and knowledge hub that drives innovation and digital economy development

A move towards sustainability

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.

It also seeks to provide sustainable means of mobility and attract foreign investments to new sectors. Other objectives include enhancing environmental sustainability, safeguarding the emirate’s cultural and urban heritage, developing a comprehensive legislation, and planning governance model.

The Urban Master Plan strategic structural layout for Dubai over the next 20 years, integrating all urban development master plans in the emirate. The plan aligns with Dubai’s strategic economic priorities and the needs of the future.

Equitable access to facilities

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 are to 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.

Green Dubai

Under the plan, recreational spaces and areas dedicated to public parks will double in size to serve the growing number of number of residents and visitors. Nature reserves and rural natural areas will constitute 60 per cent of the emirate’s total area. Several green corridors will be established to link the service areas, residential areas and workplaces to facilitate the movement of pedestrians, bicycles.

Next generation ready

The land area used for hotels and tourist activities will increase by 134 per cent, while that used for commercial activities will increase to 168 square kilometres. Dubai will continue to be a global hub for innovative start-ups, international corporations, and strategic investments. The Master Plan will also increase the land area allocated to education and health facilities by 25 per cent, while the length of public beaches will increase by as much as 400 per cent in 2040 to increase the quality of life for residents and visitors.

The Dubai Urban Master Plan 2040 integrates the Hatta Development Plan, which has created a framework for the comprehensive development of the area. The plan seeks to both develop and raise the profile of Hatta’s natural and tourism attractions, as well as protect its environment in partnership with the private sector.

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.