Nature reserves and rural natural areas will constitute 60 per cent of the emirate’s total area, while land used for hotels and tourist activities will increase by 134 per cent.
Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai, launched the ambitious Dubai 2040 Urban Master Plan on Saturday, March 13.
The sustainable urban development plan envisions green and recreational spaces and areas dedicated to public parks to double in size. 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, facilitate the movement of pedestrians, bicycles, and sustainable mobility means across the city, reported state news agency WAM.
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.
It also involves increasing the land area allocated to education and health facilities by 25 per cent, and increasing the length of public beaches by up to 400 per cent in 2040.
The Dubai Urban Master Plan is focused on development and investment in five main urban centres – three existing and two new centres. The existing urban centres include the historical neighbourhoods of Deira and Bur Dubai; the 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, which will featuring affordable housing and will be a focal point for the exhibitions, tourism and logistics sectors; and Dubai Silicon Oasis Centre, which will serve as a science and technology hub.
Some of the key priorities of the Master Plan include improving the efficiency of resource utilisation, developing vibrant, healthy and inclusive communities, and doubling green and leisure areas as well as public parks. It will attempt to promote the optimal utilisation of the infrastructure by developing vacant urban spaces and encourage mass transit use, walking, cycling and the use of flexible means of transportation, besides developing a planning database to support decision-making.
It 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, as well as developing legislation and a planning governance model.
The new Master Plan is the seventh of its kind 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 includes 200 nationalities. The urban and built area of the emirate increased 170-fold from 3.2 square km in the same period.
The plan aims to future-proof the urban development of the emirate. It will therefore focus on utilising available spaces and concentrating development in existing urban areas. Easily accessible integrated service centres will be established across Dubai. It also seeks to raise the quality of life of the city while increasing population densities around key mass transit stations. 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 will provide for the equitable access to facilities, services and opportunities across the city for all residents.
It defines a hierarchy of communities in the city. The largest of them, the emirate, includes the five main ‘towns’ built around each of the five main urban centres with a population of 1 to 1.5 million, followed by the multi sector with a population of between 300,000 and 400,000; the sector with a population of between 70,000 and 125,000; the district with a population of between 20,000 and 30,000; the community with a population from 6,000 to 12,000 and finally the neighbourhood, with a population between 2,000 and 4,000. Based on these levels, infrastructure and transit systems, energy and government services, and facilities such as hospitals, schools, service centres, and leisure centres will be planned across Dubai.
The Dubai Urban Master Plan 2040 will also integrates the Hatta Development Plan, which has created a framework for the comprehensive development of the area.
Carried out in partnership with the private sector, the Hatta Development Plan will promote tourism within the area.
Sheikh Mohammed said that the new Master Plan will promote “the world’s best quality of life”, and the “highest standards of urban infrastructure and facilities.”
“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.
The very first Master Plan in 1960 involved projects such as opening of Al Maktoum Bridge and of the Dubai International Airport; the second Plan unveiled in 1971 involved the construction of the Jebel Ali Port and Trade Centre; the Third Master Plan launched in 1985 included establishing Emirates Airline and the first Free Zone in Jebel Ali; the Fourth Master Plan showcased in 1995 included the construction of the Dubai International Financial Centre, the Palm Jumeirah and the Mohammed bin Rashid Space Centre; the Fifth Urban Master Plan was launched in 2008 when the population of Dubai was 1.5 million and include the opening of the Dubai Metro, the Al Maktoum Airport in Dubai South and the construction of Terminal 3 at the Dubai International Airport; the sixth plan unveiled in 2012 included the opening of the Dubai Water Canal, the Mohammed Bin Rashid Al Maktoum Solar Park and also involved launching the Museum of the Future project.
BYVARUN GODINHOMARCH 14, 2021