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Chapter Ten: Dubai’s 2040 Urban Master Plan


The people of the city of Dubai in the UAE can look forward to the implementation of the progressive vision of Dubai Crown Prince Sheikh Hamdan bin Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum. In March 2021, His Highness launched the ‘Dubai 2040 Urban Master Plan’, which maps out a comprehensive and far-reaching strategy for the sustainable development of the city. His long-term strategic goal is for Dubai to become the world’s best city to live in, to visit, and to conduct business in.

The roadmap forward is designed to focus on further enhancing the quality of life of the city’s inhabitants by promoting human values and creating healthy opportunities for all, at every level. Strategic implementation of the plan is also designed to allow for the expected population growth forecast for the city.

As the plan unfolds, it will ensure that Dubai continues to grow as a desirable global destination, not only for residents but for visitors and tourists. While Dubai is already a world-leading business and economic hub and an attractive opportunity for investors, the 2040 Urban Master Plan will elevate the city to a glamorous and prosperous, futuristic metropolis that the rest of the world will want to emulate.

Essentially, the framework of the Dubai 2040 Master plan is to emphasize economic and recreational growth with upgrades to urban areas to provide healthy, inclusive communities with seamless access to mass transit, including walking, cycling and flexibles means of transportation.

The development of Dubai towards the future will integrate economic growth with lifestyles and leisure opportunities. The area catering to business activities will double in size as the sector expands, which will foster growing employment opportunities for a growing population. Alongside economic development, there will be an expansion of investment in infrastructure like hospitals, schools and sustainable housing complexes, integrated with commercial centers and recreation facilities.

The Dubai Urban Plan 2040 was developed as an ambitious scheme to support sustainable development and growth focusing on five main urban centers. These centers include further development of Bur Dubai and Deira, the Dubai Marina and JBR, and Downtown and Business Bay. There will also be two new centers of focus, the Expo 2020 Center and the Dubai Silicon Oasis Center.

Alongside these areas, the Dubai Urban Plan 2040 also integrates with the Hatta Development Plan, improving and preserving open spaces and natural areas, and raising the profile of Dubai’s tourist attractions.

The health and wellbeing of citizens and visitors will be greatly enhanced with the development of green corridors and nature reserves sustainably blended with urban expansion. To achieve this, the 2040 Master plan includes a 400% increase in public beach areas for lifestyle and recreation pursuits, coupled with a remarkable 60% of the city’s land area being dedicated to natural areas. This achievement will represent a doubling of open green spaces, public parks and leisure areas to create a healthier environment for everyone.

In essence, the ultimate plan is to continue to develop Dubai into an enviable global destination offering a wide diversity of lifestyles, investment and business opportunities, for its residents and visitors.

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