New masterplan to offer growth roadmap

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New masterplan to offer growth roadmap
By Saifur Rahman, Business News Editor GULF NEWS Published: August 27, 2007, 23:06

Dubai: The newly announced Dubai Urban Development Framework (DUDF) will offer a comprehensive roadmap for Dubai’s future up to 2020 and beyond, according to a top government official, that would solve the main concerns of today’s urban life.

“The DUDF is our roadmap for the future of Dubai in offering sustainable growth that will look into environmental and social aspects of the urbanisation,” Ahmad Bin Bayat, secretary-general of Dubai Executive Council, told Gulf News in an interview.

Dubai, which has witnessed an explosive growth over the last half-decades due to government’s major economic initiatives, has been trying to cope with the rapid-fire expansion, leading to inflationary pressures.

The emirate’s GDP grew 16 per cent year-on-year over the last few years while the foreign trade skyrocketed in recent years.

More than 80 per cent of the UAE’s Dh510 billion ($139 billion) merchandise trade are conducted through Dubai, while the city’s attractive hard infrastructure is attracting massive investments that is adding further pressure on its capacity, pushing the property and rent prices higher – beyond the reach of the middle income group.

In the recent years, traffic and skyrocketing rents have been identified by the city’s residents as the major cause for concern.

“In 14 months time, the consortium will offer an integrated masterplan that will be based on the future needs of Dubai’s growing population, in terms of land use, traffic impact , water and electricity consumption requirement, etc,” he said.

The government has not yet re-calculate the population growth projections yet.

“The consortium, in its masterplan, will suggest that and the plan will be based on those calculations. We did not give any projections,” Bin Byat said.

The DUDF project will be guided by the Urban Planning Committee (UPC) of Dubai Government and by Ahmad Bin Bayat, a UPC statement said yesterday.

The project falls in line with Dubai’s nine-year vision and is part of the Dubai Strategic Plan 2015 (DSP) announced earlier this year.

“The DSP articulates the collective vision and strategy of His Highness Shaikh Mohammad Bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice-President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai. It focuses on economic development, social development, security, justice and safety, infrastructure, land and environment and public sector excellence,” the statement said.

The UPC has key stakeholders including Dubai Municipality, the Road and Transport Authority (RTA), Dubai Electricity and Water Authority (Dewa), Dubai Land Department, and The Executive Office, as well as developers like Dubai Holdings, Emaar and Nakheel.

Technical experts from each of these organisations will be part of a task force which will help prepare the DUDF. The project will be administered by the Executive Council Secretariat and managed and directed by Dubai-based consultants, Halcrow.

“Environment and sustainability will be key in the masterplan as Dubai has now grown to become an international metropolis,” Bin Byat said.

“Therefore, Dubai needs a different approach to its future development and growth where all the aspects will be integrated into the plan so that we no longer face the usual problems like traffic and other issues.”

An Advisory Panel, which will have specialists and representatives from globally-recognised companies as members, will be formed to provide independent guidance to the project.

The long term Vision will provide clear direction and establish shared aspirations for the city-region, particularly in improving environmental, economic and social sustainability and business conditions in the city. It will develop quality of life targets, seeking to firmly position Dubai within the short list of the world’s most ‘liveable’ places.

The Emirate-wide ‘City and Regional Planning Framework’ will seek to establish a strong integration between the increasingly complex governmental, quasi-governmental and private stakeholder relationships of the city. Key elements of the Framework will include: integrated land use and mobility, housing provision, economic and demographic growth, urban character and design, heritage management, integrated community facilities provision, civic harmony and sustainability strategy.

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