Out of the box

Dubai ... the emirate of plans and strategies

Ismail Al Hammadi

March 16, 2021

In the first topic I wrote on this platform, exactly on October 29, 2019, after voices were raised internally and externally about the future of Dubai after the end of the Expo 2020 period, I had said, literally, that «the Dubai wheel will not stop at 2020, and (Expo) is nothing but a sub-plan of an urban plan, and a comprehensive development vision at some stage, and other plans will follow.

- “A sustainable city requires sustainable real estate, and sustainable real estate requires sustainable solutions.”

Today I go back and repeat it again, the wheel of Dubai has not and will not stop, because Dubai's ambitious plans do not and will not end, and simply because it is an emirate built on plans, and what was built on strategic plans and visions will remain so.

So far, seven comprehensive urban plans have rolled over Dubai, and with each plan Dubai has witnessed huge achievements through which it immortalized its name in the records of history, and established its position globally, and with each plan the emirate expanded, and the area and population density increased.

The first urban plan was in 1960, and one of its most important achievements was the opening of Dubai International Airport, which is one of the largest airports in the world today.

At that time the built-up area of ​​Dubai did not exceed 3.2 square kilometers, followed by a plan in 1971, and another plan in 1985, as the built-up area of ​​the emirate expanded to 87 square kilometers, then 178 square kilometers, and at that time the Dubai Trade Center was completed, and the first free zone was established in Jabal Ali.

Today, Dubai includes more than 28 free zones, after which the 1995 plan was drawn up, and after the 2008 plan, the construction area became 450 square kilometers, then 1035 square kilometers, and during which the Dubai Financial Center was opened, which is not hidden to anyone today.

And the inauguration of the longest self-driving metro line in the world, and the tallest tower in the world until today, followed by the Dubai Plan 2012, in which the embrace of "Expo" was one of its most important achievements, and the building area reached 1,300 square kilometers.

With each plan, there is an increase in the population density, which has reached 3.3 million today, compared to 40,000 in 1960.

In the year 2021, the 2040 plan, which focuses on organizing and integrating all major plans, and achieving a balance between economic and strategic directions, to support growth, development and optimal use of infrastructure, aims to raise the number of population density to 5.8 million people, and expand economic and industrial spaces to 168 kilometers. Square, and the provision of strategic land stocks for citizens' housing.

I will not delve much into the strategies of the 2040 plan, which aims to make Dubai the best city to live in in the world, but I want to refer here to the role of the real estate sector as part of achieving this vision, and to contribute to achieving the sustainable development that this vision aims to.

Personally, I consider it an opportunity to rearrange the real estate house again, and to develop a strategic plan in line with the objectives of the general plan, as the sector is one of the main pillars of the economy, and it is an opportunity to strengthen the focus on industrial real estate, to discuss appropriate solutions to promote the industrial sector, and to encourage real estate investment in it.

The goals are clear, the milestones are clear, but the sub-plans require focus, and carefully tailored, and since real estate is the basis of every sector, and the vessel for practicing every economic activity, whatever its type, remains the task for developers and all activists in the sector to create a real estate product befitting the future vision of Dubai, A sustainable city requires sustainable real estate, sustainable real estate requires sustainable real estate solutions, and sustainable solutions require thinking outside the box, breaking out of the ordinary, to make a difference in the sector.

The issue and what is in it is that the real estate plan needs a new formulation.

To read the previous articles of the writer please click on its name.