SHARJAH //Regulating the emirate's growth in urban areas and striking a regional balance is the key to the city's master plan, a senior official has said.
Integration of all areas and preserving the city's historical and cultural heritage are part of the Sharjah Planning and Survey (SPS) plan, Salah bin Butti, the director general of the Department of Planning and Survey told the consultative council yesterday.
Housing allocations, investments in industrial and commercial plots for nationals and development of educational facilities were components of the plan.
Growth and development of the eastern and middle regions and Sharjah city would be forged together to shape a city that aimed to provide more opportunities for residents, he said.
Emirati families in the emirate would require an estimated 48,000 plots by 2025, the plan estimated.
So far 13,616 residential plots were allocated from 2006 until last year.
Mr Butti outlined the initiatives taken over the past five years to encourage business in industrial and commercial areas.
Emirati nationals were granted 13,043 plots from 2007 to 2012, with the largest amount - 6,326 plots - for industrial use, followed by 6,272 plots for commercial use and 445 agricultural plots of land.
Health was a priority, Mr Butti said, adding that there were 809 government and private facilities in the emirate.
"Sharjah Medical City is expected to be Sharjah's top health care facility and will promote the emirate as a hub for medical education and tourism," he said.
Mr Butti said education was integral to the growth plan with 277 schools built so far of the proposed 427 institutions.
"The SPS, in cooperation with educational and cultural centres, has allocated 32 cultural centres for children, youth and ladies," he said, adding that 21 specialised museums were built and there were 1,000 mosques in Sharjah.