x Abu Dhabi, UAETuesday 23 January 2018

Focused development for communities in the capital

Plan Abu Dhabi 2030's key features include luxury housing developments, museums, integrated transport and planning parking.

A scale model of the Saadiyat Guggenheim.
A scale model of the Saadiyat Guggenheim.

Key commercial and residential developments in Plan Abu Dhabi 2030 along with major infrastructure projects:

Reem Island

Perhaps the most advanced of the construction zones in the Central Business District, the first residential towers, with more than 1,400 apartments, have been completed but are awaiting final government approval. Bridges to the island are to open in the next few months.

Saadiyat Island

Conceived as the cultural centre for Abu Dhabi. Work on the Louvre museum, designed by Jean Nouvel, is advancing. Work on the Frank Gehry-designed branch of the Guggenheim is also progressing. Last month, Lord Foster's design for the Zayed National Museum was unveiled. The first 354 luxury homes on the island are under construction and should be finished by the end of next year.

Lulu Island

The 400-hectare, man-made island off the Corniche is one of the most important areas for "cultural and environmental" development in Abu Dhabi. Progress has been slow.


A bus system was launched two years ago and continues to expand. Discussions of light rail or a metro, key aspects of the 2030 plan, are still in early stages. This year the Urban Planning Council (UPC) published the Urban Street Design Manual, a first step in mapping out the city's boulevards of the future, including features such as pedestrian "shadeways".

Middle-Class Housing

The UPC's Middle-Class Housing Plan provides a framework for developers to include more affordable housing. The plan requires developers to set aside 20 per cent of the residential gross floor area in planned developments for middle-income rental housing.


Paid parking zones are coming as part of the Mawaqif system, including residential permits. But underground parking, a key component, is still limited to a few new tower projects.

Capital District

Another of the key components of the plan calls for the creation of a secondary core of offices and "major new Emirati neighbourhoods" to the east of the city. A master plan for the ambitious new district is "90 per cent complete", the senior planning manager Michael White says.

* compiled by Kevin Brass