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Abu Dhabi, UAEThursday 21 June 2018

Abu Dhabi's island dream on the way to reality

Developers urged to "push the boundaries" for Hudayriat Island

A reader offers suggestions for Abu Dhabi's upcoming Hudayriat Island development. Courtesy Abu Dhabi Urban Planning Council
A reader offers suggestions for Abu Dhabi's upcoming Hudayriat Island development. Courtesy Abu Dhabi Urban Planning Council

At present it features the longest cable suspension bridge in the UAE – and not much else.

But plans are underway to develop Hudayriat Island, just off the coast of the capital, and authorities say they want ideas that will “push the boundaries of what is possible.”

The island will eventually add 30 kilometres of waterfront to Abu Dhabi, along with housing for Emiratis, plus commercial and leisure use.

With the project now in its initial development phase, Abu Dhabi Urban Planning Council says that it wants cutting edge ideas that will take in everything from sustainable energy and transportation to beaches and community facilities.

According to Abdullah Al Sahi, Executive Director, of the UPC’s Planning and Infrastructure Sector, the island will be developed over the next 20 years, meaning developers and others interested in working on the project must: “Think beyond business as usual.

“The UPC is encouraging stakeholders to push the boundaries of creative possibilities that go beyond the established norms, while keeping the future generations in mind.”

Plans to develop Hudayriat were first announced in 2009, but did not initially progress beyond the construction of a suspension bridge that extends 19th Street at the junction of Khalifa Al Mubarak Street. The bridge is currently closed to traffic.

The project was officially revived earlier this year, with the initial objective of creating a masterplan by the end of this year.

To assist officials, urban planners and developers, the UPC has organised five stakeholder workshops, the second of which was held on Wednesday (August 16).

The completed masterplan will turn Hudayriat into mixed use community that the planning council says will be themed around culture, coastline living, pearl diving and nature.

The waters around the 3,000 hectare island are already attracting wildlife, with a pod of rarely seen humpback dolphins, including a calf, seen in the Hudayriat channel last month.