DUBAI, JANUARY 30 – The message being conveyed by a series of announcements from Abu Dhabi’s budgetary executive council, with its revival of projects in the country’s 2030 strategic plan, is of a greater emphasis on social provision and infrastructure development.
Launched in 2005, the 2030 Strategic Plan contains parallel development of various sectors – from town-planning to the environment, from culture to industry, all aiming at one single integrated objective: redesigning the city as one of the world’s most efficient, attractive and easy-to-live-in capitals, both for its citizens and for foreign visitors.
That city district-come-island, Saadiyat Island, which is to host the Guggenheim Museum and the Louvre museums (with opening confirmed for 2015), is one of the icon projects of the Emirati capital. Along with Masdar City, the city with a zero carbon footprint, it has grabbed most of the headlines in foreign media reports. But, in the words of Sultan Al Nahyan, Chair of Abu Dhabi’s tourism development association, this recommencement of work after the long break “not only signifies the creation of a cultural destination that will attract art lovers and tourists alike, but will also integrate art and culture in its daily life. It will train cultural experts and become a hub of job opportunities for the Emirates”.
The improvement to citizens’ quality of life will also come through the priorities being given to medium-term projects aimed at meeting their needs.
Over the coming five years, one hundred public sector schools are due to be either built from scratch or renovated (the current number is 286). The house-building programme boasts similar proportions, with 50,000 homes for the citizens of Abu Dhabi due to appear in the coming two decades. The North Wathba project alone will offer 13,000 building plots, with more than 7,500 detached homes due to be completed this year.
There is money in the pot for transport too, with the cutting edge project being the 131 km of underground line by 2017, a tramway system and a new Abu Dhabi-Dubai motorway. More info