A deserted desert island is set to be transformed into another massive Abu Dhabi tourist attraction as an ambitious city masterplan begins to take shape.
Disused Hudayriat Island is the focus of the bold new vision being spearheaded by Abu Dhabi Urban Planning Council (UPC), which is holding a series of high-powered workshops to discuss developing housing, transportation and a wide range of community facilities on the untapped 3,000 hectare plot.
Developers are eager to “push the boundaries of creative possibilities” during the forward-thinking scheme.
Hudayriat, located in the southwest area of the city, boasts 30km of accessible waterfront.
Over the next 20 years, developers plan to create new housing in low-density communities themed around culture, coastline living, pearl diving and nature.
The second of five workshops was held recently, with government officials, urban planners and developers discussed the future of the island and how to unleash the full potential of an “extraordinary site”.
HE Abdullah Al Sahi, executive director of Abu Dhabi UPC’s planning and infrastructure sector, says: “Given the extraordinary site and lifespan of the project, which is expected to be developed over the next two decades, it’s important to 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.”
The UPC is eager to turn the island into a visitor attraction for residents in Abu Dhabi and throughout the rest of the UAE, as well as for tourists visiting the emirate from all over the world.
It is a project that is already nearly a decade in the making. Efforts to breath life into the huge space were first made back in 2009 as part of the wider 2030 vision for the capital.
The scheme was given fresh impetus in May of this year when United States-based CBT Architects were appointed as lead designers for the masterplan.
The project aims to make the island a completely sustainable community, also including plots for UAE nationals as part of the Emirati Housing Programme.
It has been several years in the making – and the dream won’t become a reality for many more years yet – but a fantasy island is set to become a huge part of Abu Dhabi’s long-term future.
We can’t wait until we have the chance to hop onto Hudayriat.