People often mention the Government’s 2030 plan, but I don’t know much about it. What are the main principles?
In 2007 the Government published Plan Abu Dhabi 2030: Urban Structure Framework, a comprehensive plan for the city’s development. By then, an estimated three million people will live in Abu Dhabi, but the plan accommodates five million. Reading the 185-page document online is no easy feat, which is why we did it for you. The city’s four focal areas will be the Central Business District near Mina Port, Reem Island and Abu Dhabi Island; the Capital District on the mainland to the east of the city, which will be home to Government buildings and Emirati neighbourhoods; the Grand Mosque District on the south east side of Abu Dhabi; and Lulu Island. Capital Boulevard, a wide, Parisian-style boulevard, will connect the presidential palace and Grand Mosque, terminating in a square with monuments, fountains and palm gardens in Capital District – beyond Khalifa City A. It is proposed the boulevard will travel under seven arches to represent the seven emirates.
Pedestrians can look forward to wider, shadier paths and frequent, clearly sign-posted road crossings. There will be bus-only lanes, trams, a light railway and a high speed rail line originating from a Central Souk train station, connecting downtown with Capital District, the airport and Dubai. At least two high-capacity metro lines will also be built, one of which will originate on Saadiyat Island and Al Mina, turn left at Central Station then follow Airport Road to the Grand Mosque and Al Raha Beach. The other will traverse downtown from east to west, connecting Al Reem and Sowwah Square with Central Station and Marina Mall.
Roads will be narrower, but there will be more of them to spread out traffic. Each will have more exits to prevent bottle necks. Express and transit lanes are also planned. New motorways will connect Saadiyat Island to the airport, and Al Reem and Saadiyat Island to Al Raha Beach. These will shorten the driving distance to Dubai, provide alternative entry points to new island developments and take traffic pressure off Salam Street. Al Bateen Executive Airport will be moved out of the city.
Housing will be clustered to accommodate extended families while mosques, parks and shops will be distributed throughout residential areas. Emirati neighbourhoods will be strategically located in higher-density commercial areas rather than being forced to spread further away from offices and malls to avoid segregating Emirati and expatriate households. A new national park will be established next to the city. Development will be forbidden within the park, which will protect land and marine environments, and the city’s limits will be defined to prevent the sprawl through the desert as in Dubai.