Abu Dhabi’s first medical school among 13 projects approved by Urban Planning Council
ABU DHABI // Abu Dhabi is to have its first medical school.
It will be built at Khalifa University as part of a broader upgrade plan.
The university campus will increase in size from 34,500 square metres to 169,500 sq m and will be able to accommodate 3,000 students and 762 staff.
The medical school is one of 13 projects, from waterfront communities to public parks, approved by the Urban Planning Council in the first three months of the year.
At least 70 per cent of the projects are residential and include developments in Abu Dhabi city, Al Ain and Al Gharbia, the council said on Wednesday.
One of the most significant is Al Raha Beach East, a waterfront residential community near Yas Island.
Others include a new Institute of Applied Technology campus in Al Ain, comprising a vocational secondary school and university for up to 2,400 female Emirati students.
Experts spoke this year about the need for improved medical education to encourage more home-grown talent.
This would reduce the high turnover of talent from oversees, said Ryder Smith, head of Middle East health at Pricewaterhouse Coopers.
Mr Smith, speaking at the Arab Health conference in January, said there was a need to build on the educational infrastructure to encourage more Emiratis into the healthcare profession to meet that growing demand.
A report that month predicted overall demand for health care in the GCC will increase by 240 per cent over the next 20 years.
Another project approved this year was an expansion of the Petroleum Institute.
This will be carried out by Abu Dhabi National Oil Company and will include an undergraduate centre for male students, a research centre and residential blocks.
“These approved projects bring us closer to achieving the goals of Abu Dhabi Vision 2030,” said Mohamed Al Khadar, executive director of development review at the council.
“Each project must adhere to our regulations and guidelines for planning complete sustainable communities and take into account environmental, societal, cultural and economic factors.”
Plans were announced this year for a new teaching hospital and associated medical college in Dubai Silicon Oasis at a cost of Dh1 billion. It will open in 2017.
The UAE’s first medical school, Dubai Medical College for Girls, opened 28 years ago and pioneered medical education for women.
Abu Dhabi’s medical school plan was originally circulated several years ago. There is no timetable for completion.
Published: May 21, 2014 04:00 AM