Dubai's Ruler has set out the next stage of the city's 2040 Urban Master Plan, with new housing and easier commuting among the top priorities.
Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid, Vice President and Ruler of Dubai, detailed phase two of the long-term strategy.
The master plan calls for developing a '20-minute city' — allowing residents access to 80 per cent of their daily needs and destinations within 20 minutes on foot or by bicycle.
There are further plans to grow food within the city limits. The government has already invested in companies using vertical farming to create produce.
“Today, we have a clear vision for the development of Dubai’s urban infrastructure and housing sector until 2040,” Sheikh Mohammed said.
“Our goal is for Dubai to be an eco- and pedestrian-friendly city, and a city with a high yield from urban agriculture.”
The plan would ensure that supply meets demand in the property sector, at a time of soaring rental prices and a sales boom.
A September report showed the average annual rent for a villa in Dubai reached Dh268,758 ($73,171) last month after prices jumped 26 per cent year-on-year, while average apartment rents soared 27 per cent to Dh89,986.
The plan “calls for proactive initiatives to manage opportunities and changes in the real estate market, achieve sustainable urban development, and boost investor confidence”, Dubai Media Office said.
The first phase of the plan, unveiled last year, includes major new housing developments in Dubai South, around the Expo City site and Dubai World Central airport, and in Silicon Oasis, a business park and residential area to the south of Dubai International Airport.
High yield urban farming
The plan calls for high-yield agriculture and farming by identifying suitable locations and developing the infrastructure and facilities required to ensure food security.
“Phase II also outlines plans for preserving urban heritage to enhance the emirate’s identity, promote historical areas, landmarks and buildings, and improve the tourism experience at archaeological sites,” the report said.
Building a 20-minute city
The master plan also calls for developing a 20-minute city, where residents can reach their destinations on foot or by bicycle within 20 minutes.
“The project involves developing integrated service centres with all the necessary facilities and increasing the population density around mass transit stations, allowing residents access to 80 per cent of their daily needs and destinations within 20 minutes,” the report added.
Melbourne and Paris are regarded as two of the best examples, with public transport, shopping districts and schools clustered within a certain distance.
The plan details efforts to enhance and use urban spaces, such as alleyways, spaces underneath bridges and squares, “by augmenting the elements of well-being to make them attractive for residents and visitors”.
It further details efforts to provide for pedestrians and people using bikes and scooters.
Hatta and Dubai beach plan
Work is already under way to develop the town of Hatta into an adventure attraction in the coming years around the existing lake and dam.
Work on expanding Dubai's Mamzar and Jumeirah beaches further down the coastline are also under way.
Five urban centres
The plan is built around streamlining five urban centres that already exist.
They include Deira and Bur Dubai in the old city, which will be a hub for museums, traditional markets and put the spotlight on the city's heritage.
Downtown Dubai, Business Bay and Dubai International Financial Centre serve the city's businesses and financial activities.
And Dubai Marina and Jumeirah Lakes Towers serve as major tourist and entertainment draws. Expo City and Silicon Oasis make up the five zones.