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Wed 9 May 2007 12:03 PM

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Abu Dhabi rules out 'cataclysmic' growth

Cityscape special: the UAE capital hopes to emerge as a global city by 2030, but not through "uncontrolled expansion".

Abu Dhabi has outlined plans for a major development programme to transform the UAE capital into a global city by 2030, while avoiding the cataclysmic growth of other emerging economies.

Announced at the Cityscape Abu Dhabi Conference yesterday, Plan Abu Dhabi 2030 is set to initiate a complete urban plan for the capital, which is already seeing a huge rise in development.

The conference is

showcasing $400 billion worth

- $270 billion of which is in the Emirates' capital - of property projects from 200 exhibitors, including TDIC's $27 billion Saadiyat Island development and Aldar Properties' $18 billion Al Raha Beach and $40 billion Yas Island projects.

According to Falah Mohammed Al Ahbabi, associate director of urban planning at Executive Affairs Authority of Abu Dhabi, the programme is set to establish a sustainable and environmentally friendly urban plan for the capital.

"Abu Dhabi will respect, be scaled to and shaped by the natural environment of sensitive coastal and desert ecologies," he said, commenting on the potential environmental impacts of the developments.

Al Ahbabi also said that the key to the new strategy is measured and sustainable growth, rather than the "cataclysmic" growth of other emerging economies.

"Abu Dhabi needs to grow and it will grow, but our future will not be held hostage to uncontrolled expansion," he said.

The comprehensive plan is currently being devised by a team of local and international planners and community development experts, who are responsible for recommending the most effective ways to manage urban development in the future.

Full details of strategy will be unveiled in the coming months.

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