By Marina Petrovic
Abu Dhabi Urban Planning Council backs master plan which will see major development on island
The approval of an overarching concept master plan, which brings together the individual existing approved master plans and sets out the developments and community facilities Al Reem Island will see over the coming years was just announced by the Abu Dhabi Urban Planning Council (UPC).
The UPC announced its approval of the Integrated Concept Master Plan (ICMP) for Al Reem Island at a special briefing today attended by representatives of all major developers on the Island.
Among the major facilities detailed in the ICMP are plans for 11 new private schools accommodating a minimum of approximately 22,000 students, six dedicated nursery/kindergarten centres, one university (Paris Sorbonne), three new private hospitals and a number of clinics, nine mosques, Civil Defence and Police facilities, a major transit hub, and 500,000 sq m of parks and open space, including pedestrian promenades for much of the Island’s coastline.
The ICMP will enable the Island’s developers to complete their own master plans, which will help the UPC and other agencies better manage existing development on Al Reem Island and ensure that future development is of the highest quality and meets current regulations and standards.
The ICMP is in line with Abu Dhabi 2030 Vision, providing for managed growth of market housing, commercial offices and retail space in close proximity to the existing central business district on Al Maryah Island.
It was submitted by Bunya LLC in December 2014, after working closely with the UPC and Al Reem Island’s key developers over the past seven years to create a plan that incorporates the objectives of the developers with the requirements of the UPC.
Al Reem Island will eventually be home to some 210,000 residents, up from the almost 20,000 that reside there now. The ICMP covers the total land area of Al Reem Island of 8.869, million sq m, with a total gross floor area (GFA) of almost 20 million sq m. Of that, 1.442 million sq m GFA will be office space, 873,576 sq m will be allocated to retail (which includes the upcoming Reem Mall), and up to 10,000 hotel and serviced apartment rooms will be available, along with schools, hospitals and other community facilities.
The benefits to Abu Dhabi are numerous. In addition to providing for the managed and orderly growth of such a large area, the ICMP provides for the protection and enhancement of the North Bay mangroves, it facilitates a number of new transport links connecting Abu Dhabi island to other areas via Al Reem Island, and ensures middle income (‘affordable’) rental housing obligations will be secured for all new areas of Al Reem Island.
Falah Al Ahbabi, the UPC’s director general, said: “The integrated master plan for Al Reem Island forms an integral part of Abu Dhabi’s path toward sustainable urban growth in line with Abu Dhabi Vision 2030 and is a core component of Plan Capital 2030. The approval of the Integrated Concept Master Plan for Al Reem Island is a tremendous achievement and a major milestone for Abu Dhabi City.”
Mohamed Al Khadar, executive director, Urban Development & Estidama Sector, UPC, said: “We worked very closely with Bunya to get this over the line, and we’re very excited about what this means for the future of Abu Dhabi.
“Not only will the growth of Al Reem Island, one of the key areas of expansion for Abu Dhabi, be carefully managed, we are also ensuring that all future developments meet our Complete Sustainable Communities directives, to support the creation of more comfortable, liveable and sustainable communities on the Island; this is central to our mandate.”
Since 2008, the UPC’s Urban Development team has delivered 454 project and master plan approvals. These Projects and Master Plans include Al Maryah Island, the Guggenheim Abu Dhabi (Saadiyat Island), Abu Dhabi World Trade Centre, Yas Mall and Yas Waterworld, Al Raha Beach East, and the World Desert Oasis in Al Ain, among many others.