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Sat 21 Mar 2015 02:20 AM

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UAE to get new African safari tourist attraction

World Desert Oasis is among 76 new projects and master plans approved by Abu Dhabi Urban Planning Council

UAE to get new African safari tourist attraction
(Getty Images - for illustrative purposes only)

Plans for a major new tourist attraction in Al Ain, featuring an African safari experience, botanical gardens and an amphitheatre, have been approved by the Abu Dhabi Urban Planning Council (UPC).

World Desert Oasis is among 76 new projects and master plans approved by the UPC and is one of several approved projects that are set to enhance Al Ain’s appeal as a tourist destination.

Designed to showcase wildlife in its natural environment, World Desert Oasis is a project within the Zoo and Aquarium Public Institution of Al Ain (ZAPIA) and will be one of the many zones that make up ZAPIA Park, news agency WAM reported.

Visitors will be able to explore communal areas including an oasis garden, a botanical garden, a children’s discovery area and an African World Desert, it added without saying when the project is likely to open.

The UPC has also approved a plan for the use of industrial land surrounding Al Ain International Airport, with a focus on the aerospace industry, WAM said.

It added that the UPC has also backed the Wahat Al Zaweya Master Plan for a community consisting of almost 3.8 million square metres of residential and commercial development as the Al Ghaniema development, which will consist of 275 villas for UAE nationals as part of the Abu Dhabi National Housing Programme.

The UPC also approved several developments in Al Gharbia, the Western Region of Abu Dhabi, to improve the lifestyle of the existing communities.

These include phase 1 of the Al Wajeha Al Bahria Project Plan, the first mixed-use waterfront development in Mirfa City, which aims to attract more people to the area. It will consist of four buildings, retail and residential, containing 126 apartments and 10 villas.

Al Hai Al Tejari project, a mixed-use development at the centre of Ghayathi City, which will include a town centre, office and retail space, residential apartments and a cinema, was also given the green light.

Other approved projects include the concept plan for Al Maryah Central, formerly known as Sowwah Central, a world-class shopping, dining and family entertainment destination at the heart of Al Maryah Island; the M Tower development on Al Reem Island, a 29-storey residential tower; the master plan for Nareel Island, an exclusive development by Aldar Properties consisting of 148 plots; and a detailed plan for the further development of the Yas Beach Club on Yas Island.

Mohamed Al Khadar, executive director, Urban Development and Estidama Sector, UPC, said: "These approved projects bring us closer to achieving the goals of Abu Dhabi Vision 2030 and are very exciting for residents and tourists alike, as we look to develop and showcase Abu Dhabi Emirate not only as a great place to visit, but an attractive place to live.

He added: "Of course, we are very careful and deliberate in our evaluation of all project proposals; each one must adhere to our regulations and guidelines and take into account environmental, economic, social and cultural factors, thereby ensuring that every new development is in line with Vision 2030."

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