Dubai 2040 Urban Plan Focuses on Sustainability and Urban Agriculture

Dubai Master Plan 2040 Overview

HH Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid, Vice President of UAE and the Ruler of Dubai, has set out the next stage of the city’s 2040 Urban Master Plan, with a clear vision for the development of Dubai’s urban infrastructure and housing. The top priority will be given to housing infrastructures and commutation for the residents. The 2040 Urban Master plan will have several phases, in which phase 2 of the long-term strategy was elaborated on recently by the ruler of Dubai. The primary goal is to develop Dubai to be an eco & pedestrian-friendly city and a city with a high yield from urban agriculture.

New Housing Plan

The new housing plan would ensure that supply meets demand in the property sector, at a time of soaring rental prices and a sales boom. A recent report published by the Dubai media office showcased that the average annual rent for a villa in Dubai reached AED 268,758 during the third quarter of 2022, after prices jumped 26% year-on-year, while average apartment rents increased by 27% to AED 89,986. Last year Mo’asher published a report also suggesting a significant growth in Dubai’s rental index and sales prices.

The new housing plan will have proactive initiatives to manage opportunities and changes in the real estate market, achieve sustainable urban development, and boost investor confidence. The first phase of the plan, which was unveiled last year, included 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 high-yield urban farming plan was initiated to ensure high-yield agriculture and farming by identifying suitable locations and developing the infrastructure and facilities required to ensure food security. Phase 2 also has 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.

Dubai’s 20-Minute City

The master plan also has a vision 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 centers with all the necessary facilities and increasing the population density around mass transit stations, allowing residents access to 80% of their daily needs and destinations within 20 minutes. 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.

Hatta, Dubai Beach Plan & Five Urban Centres

Work is under progress to develop the town of Hatta into an adventure attraction in the coming years around the existing lake and dam, along with Dubai’s Mamzar and Jumeirah beaches. This will further boost Dubai’s profile as a major tourist destination regionally and internationally. Similarly, five urban plans are built around streamlining five urban centers that already exist. This includes 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. Dubai Marina and Jumeirah Lakes Towers serve as major tourist and entertainment draws and finally Expo City and Silicon Oasis.


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Author: Waqas Siddiqui
As a research consultant, I am passionate about supporting businesses in successfully expanding in the UAE and Gulf region. I can be reached at waqas@researchkonnection.com for research inquiries.