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Cable cars and greenery: A look at Dubai in 2040


Abu Dhabi: Known for its skyscrapers and luxury resorts, Dubai has a comprehensive project plan outlining the future of sustainable urban development in Dubai.

Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice President, Prime Minister and Ruler of Dubai, initiated the first urban plan back in 1960 and is currently working on a seventh development plan.

The emirate’s 2040 urban master plan offers a spectacular view; it envisions a greener, more sustainable city that can meet the needs of an estimated 5.8 million residents.

The project aims to transform the emirate, creating a truly connected, people-centred city that strikes a balance between community and tourism, modernity and heritage and nature.

With the emirate’s population expected to grow from 3.3 million today to 5.8 million over the next two decades, the new plan aims to ensure Dubai is the most liveable city in the world.

photo source arabian business

What is the plan?

The seventh phase of the development will focus on utilizing the space within the city limits.

main highlights

  • Focus on the development of five main urban areas to create a modern look.
  • Designated places in educational institutions and hospitals will increase by 25%.
  • Hotels, resorts and tourist areas will expand by 134%.
  • The area used for commercial, industrial and economic activities will also increase significantly.

sustainable and inclusive development

To provide a healthy environment for residents and visitors, other important priorities include increasing the amount of green space and recreational areas, creating vibrant, inclusive communities, and improving resource efficiency.

The project also aims to encourage investors and attract unfamiliar speculation into new areas. The plan takes into account environmental sustainability, preserving the emirate’s cultural and urban heritage.


  • The city’s third airport will be built near Dubai’s Silicon Valley.
  • More cycle lanes will be paved across the emirate to encourage healthier lifestyles and reduce traffic.
  • Multiple green corridors will be established to connect service areas, residential areas and workplaces, facilitating the movement of pedestrians and bicycles in the city.
  • A 5.4km long cable car system will be built to transport tourists to Um Al-Nesoor, Dubai’s highest peak.
  • The cable car route will pass Hatta Dam and Shangba Lake, and climb over the mountains.

beaches, parks, waterfalls

  • Wildlife sanctuaries and natural rural areas will cover 60 percent of the emirate’s area.
  • The development of the beach project cost Dh500 million.
  • The beach will feature walkways, mangroves, water sports, walking and cycling paths, and seating areas.
  • One of the key items on offer is Hatta Waterfall, a green paradise made up of four oases connected by bridges spanning water canals.

UAE Housing

  • These communities will include green spaces, commercial centers and recreational facilities.
  • Old areas designated as UAE housing will be redeveloped.
  • An integrated township will be developed with multi-storey units.
  • The Strategic Land Bank will also be set aside for housing beyond 2040.

This post was last modified at 10:26 Jul 10, 2023


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