The Emirate of Abu Dhabi has identified the need to develop city infrastructure to reduce its economic dependability from oil export. A few years back, the State Government didn’t support investors and developers to construct mega property developments and infrastructure projects in the city. After observing the tremendous growth rate of its neighboring state Dubai, State Government of the capital emirate started taking great interest to develop residential, commercial and industrial developments across the city.
Moreover, the Government also started paying attention to build city infrastructure to facilitate investors and entrepreneurs to establish their business in the capital emirate. For successful achievement of such aims three major departments of State Government, The Municipality of Abu Dhabi City, Urban Planning Council and Department of Transport started working in collaboration on a common vision to completely execute such governmental efforts integrated with urban development. Recently in the mid of this month December 2012, Abu Dhabi Municipality has inaugurated two mega construction projects with the aim to amplify infrastructure facilities in the region. These projects include the inauguration of Khalifa Port (world most advanced deepwater port) and the Khalifa Industrial Zone Abu Dhabi (Kizad) and Sheikh Zayed Street and Tunnel (longest tunnel in the Middle East).
Abu Dhabi Government is now focusing to work on such mega infrastructure projects to reduce its dependence on oil products and improve other business and trade sectors to grow its economy.
Abu Dhabi has been the richest emirate among all seven emirates. It also has 10% of the total oil reserves in the world. The capital city possesses very strong potential to become the business and trade center of UAE, but it often didn’t get the proper attention of investors and developers due to its fast-growing neighbor Dubai. Most of the developers and investors prefer to work in Dubai as Abu Dhabi Government didn’t support huge investments in real estate sector and primarily focus to improve facilities to extract oil from reservoirs. After realizing the fact that oil reservoirs are scarce and nation cannot depend on single scarce resources, the State Government started taking interest to support investors and developers, willing to invest and construct city’s infrastructure. Nowadays various developers have invested huge money in residential and commercial real estate sectors to reshape Abu Dhabi like a true capital city. Developers are working on proper plans and work to establish a structural framework for the city without demolishing its heritage, culture and natural environment. Currently, the emirate has gained much attention and investors have started making huge investments in mega construction developments in the city.
All Abu Dhabi projects are master planned to meet the need. The following are the top 13 master planned Abu Dhabi projects.
On 12 December 2012, HH Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan, the President of the UAE, in the presence of HH Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum the Vice president and Prime Minister of the UAE has inaugurated the Khalifa Port at Taweelah. The project consists of a port and an industrial zone Khalifa Industrial Zone Abu Dhabi (Kizad). Upon its completion, the port will be the landmark and largest infrastructure project in the capital emirate. It will also be the first semi-automated port in the whole region of the Middle East and North Africa. The whole development will spread over a total area of 9.1 square kilometers, which include 2.7 square kilometers offshore area on an artificial island. Abu Dhabi Ports Company is the main project developer whereas Abu Dhabi Terminals (ADT) will operate its terminals. The project will be built up with an initial capacity of more than 2.5 million containers and 12 million tons of general cargo every year. The port has taken over all of Mina Zayed’s container traffic. This flagship project will strongly support capital emirate to fulfill its economic goals until 2030.
Khalifa Industrial Zone (Kizad) is actually the part of Khalifa Port is also termed as The Industrial Zone of Tomorrow. Being the part of the largest infrastructure project of the capital emirate, it is expected to generate more than 100,000 jobs by 2030. The zone will support capital emirate to achieve its economic goals to improve GDP earned from non-oil products from 42% to 64% in the year 2030. Upon its completion, the zone will be capable to produce 15% of GDP earned from non-oil products. The project will consist of two phases’ phase A and B. Abu Dhabi Port Company is planning to lease 22 sq km land of phase A to manufacturing and industrial companies, whereas 51 sq km area of phase is currently under construction. The second phase or phase B will spread over the area of 365 sq km. According to project developer ADPC, the industrial zone have the potential to obtain business from six strategic international markets including US, UK, Germany, India, China, and South Korea. According to ADPC officials, the zone will be best for auto manufacturers, pharmaceuticals, logistics, aluminum engineered metal product plants and logistics companies.
Sheikh Zayed Street and the tunnel were previously known as Salam Street, recently it has renamed to Sheikh Zayed Street and tunnel to tribute late Sheikh Zayed bin Sultan Al Nahyan, the founder of the UAE in 41st UAE national day ceremony. The iconic mega infrastructure project was started in 2007 with the aim to provide a vital artery for the traffic movement in Abu Dhabi. The project has planned so well to provide a vital link and smooth traffic flow within the capital city of UAE. HH Sheikh Hazza bin Zayed Al Nahyan, National Security Advisor and Vice Chairman of Abu Dhabi Executive Council, inaugurated this development. After its opening, the project is recognized as the longest tunnel in the Middle East, which spread over 3.6 km including 2.4 kilometers covered area. The tunnel connects Zayed Bridge with the fourth gateway to the main island of the emirate and allows vehicles to travel to Mina Port and Corniche area. The project is located in the heart of the city and capable to allow heavy traffic of around 8,000 vehicles in each direction. The tunnel is mainly divided into two decks to allow vehicles to travel into and away from the city. The tunnel started with four lanes at the Zayed Bridge end and narrow down to three lanes near the Mina Port area and two lanes at Corniche exit. Project developers have worked in detail to equip tunnel with modern lighting, security and traffic control systems to facilitate travelers. There are no traffic signal lights in the tunnel. The vehicle speed limit is 100km/hour for half of the tunnel that reduces to 80km/hour towards its end near to the city center. The tunnel is fitted with one of the most advanced traffic controlling system, SCADA system that is used for monitoring, controlling and data collection. It is the mega infrastructure project in Abu Dhabi that costs $1.36 billion.
Capital City is an ambitious real estate development launched by Abu Dhabi Urban Planning Council in the year 2009. The development is located at a strategic location, between Abu Dhabi International Airport and Mohammed bin Zayed City. It is a master-planned scheme, which is designed to execute the future needs of the capital Emirate in the year 2030. It will set a new standard in the construction sector and will accommodate federal ministries and foreign embassies. The project is carefully designed to sustain the natural environment, economic development cultural heritage and social harmony of the region. It will serve as the new downtown of the capital city that will spread over the total area of 4,900 hectares. The development is unique in the sense that it will provide alternative ways of transportation like trams, trains and shaded walkways with an aim to reduce dependency on cars.
Capital Center is currently under construction. It will be a major mixed-used development located around Abu Dhabi National Exhibition Center, Aloft Abu Dhabi Hotel and Capital Gate. Comprising of 23 towers, this development will provide modern and well equipped residences, hotels and commercial office space. The project has 6 branded hotels, 4 commercial buildings, 8 residential and serviced complexes and 5 mixed use developments. Capital Center also has 2.3k waterfront Marina Zone, a monorail, Galleria, a shopping mall with a restaurant area, retail outlet and cinema. The most prominent feature is a 35 story iconic tower Capital Gate, which will be capable to provide space for 200+ room space for 5 hotels and 20,000 square meters of office and retail space. The total area of the project is 8,000,000 square feet (740,000 m2). This land area was previously occupied by the Old Abu Dhabi Exhibition center and car parking.
Masdar City is an entirely unique real estate development consists of seven phases. It is expected to be completed in 2022 with a total budget of 52 billion dollars. Project developers have planned to make this city 100% environmentally friendly with zero-carbon and zero-waste production. Once completed, it will be able to accommodate to 50,000 residents. Masdar City will also include a university, commercial office space, and eco-friendly industrial area. The whole development will utilize solar energy harvested at photovoltaic farms. Even water desalination plants also run on solar energy. Moreover, automobiles will not allow in the city, and residents will travel via public mass transit and personal rapid transit systems using existing roads and railways connecting this neighborhood with the rest of the city. The project will also build Masdar Headquarters, which will be the world’s first powerhouse producing more energy than its consumption with zero carbon emission. It will be the world’s greenest building with zero liquid and solid waste.
Khalifa City is a well known, brand new master-planned metropolis development that will be covering 49 million square meters. It will be expected to complete in 2030. The project has been designed to execute accommodation needs in the future. It will also provide commercial office space for federal ministry and local government, international hotels, and foreign embassies. The scheme can be subdivided into 3 suburbs, including Khalifa City A (600-700 houses adjacent to Al Raha Beach), Khalifa City B and New Khalifa City. The new Khalifa City is located between these Khalifa City A and B. Aldar Properties are working as a primary developer with a total budget of around $40 billion.
Al Reem Island is another master-planned mixed-used development with a huge budget of $30 billion located on a natural island just 600 meters away from the main island of Abu Dhabi. The island has a total land area of 6.5 million square meters. Emirate’s famous developers Reem Investments, Sorouh and Tamouh are actively taking part to develop several mega property developments on this island. The project possesses separate districts for residential, commercial and business developments. The business district will consist of several 40-50 story buildings as well as two super tall 80 story buildings that will be capable to provide accommodation for 80,000 people. Other major developments will include schools, golf courses, shopping malls, hospitals, and art galleries. Al Reem Island is expected to complete in 2018 housing 200,000 residents.
Al Raha Beach is also grouped among mega construction schemes in the capital emirate that will become the finest waterfronts on international levels. Waterfront will further subdivide into 11 sub-districts. Construction work has already stared in late 2006 and it is expected to complete in 2018. The whole development is spread over 6.8 million square meters with a total built-up area of 12 million square meters. In the future, it will serve as a gateway to Abu Dhabi. It will be capable to accommodate 120,000 residents in 60 story residential towers and low-rise residential developments. It has a total cost of $14.7 billion.
Ghantoot Green City occupying important location between new developments in Dubai, like Waterfront and Al-Maktoum International Airport, new Khalifa Port and Industrial Zone of Taweelah area in the capital emirate, which is also very close to Abu Dhabi International airport. It is a mixed-used development that cost around $30 billion. International Capital Trading is the main project developer working on it. Like other master-planned Abu Dhabi projects, it will have separate residential and commercial developments like residential towers, office buildings, warehouses, and light industrial areas. This multi-billion development will spread over 60 square kilometers. It can be further subdivided into 12 phases. The first phase will be covering 6.2 sq km, whereas the total built-up area for the phase will be 18.5 million sq m. The residential properties and hotels will be built along the coast. Construction work was started in the year 2010 and it is expected to be completed in the year 2020.
Mohammed Bin Zayed City is a fast progressing master planned neighborhood that is located on the driving distance of 20 min and 10 min between the Central Business District and the airport respectively. It also has a huge budget of $7 billion. It will consist of 349 residential towers, with sufficient public, commercial, retail, and recreational facilities. The development has a total area of 5 million square meters, which are properly landscaped possessing all infrastructure facilities. The community is well equipped with modern infrastructure facilities, landscaping, and other community amenities. Upon completion, it will be capable to accommodate 85,000 people.
Etihad Towers is designed by DBI design an Australian architectural design company. The development is located at the most attractive and exclusive beachside of Al Ras Al Akhdar district of Abu Dhabi within close proximity of world-famous Corniche. It has designed to provide luxurious living space and excellent dining, retail and shopping facilities for its residents and guests well-equipped office space for entrepreneurs. Etihad Towers is a mixed-used development that consists of five towers from 56 to 79 floors, four levels basement car parking for more than 5,000 cars and a large multilevel podium. Construction work was started in July 2006 and completed in the year 2010. The design, construction work, and lighting has carried out in detail to create a perfect atmosphere. The development is listed in landmarks of UAE due to its unique and breathtaking design.
Saraya and Danat are the two mixed used developments located on Corniche. The total project cost of Saraya is 1.4 billion. Saraya is expected to complete at the end of 2015. It will provide premium residences and commercial office space. Main features include high-class accommodation, modern offices, lush green gardens, parks, and leisure facilities along with hotel and serviced apartments to accommodate tourists and holidaymakers. It will spread over the area of 136,000 sqm. Whereas, Danat is also a mixed use real estate development consist of 23 storey tower that provide residential apartments, hotel, retail, and office space. It costs around $ 2.5 billion and it spread over 55,390 square meters. Residential apartments range between studio apartments to one, two or three bedrooms.