Everything you need to know about the new Master Plan

Launched on March 13 2021 by His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai, the ‘Dubai 2040 Urban Master Plan’, is a comprehensive plan featuring the future of Dubai’s sustainable urban development.
The plan is in alignment with the country’s vision for the next 50 years by focusing on the enhancement of people’s happiness and quality of life.

His Highness said, “Our strategic development plans are focused on creating the best possible environment and infrastructure to enhance the community’s happiness and wellbeing and support the fulfilment of the greatest human aspirations for both our citizens and people from around the world. Drawing inspiration from global best practices and adapting them to local needs and requirements, we have created a development model that offers the best possible quality of life and creates the conditions for sustainable prosperity. Our goal is to create a truly inclusive environment that not only meets the needs of Dubai’s diverse population, but also inspires them to tap into their creative and innovative capacities and realise their true potential.”

Over the coming 20 years, Dubai’s population is expected to increase to 5.8 million, from the current 3.3 million. The plan aims at reinforcing Dubai’s competitiveness as a global destination by offering a wide range of lifestyle and investment opportunities for citizens, residents and visitors over the next 20 years. The plan has been designed in accordance with His Highness’ vision and aims to provide the highest standards of urban infrastructure and facilities.

The Plan

The plan is the seventh of its kind to be implemented in Dubai since 1960. The main highlights include:
• Development of five main urban areas.
• Increase in spaces designated for educational and health facilities by 25%.
• Expansion of areas for hotels and tourism by 134%.
• Increase in areas used for commercial, industrial and economic activities to 168 Square Kilometres.
• Increase in the length of public beaches by 400%.
• Natural reserves and natural areas will cover 68% of Dubai.
• 55% of the emirate’s population will live within 800 metres of a main public transport station.

The plan aims to improve Dubai’s quality of life and increasing population densities around mass transit stations.
Besides the physical plan, an urban planning law was also issued in order to support sustainable development and improvement in Dubai.

Five Major Zones

The Master Plan features five main urban areas with their own distinctive theme that supports economic growth, increased job opportunities and lifestyle facilities that cater to the needs of different sections of the population.
Three zones will be revitalized, whereas two of them will be new.
Existing Zones
• Deira & Bur Dubai – Historic areas that will throw light on Dubai’s tradition and heritage
• Downtown Dubai & Business Bay – The business and financial heart of Dubai
• Dubai Marina & JBR – The hospitality and leisure centre of Dubai as well as an international and leisure hub.

New Zones
• Expo 2021 Centre – Featuring affordable housing and a focal point for exhibitions, tourism and logistic sectors.
• Dubai Silicon Oasis Centre – Science, technology and knowledge hub to drive innovation and digital economy development and generate talent.

Hierarchy of Communities

The Master Plan will construct areas that will enable all residents to enjoy access to facilities, services and opportunities.
• Towns: They are the largest areas with populations of 1 million to 1.5 million. Five towns will be developed around each of the five urban areas.
• Multi-Sector: It is the second largest with a population of somewhere between 300,000 and 400,000.
• Sector: Will host populations between 70,000 and 125,000
• District: Will host populations between 20,000 and 30,000
• Community: Will host populations of 6,000 to 12,000
• Neighbourhood: Will host populations from 2,000 to 4,000
Based on these levels, infrastructure and transit systems, energy and government services, and facilities such as hospitals, schools, service centres, and leisure centres will be provided across Dubai.


The plan will also improve interconnectivity by ensuring that 55% of Dubai’s population will live within 800 metres of a main public transport station.
There will also be a third airport that will be located near Dubai Silicon Oasis.
Also, there will be more cycle lanes in Dubai in order to reduce traffic and also encourage a healthier lifestyle.
A number of green corridors will link the service areas, residential areas and workplaces, help in the movement of pedestrians, bicycles and sustainable mobility across Dubai.

Beaches & Parks

The Urban Plans also focuses on increasing the green areas across the emirate, with 60% of the emirate making up for wildlife sanctuaries and natural rural areas.
Dubai will also welcome a dozen of new beaches and 8 million square metres of green spaces, which will cost more than AED 2.5 Billion (USD 680 Million).

Hatta Development

It is part of Dubai’s wider plan and aims to enhance Hatta’s natural and tourism attractions and protect its environment.
A sustainable hydro-electric power plant will be built, offering the people of the area the opportunity to help promote tourism and preserve its natural beauty, so as to increase tourism and agricultural contribution to the region’s GDP by 32%.
A minimum of 78% of Hatta will be designed in a way to conserve reserves.

Emirati Housing

The plan will host Homes for Emiratis, in communities featuring green spaces, commercial centres and recreational facilities. Some old districts that are designated as Emirati housing will be revitalized.

It will also offer integrated townhouse-style complexes as well as multi-storeyed units.