Abu Dhabi in 4 Decades 1968 - 2008

Blog Post created by esriabbs02 on Jul 15, 2014

Abu Dhabi city is one of the most growing cities of the world. It witnessed growth in population, land use, and development, especially in the last few years.
Generally, two opposing tendencies have been present in the growth and development of Abu Dhabi City. These are centralization and decentralization. The capital city of UAE graduated from the stage of a fishermen's village, consisting of two nodes (Al Dhahr and Al Bateen), to a small town, to medium size city, to large capital city with progressive and intensive use of land for residence, business, public amenities, industrial and manufacturing, health and educational institutions, transportation and communication, recreational and military facilities. The problem of centralization was, to some extent, solved by shifting industry from the city center to half distance to the South in 1970 and later removed to other distant places like Musaffah, Al Mafraq Industrial Area, Abu Dhabi Industrial city ICADI, ICADII, ICADIII and recently to Khalifa Industrial Zone(KPIZ) at Al Taweelah midway betweenAbu DhabiandDubai. Even  without decentralization of industrial and commercial uses, residential decentralization continues apace.


Most of UAE cities started more or less occasionally. Economic considerations account for the origin and growth ofAbu Dhabias a village of fishery and diving. Political considerations played their part in making Abu Dhabi the capital of UAE, as soon as the Federal Union between the seven emirates established in 1971. Technical considerations played their part also to replace old Barasti houses and mud bricks buildings. Improvement of building construction techniques made tower buildings look like skyscrapers. Health and sanitation made it possible to group people in neighborhoods. UAE cities are either commercial nodes with seaports, airport transportation and recreational facilities and distribution points like Dubai, desert resort that depends on promotional efforts to attract tourists like Al Ain, or political lead for federal government headquarters and diplomatic missions like Abu Dhabi.
The functional patterns can be easily outlined.Abu Dhabi city has a park system including miscellaneous collection of public gardens, parks, and open spaces to meet the needs of population.

Owning land in Abu Dhabi became the basis of wealth. It was said "Buy a land in a growing city will make you rich". Or "Buy a land in the direction of a city's growth will give you a profit". Actually, the land use determines the value of land. To be classified as property land should have an owner. The ownership of land usually carries three implications: the right of possession, the right of quiet enjoyment and the right of disposition.

The first plan of Abu Dhabi town was prepared by Messrs Halcrow_Scott Wilson / Kirk Patrick in 1962, under the guidance of Colonel J. Boustead, the British Political Agent at that time. Mr. Takahashi, the Japanese Chief Town Planner supervised Arabicon sector mapping in 1967.


In 1968 Dr. Abdulrahman Makhlouf , the UN Town Planning expert nominated and appointed by The Ruler H.H. Sheikh Zayed Ben Sultan Al Nahyan, put down the Marvelous Everlasting Master plan of Abu Dhabi City. CBD was designed , Land use and building heights defined and the Master plan covered Abu Dhabi Island up to Al Maqtaa bridge. Dr. Makhlouf founded Town Planning Department as an active Governmental Authority to plan, supervise, and follow up development and construction permits of Abu Dhabi Emirate. Dr. Makhlouf's spirit and feelings are totally embeded in Abu Dhabi City center and artelary road network.

In 1979 , De Lew Cather International were appointed as Consultants for TRIP Transportation System and few years later Messer's Atkins were chosen to prepare a report and study for developing Abu Dhabi Greater Master plan.


In 2007 an outstanding vision of Abu Dhabi 2030 was revealed by Urban planning Council (UPC). Urban Planning Council (UPC)
took the lead for urban planning and development of Abu Dhabi Emirate. Improvement of transportation satisfied the desire of
people like Baniyas, Abu Dhabi Gate  City, Khalifa City, Mohamed Bin ZayedCity, Al Wathba, Al Nahdah, Al Shahama, Al Rahba, Al Shamkha , Al Shawamekh, AlFalah, Al Adlah, Al Bahya, and Al Sader. On the other hand modernization programs for buildings within the CBD district was intensified to oppose decentralization where better life facilities, elevators, modern flooring and decorations are available. Elderly people, childless couples, divorced and unmarried adults preferred to live close to the city center. They seek small living spaces away from costly maintenance. Their living habits are simple and recreation means are limited to watching TV, performances at hotels, sports clubs, basketballs and going to cultural events at the Emirates palace, Cultural foundation , MOI theatre, and swimming at the public beaches.


The rapid growth in Abu Dhabi accounts in large part in neglect of recreational uses. The impact of new developments on recreational areas and open spaces is clear. Institutional uses include mosques, hospitals, schools, and other public buildings. Hospitals may be either public or private. Schools sometimes constructed in advance of the needs. Business uses cover a variety of purposes different from each other, for example, retail uses, financial, office, wholesale, and industrial. The real estate in the heart of the city is devoted to financial and office uses where
modern tendency is to expand vertically. New and larger buildings replaced small and old ones and occupied reasonable green areas and public parks.

H.H Sheikh Zayed Bin sultan Al Nahyan was the Actual Town Planning Engineer, the Active Construction Supervisor, and the True Gardener!!! God Bless Him and his Successor Sheikh Khalifa!!!