Master Plan of Dubai 1995: A New Plan

In 1995, realising the lack of comprehensive vision guiding the city’s development, a 20-year plan was launched to supplement the old minor proposals by the Dubai Municipality. Its major aim was to be flexible enough to accommodate any changes.

1995 Dubai Master Plan © 2013 by Yasser Mahgoub
1995 Dubai Master Plan © 2013 by Yasser Mahgoub

A number of forecasts were made in the plan. It was forecasted that by 2015 the urban area in Dubai would be capable of holding 2.7 million persons and a urban development of 605 km square is required to achieve the target. In response to the targeted population growth, housing policies and residential areas became one of the focuses in the report. Yet, the location and demand of some of the projects were contradicts with the actual market and thus were not able to carry out. The mishap is mainly due to the failure to anticipate the enormous growth in the real estate business.

The Palm Jumeirah © 2011 by Werner Bayer
The Palm Jumeirah © 2011 by Werner Bayer
Jebel Ali Port © 2007 by Imre Solt
Jebel Ali Port © 2007 by Imre Solt

In addition, the plan has set out some new recreational areas to be developed. East of Mina Seyahi is one of the targeted areas and it is now successfully developed and contains Palm Jumeriah. On one hand, many other megaprojects like the Palm Islands were also developed according to the plan. On the other hand, some targeted areas like Jebel Ali area failed to become ‘public open space with limited tourism development’ under the final plan of port development.

In conclusion, despite the Municipality’s ambition to implement a comprehensive plan, the plan seemed deviated from the reality too much, making it hard to follow the plan during development. The plan was not as flexible as the Municipality expected when it comes to problems like land conflict with other parties. Further, some experts argued that the plan was a generic twenty-first century metropolis model. It echoes from the observations that the plan lacks careful analysis of the actual situation and precise assumption, leading to its defects.

Dubai 1995 © 1995 by Lam
Dubai 1995 © 1995 by Lam

Works Cited

Edensor, Tim, and Mark Jayne. Urban Theory Beyond the West: A World of Cities. Abingdon: Routledge, 2012.

Elsheshtawy, Yasser. Dubai: Behind an Urban Spectacle. Oxfordshire: Routledge, 2010.

Zuhairy, Hasan. City Growth and Development Chronicle: Dubai. Working Paper, Pennsylvania : University of Pennsylvania , 2012.

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