Striking A Balance
August 18, 2021

Dubai is charting an exciting course for urban and economic growth, while preserving the emirate’s rich cultural heritage.

The Dubai 2040 Urban Master Plan is a robust blueprint centered on holistic and inclusive development. The plan touches upon culture and quality of life for residents while emphasizing the importance of sustainability, infrastructure development, and strong supply chains. What’s more, in the push for economic growth, it strikes a careful balance between expenditure and income, and lays out a roadmap for stimulating vital revenue streams in industries such as leisure, tourism, and services.

The carefully crafted plan promises widespread growth and prosperity. However, with digital technology a cornerstone of its successful implementation, the onus is now on businesses and government to transform in order to meet the opportunities it sets out. As part of this transformation, the service industry must undergo a massive upgrade, involving the automation of processes and adoption of artificial intelligence and other advanced technologies. More broadly, organizations in sectors and industries across the board will be required to embrace new technologies, upskill their workforces, and develop best practices if they are to remain competitive and relevant into the future.

Whilst the masterplan emphasizes technological transformation and economic growth, what truly stands out is its pledge on inclusivity. Mega growth plans often come under scrutiny for their lack of focus on social impact, but the Dubai 2040 Urban Master Plan considers all stakeholders and emphasizes the importance of preserving Dubai’s cultural heritage as the emirate continues to advance and grow.

Providing a backdrop to the ambitious strategy is a combination of rapid population growth, significant infrastructure investment, and a drive towards environmental sustainability. Dubai is expected to be home to more than five million residents by 2040, and the mammoth infrastructure that will be required to serve the population is balanced by plans to turn as much as 60% of the total area into natural reserves. The plan also aims to locate more than 55% of the population near public transportation hubs in line with Dubai’s global sustainability pledge.

Alongside sustainability, development of industry is a priority too. Dubai’s decision to increase its industrial and manufacturing footprint to 168 square kilometers shows its desire to focus on supply chain sufficiency. At the same time the emirate’s dedication to long-standing industries is matched by ambitions to nurture new revenue streams centered on the export of specialized and hi-tech products.

Looking ahead, with the government and private sector working hand in hand, mega contracts will fuel growth, with positive implications for the real estate sector and industries across the wider business landscape. Indeed, the masterplan promises to deliver results for all stakeholders, along with double-digit growth that is expected to drive the Dubai economy through this decade, and likely beyond.

Source: Forbes Middle East

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