Abu-Dhabi: Where work and transit meet

Video © Gensler

The Team

  1. Tareq Abu-Sukheila
  2. Mable So
  3. Mohamed Halimeh
  4. Leanne Sahota
  5. Nijoud Al Qadi
  6. Ziad Hammad

The United Arab Emirates (UAE) is situated at the Southeast end of the Arabian Peninsula on the Arabian Gulf. The Emirates are made up of 7 regions: Abu Dhabi, Dubai, Sharjah, Ajman, Umm Al Quwain, Ras Al Khaimah and Fujairah.

It spans an area of 83,600 sq. km and has a population of 8,264,070 with only 11.4% of this number being Local Emirati people. Its residents are mainly male making up some 74.5% of the total population.

The UAE is one of the most developed economies in Western Asia, with the worlds’ 7th highest GDP per capita of $64,968.31 totaling $381.551 Billion. It has the 2nd largest economy in the Arab world, the 7th largest oil reserve and the 17th largest natural gas reserve.

87% of the total area in the UAE is the regions capital city Abu Dhabi, this being the largest of the seven Emirates with a sole population of 2.12 Million, this number is made up of 20% nationals and 80% non-nationals.

A nation founded by the late Sheikh Zayed Bin Al Nahyan in 1971, since this date he dramatically transformed the city into what it is today and is now run by his son the president SH. Khalifa Bin Zayed Al Nahyan. Since 1971 the city has vastly evolved from having no infrastructure as such and only a small number of permanent buildings to now being one of the most important modern economic centers in the region and over the globe. The capital holds 10% of the world’s oil reserve, 5% of the global reserves of natural gas and produces 90% of the UAE’S oil production.

In 2006 His Highness Sheikh Kalilfa Bin Zayed Al Nahyan requested the creation of a policy that would outline key goals and government initiatives that would help secure society and build a truly sustainable, open globally competitive market. The objective for 2030 is to flip the economy, to change the current 60% oil and gas income to other sources so the economy does not rely on its oil and gas reserves for its future. The oil impact has brought the region clear wealth in the past but the aim is to diversify the Emirates economy away from oil, developing ambitious plans to become a sustainable world class capital city for future generations.

The plan aspires to provide citizens with more sustainable urban environments which they intend to address through different themes such as the quality of the public realm, community identification and social cohesion along with the development of infrastructure. The Abu Dhabi Economic Vision 2030 “Abu Dhabi as a sustainable, diversified, high- value added economy that encourages enterprises and entrepreneurships and well integrated in the global economy leading to better opportunities for all.”

These initiatives were set to ensure the success of the Emirates development and core commitment to build a sustainable and diversified, high value economy by 2030. One of these initiatives is the Abu Dhabi urban planning vision of 2030 which incorporates the following key directions:

  1. Sustainability
  2. Livability
  3. Economic developments
  4. Managed urban growth
  5. Connectivity
  6. Safe, shaded and walkable streets
  7. Housing Diversity
  8. Community developments
  9. Cultural heritage
  10. Natural environments
  11. Revitalization

Our aim is to focus upon the connectivity area, of this plan and how this will develop the city of the future over the next 12 years.

As the city continues to grow, the region cannot solely rely on the car, the aim of this plan is to introduce a multi layered transportation network that will meet the cities future needs as they continue to develop. This transportation master plan will help improve connectivity around the city. It will help reduce the reliance of the car in this region, implementing a network of high speed public transport in and around the city.

In a city where the population is ever increasing and public transport to date is limited. Our aim is to elevate the city, providing a high level mode of transport that will reinvigorate the cities network system and provide hubs for making business, as well as providing intercity connections, without the stress of the daily commute. The rail network will be situated on main routes throughout the city, which will be elevated above the road allowing these to be easily accessed from residential and business areas connecting them directly into the new transport system.

These connections will provide access points throughout the city, not only allowing people to travel easily, but provide areas to do business on the move and make inner city relationships. Also located directly along the transport route, will be small business hubs, creating direct links to the central rail network for continued business throughout the day or central meeting points for people in the city.

These small connected workable areas, will allow people easy access providing a central place to meet, do business or basically continue business as they would in the normal office environment saving time and money on the timely commute.

This proposal for the inner city rail and business network will enhance the city, providing easy and convenient places for people to work anywhere, anytime. These business hubs will provide direct workspaces that provide a common ground for people meet in the city to meet whilst on the move, a place where they can work from or do business. They can also be used as spaces for people to meet, providing small meeting facilities that can be rented by the hour as a central point to meet face to face, as business relationships in the UAE rely on face value.

“My business hub” will allow people to work on the go “a mobile step towards Abu Dhabi’s future development” providing transit hub’s for not only local businesses but also for those here doing business. They are small-encapsulated spaces where people can drop by between meetings, whilst on business, on their way home or can just be used whenever they are required. It provides a convenient space for people to meet, send emails and basically connect with the outside world at any time. They are great meeting places for business visitors, providing spaces for them to work whilst in town, meet clients on a face to face basis providing a mutual ground.

This future development will provide inner city connections as well as spaces for people to do business in a culture that heavily relies on face time. They will provide a one stop connection for people to meet and do business on a daily basis that are conveniently placed throughout the city.

Read the boards for this project by clicking here.