Shakhbout City Master Plan Completed by Abu Dhabi Urban Planning Council
The master plan for the development of Shakhbout City, featuring additional housing for residents and community facilities such as parks, mosques, schools and hospitals, has been completed by the Abu Dhabi Urban Planning Council (UPC). The Master Plan has now been formally handed over to Abu Dhabi City Municipality (ADM) for implementation.
The completion of the Master Plan is the result of close collaboration between the UPC and all government stakeholders, including the ADM, Abu Dhabi Education Council (ADEC), the Health Authority -Abu Dhabi (HAAD), General Authority of Islamic Affairs and Endowments (AWQAF), Abu Dhabi Distribution Company (ADDC) and Abu Dhabi Housing Authority (ADHA).
Shakhbout City, formerly known as Khalifa City B, is a major residential development on Abu Dhabi Mainland, approximately 30 kilometres from the Abu Dhabi Island CBD, northeast of Mohammed Bin Zayed City and south of Abu Dhabi International Airport.
Covering a total area of 1,854 hectares, the Master Plan incorporates much needed community facilities for residents in a strategically important area close to Zayed City, the new seat of Federal Government and location for federal ministries and foreign embassies.
While Shakhbout City is anticipated to be home to approximately 80,000 residents in the future, there is already an established community in Shakhbout City and the Master Plan has been designed to sensitively revitalise its existing neighbourhoods, including the streets and amenities, in addition to adding new public realm and community facilities. The UPC has taken on board feedback from Shakhbout City’s residents to ensure the master plan incorporates their requirements, where appropriate.
In line with feedback to provide UAE National housing, the Master Plan also incorporates the allocation of 323 additional UAE National housing plots, as well as a ‘district park’ in Shakhbout City’s business centre. In addition, plots for commercial buildings, government service centres and community facilities, such as nurseries, community centres and cultural associations, have also been planned.
The Master Plan is in line with the vision outlined in the UPC’s Plan Capital 2030, ensuring that all residents enjoy a high standard of living, within easy reach of good quality community facilities.
Abdulla Al Sahi, Acting Executive Director, Planning and Infrastructure, UPC, said: “Shakhbout City is a vital component of the UPC’s vision to create sustainable, attractive neighbourhoods for all Abu Dhabi residents. It’s strategically important because we envision it becoming a ‘feeder’ community for Zayed City, offering residents attractive employment and leisure opportunities within a short commute.
“The updated master plan makes provision for the kinds of facilities outlined in our Complete Sustainable Communities (CSC) initiative which guides our strategy for ensuring all residents of Abu Dhabi enjoy easy access to facilities that enhance their quality of life. Shakhbout City is an excellent example of the UPC’s approach to creating revitalisation plans for existing communities, in addition to plans for new communities, to ensure a balance of facilities across the Emirate.”
The ADM will now take the Shakhbout City Master Plan through to completion. It is currently proceeding towards enhancing the infrastructure components in accordance with its vision to create a modern infrastructure system that will be able to cope with usage projections. To do so, the ADM is carrying out a study to evaluate the differences between the existing and required infrastructure in order to define the work needed to complete all public service networks, including telecommunications, sewage and rainwater drainage, irrigation and underground water networks.
Furthermore, the Master Transportation Plan will be finalised by the end of 2015. This Plan defines the required street expansion that will ensure an optimised traffic flow, in addition to enhancing the entry/exit points to and from Shakhbout City and connection points with highway networks.
The ADM has also assured that the major infrastructure projects in Shakhbout City will include the development of streets and infrastructure of the commercial strip. The infrastructure design works have been completed and the implementation works are anticipated to commence in Q3 2016.
As for the plots to be added in Shakhbout City, the ADM noted that the implementation of such projects is anticipated to commence in Q1 2017. The ADM also intends to commence a number of infrastructure package projects, with the scope of completing all infrastructure works and public service networks, including the improvement of streets and intersections by adding traffic signals, along with landscaping for all main streets. As soon as the Master Transportation Plan is finalised, it is planned to commence the design works of these projects during 2017. However, the implementation works will start in 2018 and will be completed over a three-year time frame.
Finally, for parks and children’s play facilities in Shakhbout City, the ADM stated that it has a plan for the next five years, including the development of 29 parks, divided amongst seven construction projects. The first project is for four parks, whose implementation works are anticipated to commence in Q4 2016. The second project is for four parks, whose implementation works are anticipated to commence in Q4 2017.
The ADHA, the organisation responsible for the allocation of UAE National plots and housing, is very supportive of the UPC’s in adding plots within existing communities in the Shakhbout City Master Plan. H.E. Eng. Ali Khalifa Al Qamzi, Executive Director of Planning & Projects Sector, ADHA, confirmed that the ADHA’s vision is focused on constructing accommodation through the use of high-quality architectural designs and sustainable infrastructure that is in line with international best practice and meets the needs of UAE National families. Accordingly, a plan for revitalising and developing the communities and neighbourhoods of Shakhbout City has been approved, in line with the cultural values and community needs of its citizens, and in addition to environmental requirements and sustainability standards.
The Master Plan has been designed to achieve a high standard of living for residents. The UPC’s suite of manuals, including the Abu Dhabi Urban Street Design Manual, Abu Dhabi Public Realm Design Manual, Abu Dhabi Community Facility Planning Standards and Abu Dhabi Mosque Development Regulations have all been used to create a safe, well-connected community with all of the amenities required to meet daily needs. The principles of the UPC’s Estidama programme have also been applied to ensure the plan is sustainable in the long term.