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Abu Dhabi approves 76 tourism-boosting developments, including a desert-based theme park

Abu Dhabi’s Urban Planning Council (UPC) has approved plans for several new major developments in Abu Dhabi as part of a strategy to make the area more tourist friendly. They include a new African safari experience, waterfront developments and a shopping mall.

World Desert Oasis in Al Ain is one of 76 new projects, recently approved by the UPC aiming to enhance Abu Dhabi’s appeal as a tourist destination. Designed to showcase wildlife and its natural environment, the 10.9sq km (4.2sq m) project is being developed by the Zoo and Aquarium Public Institution of Al Ain (ZAPIA), and will be one of the multiple zones making up the larger ZAPIA Park, which currently includes the recently renovated Al Ain Zoo and upcoming Sheikh Zayed Desert Learning Centre by CAP Chalabi Architekten & Partner. The new development will include an oasis garden, a botanical garden, a children’s discovery area, amphitheatre and an African World Desert.

The UPC also approved plans for new industrial parks around Al Ain airport. This will comprise 3.8sq km (1.4sq m) of residential and commercial development under the Wahat Al Zaweya masterplan, which would also include a resort, educational institutes and a ‘desert-based theme park’.

Several approved developments to the west in Al Gharbia have been granted planning permission, including Phase 1 of the Al Wajeha Al Bahria Project Plan – the first mixed-use waterfront development in Mirfa City – which consists of four retail buildings, 126 apartments and 10 villas.

Further to the plans, Ghayathi City’s town centre will undergo a full redevelopment to include new office, retail, residential space and a cinema under a scheme called Al Hai Al Tejari.

Finally, a new concept plan for Al Maryah Island in Abu Dhabi City also gained approval. Al Maryah Central will be a shopping, dining and family entertainment destination at the heart of Al Maryah Island, next to Richard Rogers’ Maryah Plaza development. Linked to The Galleria Mall, it will house international department stores, while neighbouring Reem Island is set to gain a 29-storey residential tower with a mix of apartments, amenities and retail.

“These approved projects bring us closer to achieving the goals of Abu Dhabi Vision 2030 and are very exciting for residents and tourists alike, as we look to develop and showcase Abu Dhabi Emirate not only as a great place to visit, but an attractive place to live,” said Mohamed Al Khadar, executive director, Urban Development & Estidama Sector, UPC.

“Of course, we are very careful and deliberate in our evaluation of all project proposals; each one must adhere to our regulations and guidelines and take into account environmental, economic, social and cultural factors, thereby ensuring that every new development is in line with Vision 2030.”

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Abu Dhabi’s Urban Planning Council (UPC) has approved plans for several new major developments in Abu Dhabi as part of a strategy to make the area more tourist friendly. They include a new African safari experience, waterfront developments and a shopping mall. World Desert Oasis in Al Ain is one of 76 new projects, recently approved by the UPC aiming to enhance Abu Dhabi’s appeal as a tourist destination. Designed
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Al Maryah Central will be a shopping, dining and family entertainment destination
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Robert D Henry Architects (RDH-Architects) was founded in 1990 in New York City by Bob Henry, known as the “sensuous architect of serenity.”
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