Dubai urban areas expected to grow by 25,000 hectares

Dubai Municipality official says the Expo 2020 host will grow to accommodate increasing population

Urban areas in Dubai could grow by at least 25,000 h.a. in the run up to Expo 2020

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Dubai’s population is expected to reach almost 2.8 million by 2020.

Najeeb Mohammed Saleh, head of planning research section at Dubai Municipality’s Planning Department said three scenarios – low, medium and rapid – were examined to estimate the emirate’s population growth. “We have adopted the medium-growth scenario, and expect the population by 2020 to be about 2.8 million,” he said.

A committee consisting of Dubai Municipality, the Roads and Transport Authority, Dubai Electricity and Water Authority, Dubai Civil Aviation, Lands Department and Dubai Maritime City was formed in 2010 by the Dubai Executive Council. This committee is in charge of planning executing and reviewing the master-plan for Dubai 2020, said a report by Gulf News.

“The existing urban area can reach up to 93,106 hectares, which we feel is sufficient for us,” said Saleh. “By 2020, we expect (it) to grow by an additional 25,000 hectares.

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“But even if the rate of the growth is faster than we expect, with a maximum of 38,000 hectares, the capacity of the city and its urban area can still hold that,” he added.

The current rate of population growth, at 4.1%, is close in line with the expected growth rate of 4.2% per year. According to Saleh, these figures show the committee had adopted the right result.

1.9 million residents were recorded in the emirate in 2010, which, by 2013, had increased to 2.23 million. Existing office space in 2010 was calculated at 5.1 million sq.m – this figure is expected to increase by 1.8 million sq.m by 2020. The total retail floor space in 2010 was 5.3 million square metres, and is expected to increase to 6.5 million square metres.

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