Abu Dhabi’s exciting shift from oil dependency to diversification and sustainability


Kobus Mentz is the urban design expert advisor to the government on their new capital plan which is being delivered through the Urban Planning Council by Arup and Larry Beasley Associates.

The extent of the future city is larger than Paris and encompasses high profile components such as the new capital complex, Jean Nouvel’s new Louvre Museum, Frank Gehry’s new Guggenheim, Zaha Hadid’s Performing Arts Centre, and Foster’s Masdar City – the world leading sustainability exemplar that is being modified for commercial viability.

The shift entails substantial new transport orientated developments around extensive heavy and light rail projects, new industrial employment zones and new-economy precincts. New environmental and social standards build on the internationally awarded Estidama design, construction, and operational sustainability rating system.

The plan is being delivered through a series of workshops with over 30 government agencies and 15 major developers. Outputs include a 2030 Strategic Growth Plan, policies, an Implementation Plan, and a Capital Investment Plan.