New smart city in Dubai prioritises happiness and wellbeing

Developers in Dubai are building a master planned city which incorporates the latest smart technology.

The vision for Dubai South is to create a city based on the happiness and wellbeing of people, with all aspects of life — from work and play to fitness and education — available within a 10-minute walk of the new residential communities.

The new city spans 145 square kilometres and includes Al Maktoum International Airport, which will become the world’s largest airport when completed, handling 220 million passengers and 12.5 million tons of cargo every year.

Development of the airport is currently underway, with a terminal of 5 million passenger capacity to be expanded to 27 million passengers by 2017, according to H.E. Khalifa Al Zaffin, executive chairman of Dubai Aviation City Corporation (DACC).

Matthew Heywood, a Partner with Osborne Clarke LLP specialising in construction and engineering and a former resident of Dubai explains:

This is an example of modern city planning at its best. The smart city approach of integrating a major international airport with supporting transport infrastructure to facilitate the effective movement of people and goods from point of entry into the wider community is impressive. Add to that the use of smarter technology and a focus on energy efficiency in both the construction and operation phases, it provides an example to city planners around the world. I certainly look forward to travelling to Dubai and arriving in the new Al Maktoum Airport.

In an interview with Deloitte for its GCC Powers of Construction 2016 report, Al Zaffin explained that Dubai South is an initiative of the Dubai Government designed to position the emirate as a leading international logistics and trade centre.

The smart city itself is comprised of six integrated districts, including two that will be crucial for providing aviation infrastructure and services: the Logistics and Aviation Districts.

In other parts of the city, the Residential and Commercial districts will provide serviced apartments, staff accommodation, luxury accommodation, hotels, and office and retail space for residents and visitors. The Residential District is also connected to key landmarks in the city through arterial roads and the metro.

Al Zaffin commented: “DACC has been mandated to be on the cutting-edge of Dubai’s rapid rise in aviation. This includes boosting Dubai’s position as global air cargo hub, as well as facilitating commercial, property, industrial and service investments related to aviation. DACC also works to create a suitable environment for attracting big aviation industry players to set up regional offices and maintenance, repair and operations (MROs) in Dubai South.”

He added: “Developing a smart city requires constant innovation and use of new technologies, and we are working to utilise and develop sustainable and smart solutions.”

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