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MENA Watch: Dubai’s urban planning law sets stage for bright future

Property Finder reported a 43% YoY increase in real estate sales to Dh33.7bn in Dubai in August, as demand remains strong

Dubai’s global business and tourism leadership continue to grow. As imaginative design and futuristic landscapes coincide with ambitious sustainability standards, a new real estate law supports sustainable development and urban expansion in Dubai.

New urban planning and building requirements are being established by Law No. 16 of 2023 on Urban Planning in the Emirate of Dubai (“Urban Planning Law”). These regulations aim to preserve the natural environment while keeping Dubai’s rapid real estate boom under government control.

The Urban Planning Law’s appointed Supreme Committee to handle Dubai’s urban planning duties is its main change. Only the Dubai Municipality will regulate strategic urban planning measures that represent economic, social, cultural, and environmental aims and policies under this new law. The Urban Planning Law also mandates other authorities’ urban planning and Dubai’s “Dubai Urban Plan 2040” structural plan.

The 28th Conference of Parties (COP 28) to the UNFCCC in Dubai from November 30 to December 12, 2023, is a crucial chance for governments to collaborate on climate change and establish effective mitigation solutions. As host and signatory to COP 28, the UAE recognises its leadership in climate change mitigation and sustainable development. The UAE’s commitment to climate-smart urban development and its proactive role in the global quest for sustainability is reinforced by the Urban Development Law.

The UAE real estate market, which traditionally predicts the economic wind, is improving each month with record transactions and exciting new project launches. In contrast, home values have fallen in many major cities due to rising interest rates and a bleak growth forecast.

Dubai’s residential market saw over 30,000 property transactions and a total sales value of over AED 91 billion in Q2, a 35% increase in transactions, and a 54% increase in sales value compared to Q2 2022.

Property Finder reported a 43% YoY increase in real estate sales to Dh33.7bn in Dubai in August, as demand remains strong.

Although good times are rolling, the emirate is not complacent. We’re confident the Dubai 2040 Urban Masterplan will be completed due to the emirate’s can-do attitude.

Infrastructure Improvement

A 188% growth of the maritime transport network, 400% more passenger lines, and 51% more customers from 14.7 million to 22 million by 2030 are among the city’s infrastructural improvements.

The city prioritises green spaces, parks, and recreation to improve citizens’ well-being. New, beautiful oceanfront for miles.

Some call this transition Dubai 2.0, and it feels like a rebirth.

With a predicted population rise of 5.8 million by 2040, any development will need strict enforcement. Dubai’s commitment is huge, thus all sectors must work together to execute plans.

His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice-President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai, announced a new urban planning law to create an integrated and effective system to encourage investment and sustainable growth, which thrilled me.

Future generations’ needs should be considered in urban planning to avoid short-term mistakes that could lead to difficulties. It attracts firms and investments, boosting economic growth and job creation while distributing economic advantages more evenly among communities.

The new law would govern and monitor all activities, which is good news for anyone concerned about development speed. It will preserve the environment, guarantee the emirate’s expansion is done appropriately, and reassure foreign investors that they can trust to invest here.

As lucky citizens of Dubai, we have much to look forward to. Dubai’s ideas are bold but not irresponsible.


In conclusion, Dubai’s commitment to sustainable development and urban planning is evident through the new Urban Planning Law and its infrastructure improvements. The city’s efforts to balance economic growth with environmental preservation and social well-being are commendable.

The upcoming COP 28 in Dubai presents an opportunity for the UAE to showcase its leadership in climate change mitigation and sustainable development. Dubai 2.0 is not just a transition, but a rebirth and its citizens have much to look forward to as the city continues to grow and evolve responsibly.

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