Shaping a Sustainable Emirate

Throughout history, there has been a reciprocal relationship between mankind and the environment. Abu Dhabi's astounding growth over recent decades has been largely due to the wealth that stems from the development of its natural resources, specifically its oil and gas sector, but this is not the whole story. The Emirate's development evolved out of many factors, including its unique culture and society. As Abu Dhabi moves into the future, it will increasingly adopt a holistic approach incorporating both culture and the environment to ensure the creation of a confident, secure society.

The following sections highlight the processes behind the growth and significant landmark events during Abu Dhabi's development. For example, changes in the population profile and cultural landscape have been significant and, while urbanisation has created new opportunities for growth and improved services, it has also imposed challenges and ‘costs' that require good governance and prudent management.

Planned upcoming government-wide policy agendas include a series of 2030 master plans that address urban planning,economy, transportation, sustainability and the environment. Challenges in these areas include the impacts of climate change, shifting trade patterns, resource depletion and continuing massive population changes.

In striving to keep growth sustainable, the Abu Dhabi government is investing in the delivery of high quality health and education, the fundamental building blocks of the social and technological infrastructure of the future. This will create a wealth of new opportunities and innovative pathways towards a sustainable, open and globally competitive economy.

These future residents will inherit an ever-changing landscape, part natural and part man-made. Until recently, Abu Dhabi's harsh environment demanded extraordinary commitment by previous generations just to survive. Today, technology means that this same environment can be used to enhance our standard of living. However, this, in turn, has involved the exploitation of the environment and natural resources, which is why the care of them requires special attention.

Sprint Towards Modernity

Before the emergence of the oil-based economy in the early 1960s, traditional local culture had two main components: the nomadic desert-oriented Bedouin with small ...

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Growth of Abu Dhabi

The Emirate of Abu Dhabi's exceptional growth has involved interdependent processes including urbanisation, population growth and economic diversification. Combined, ...

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Population & Economy Growth

The Emirate of Abu Dhabi's population has been growing at a phenomenal rate, from 58,000 in 1952 to an estimated 1.72 million in 2009. Furthermore, anticipated ...

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Managing Growth

The signs of economic growth, modernisation and prosperity in the Emirate of Abu Dhabi are obvious. As this expanding population grows, the Emirate's thirst for ...

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Pathways to Sustainability

Sustainability may be thought of as a four-petal flower, where each petal cannot blossom without the others flowering in turn. Additionally, these petals cannot ...

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