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13 April 2024

Municipality plans two new suburbs

By Muna Ahmad



Two new residential areas are to be created by Dubai Municipality one in Deira and one in Bur Dubai, Emirates Business has learned.

The first will be beyond Al Khawaneej, while the second will lie between Al Barsha and Dubailand, Hussain Nasser Lootah, the municipality’s Acting Director-General, said.
“We have sent details of these new areas to the government for approval and will then announce their names,” he said. “After that land in these areas will be granted to UAE nationals.”


Creating the new suburbs is one of a series of projects planned by the municipality, whose budget for this year is Dh3 billion.

“However, we are expecting returns of Dh4bn from different sources such as fees from companies and the public,” said Lootah. “So we expect to have a Dh1bn net profit by the end of the year.”


Asked about the redevelopment of the Hatta area, he said the aim was to preserve the heritage there and modern buildings will not replace the traditional ones.

“We have finished most of the rebuilding work at a total cost of Dh100 million,” he said. “This includes schools, hospital and a shopping centre.”


He said the municipality was frequently blamed for delays in delivering projects but the civic body was not responsible for the holdups.


“We don’t know the delivery time for each project as these details are basically the concern of the developers. They are responsible for laying pipelines and sewerage network within their projects and linking it to the main municipality network. We have nothing to do with the delays.”


He said the total value of the municipality’s major projects for the next two years was around Dh4.3bn.


“We have 24 different departments and each has its own projects. The main projects we are working on for the coming two years are the new Jebel Ali sewerage project, the new zoo, a giant public library, an Olympic-size swimming pool, neighbourhood parks and a thermal recycling project.”


Lootah said the privatisation of the city’s cleaning services would be carried out in stages.


“We have studied privatisation projects in neighbouring countries and in Europe. We found out that they were successful in Europe but did not work in the GCC countries. Dubai is a major tourist and business destination and we are keen to maintain our standards.


“We have already started by making major developers responsible for the cleaning of their properties. Gradually we will move towards privatising the service.”

He said some of the municipality’s planting and landscaping services had already been privatised. “However, we don’t intend to fully privatise this as it is cheaper for us to do it ourselves.”


Lootah said the rapid growth of the emirate in terms of both population and development meant the municipality faced many challenges. “Major companies such as Dubai Holding, Emaar and Nakheel are undertaking massive development projects.

Some have been announced while many more will be announced soon. One challenge is the increase in the amount of refuse.


Two years ago we had to deal with 4,000 tonnes a day. Today we are handling 6,000 tonnes and we are expecting this to go up to 8,000 tonnes by next year. The other problem is the growing amount of building and construction waste – we have 30,000 tonnes of this per day.


The main difficulty is handling this amount of waste.”

Among the new projects is a Dh3bn sewage treatment plant in Jebel Ali with a projected capacity of 1.1 million cubic metres per day.


This capacity will be built over a number of phases that will be sized and programmed to suit the growth in wastewater flows produced by the continuing development of Dubai. The plant is to be built on a 1,667-acre desert site located southeast of the Jebel Ali Free Zone.


The current sewerage plant in Al Aweer has reached its full capacity. Construction work on the new one has started and phase one will be completed next year. Phase two will be ready in 2010 and phase three is currently being planned.


The Numbers


Dh100m: The cost of the rebuilding work at the Hatta area


Dh4bn: The revenue Dubai Municipality is expecting from different sources


Dh4.3bn: The total value of the municipality’s major projects in two years


Major Projects


1 IRRIGATION PROJECT: This Dh258 million project involves treating sewerage water and reusing it for irrigation purposes. “We use 100 per cent of the treated water for all irrigation needs of the emirate,” said Hussain Nasser Lootah. “We also provide major developers with treated water to use in their projects.” 

One of two new projects will involve setting up major irrigation lines from Jebel Ali Sewage Treatment Plant, while the second will involve linking various areas of the emirate to the existing irrigation lines. 

Under this project, treated water from the Jebel Ali Sewage Plant will be carried and pumped to the main irrigation network for the city.


2 NEIGHBOURHOOD PARKS: “Currently we have 24 neighbourhood parks in the emirate and we are working on 15 new projects at a cost of Dh100 million,” said Lootah.

“These are going to cover all the residential areas and will be completed in different phases.” Each park would include facilities and features such as playgrounds with shaded areas for children in different age groups.


3 NEW ZOO: Work on the long-awaited new Dh500 million Dubai Zoo will start this year in Dubailand.

“The first phase of the project will cover an area of around 123 acres,” said Lootah. “It will include car parking of around 38 acres.

“The new Dubai Zoo has the potential to become a landmark attraction for national and international visitors. It will serve as a major tourism and visitor education centre for all of the UAE.

“The project has been divided into two phases the first will involve preparation work while the second will include construction of the zoo and the botanical garden.”


4 OLYMPIC-SIZE SWIMMING POOL: This project will be completed at a cost of Dh600million by 2010 when Dubai will host the World Swimming Championships.

The facility will have a capacity of 15,000 spectators and the contract will be awarded in the second quarter of this year. In addition, there will be pools for deep diving and changing rooms for 400 competitors.


5 PUBLIC LIBRARY: “This project will be one of the biggest libraries in the region, and we are currently selecting the location,” said Lootah.

“It will include theatres and galleries among many other sections. We do not yet know the final cost of the project. Other facilities will include administrative and technical sections, reading halls, service areas, children’s library, business library, exhibitions and conference centres and training halls.”

The library will house more than 1.72 million books and other materials including CDs and audio-video recordings. The final designs are expected to be ready by the end of the third quarter of this year.


6 PUBLIC TOILETS: This Dh50 million scheme involves building 100 public toilets in different areas of the city, especially along roads and in squares.

Work will commence this year and the toilets will be built to high international standards.

“This project goes along with the development currently being witnessed by the city,” said Lootah. “We are providing public health amenities with excellent hygiene specifications matching the best available in the most advanced cities of the world.”