DUBAI: His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice President, Prime Minister and Ruler of Dubai, has approved the Dubai Countryside and Rural Areas Development Master Plan, spanning an area of 2,216 square kilometres.
The Plan seeks to preserve the nature of areas including Lehbab, Margham, Al Marmoom, Al Lisaili, Al Faqaa and Al Aweer, and provide a variety of services and amenities to residents and visitors to enhance their wellbeing.
It also aims to offer a unique touristic experience and transform each area into a key tourist destination in the emirate.
Sheikh Mohammed also approved a host of development projects and initiatives to support the development of countryside and rural areas in Dubai.
The projects will seek to protect natural reserves and archaeological sites, support farmers and local products and create investment opportunities for inhabitants.
The Supreme Committee for Urban Planning will be in charge of implementing and governing the projects.
His Highness approved the Plan during his visit to the Dunes Platform at Saih Al Salam, accompanied by H.H. Sheikh Hamdan bin Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Crown Prince of Dubai and Chairman of Dubai Executive Council, and H.H. Sheikh Maktoum bin Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Deputy Ruler of Dubai, Deputy Prime Minister, and Minister of Finance.
His Highness was received by Mattar Al Tayer, Commissioner-General for Infrastructure, Urban Planning, and Wellbeing Pillar and Chairman of the Supreme Committee for Urban Planning.
Sheikh Mohammed was then briefed in detail about the Dubai Countryside and Rural Areas Development Master Plan and the Saih Al Salam Scenic Route project.
Sheikh Mohammed said, “We have issued directives to ensure the Dubai Countryside and Rural Areas Development Master Plan brings direct economic returns for the people residing in these areas.”
"Today, Dubai is the most beautiful city in the world. We also seek to make the rural areas of Dubai some of the most beautiful and enjoyable places,” His Highness added.
Also accompanying His Highness during his visit were H.H. Sheikh Ahmed bin Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Chairman of the Dubai Media Council; H.H. Sheikh Ahmed bin Saeed Al Maktoum, Chairman of Dubai Civil Aviation Authority, Chairman of Dubai Airports and Chairman and Chief Executive of Emirates Airline and Group; and H.H. Sheikh Mansoor bin Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum.
The Dubai Countryside and Rural Areas Development Master Plan will serve as a comprehensive plan for the next 20 years, in line with the Dubai Urban Plan 2040.
The Plan includes development projects and initiatives to serve the needs of residents, in line with the vision of His Highness to transform Dubai into the world’s best city to live in.
The Master Plan will establish a distinct identity for each district, support farmers by offering them opportunities to sell their local products, and transform Dubai’s countryside and rural areas into key tourist destinations.
The Plan aims to improve the efficiency of public facilities and services for residents and visitors and develop public parks and traffic solutions to ease mobility. It also seeks to develop sustainable transportation systems that operate direct bus trips from the main stations to these areas and provide designated zones for bicycles and scooters.
Saih Al Salam Scenic Route Project
His Highness also approved the Saih Al Salam Scenic Route (Route 1) project, a 100km-long road for vehicles and bicycles. To be built based on the Scenic Route concept, the project will include facilities to provide a holistic tourism experience. It aims to increase the number of activities, events and services that promote desert tourism.
The project will also offer investment opportunities for inhabitants, support local projects that stimulate tourism and encourage entrepreneurs to preserve the area’s nature and distinctive identity.
The Route 1 project also includes several projects and initiatives, such as providing facilities and services to visitors along the route, offering trips to the ancient sites of Saruq Al-Hadid and Al Marmoom Heritage Village, and other experiences including horse and camel riding and desert walks.
As part of the project, camps and lodges in the form of glass domes with panoramic windows will be built along with open lounges that will allow people to enjoy their stay beside the existing lakes in the area.
The project includes providing vertical balloons to offer an elevated view of the lakes with an opportunity to take pictures. In addition, kayak boats will be available and souvenir shops and cafes close to the lakes to enrich the visitors’ experience.
The Saih Al Salam Scenic Route 1 Project will also include an outdoor cinema experience through the Open Cinema initiative, in addition to events and art exhibitions. There will be a Caravan Park fitted with the infrastructure and public facilities to receive caravans.
The project also includes sports initiatives such as skydiving, hot-air balloons, safari trips, and a club for remotely controlled planes and cars. It will also include the first dedicated path for desert means, bicycles and desert electric scooters to link tourist attractions and entertainment areas with the existing cycling track at Al Qudra and Saih Al Salam.
Furthermore, the project will include a desert station for sand boarding and desert driving along with other facilities to ensure visitors can enjoy a unique experience and a variety of sports activities safely in line with the highest safety standards.
The project will also offer helicopter tours to allow people to enjoy an aerial view of the area.