DUBAI: H.H. Sheikh Hamdan bin Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Crown Prince of Dubai and Chairman of The Executive Council of Dubai, has approved major projects aimed at further strengthening Dubai’s position as a leading catalyst for economic growth, a destination for global tourism, and a pivotal transport hub connecting continents in accordance with the vision of His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice President, Prime Minister and Ruler of Dubai.

Chairing a meeting of The Executive Council today at the Arabian Travel Market (ATM) exhibition taking place at Dubai World Trade Centre, Sheikh Hamdan said, “Dubai is investing in the future and is leading global tourism following His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum’s announcement to build the world’s largest airport with an AED128 billion investment and a capacity for 260 million passengers annually.

“Dubai represents a bridge between North, South, East and West. It provides state-of-the-art infrastructure for companies, setting the foundation for global expansion.”

During the Council’s meeting, Sheikh Hamdan stressed the importance of community participation in designing the future of Dubai, saying, “We aim to achieve balanced economic and social development through placing people at the heart of progress and by engaging Dubai’s community in designing its future.”

The Executive Council’s meeting was attended by H.H. Sheikh Maktoum bin Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, First Deputy Ruler of Dubai, Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Finance, and Deputy Chairman of The Executive Council of Dubai; H.H. Sheikh Ahmed bin Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Second Deputy Ruler of Dubai and Deputy Chairman of The Executive Council of Dubai; and H.H. Sheikh Ahmed bin Saeed Al Maktoum, President of the Dubai Civil Aviation Authority and Deputy Chairman of The Executive Council of Dubai.

During the meeting, Issam Kazim, CEO of Dubai Corporation for Tourism and Commerce Marketing (DCTCM), part of Dubai Department of Economy and Tourism (DET), presented a report highlighting the strong performance of Dubai’s tourism sector, which includes segments like including leisure tourism, cultural tourism, eco-tourism, medical tourism, as well as events and conferences.

The Council also reviewed indicators showing growth in global demand for Dubai’s tourism offering. This growth will be met by the Al Maktoum International Airport, which when completed will be the world's largest airport, comprising 400 gates and five runways. The airport will directly support the objectives of the Dubai Economic Agenda (D33), aiming to make the city one of the world’s top three global tourism destinations.

The Executive Council approved the Commercial Transport Strategy 2030 in line with the D33, aiming to nearly double the contribution of the commercial transport and logistics sector to the emirate's economy to approximately AED16.8 billion, increase technology adoption in infrastructure by 75 percent, reduce carbon emissions by 30 percent, and improve operational efficiency by 10 percent.

Under the strategy, Dubai aims to adopt several projects over the next seven years to support the sector’s growth and boost its competitiveness.

The Executive Council approved a plan to improve traffic flow in Dubai to support business efficiency and elevate quality of life. The plan includes developing priority public bus routes to improve trip times by up to 59 percent. The plan also includes developing a policy to encourage school students to use school transport, which will help improve traffic flow around schools by 13 percent. Additionally, the plan aims to expand the implementation of flexible working hours and remote work policies within the public and private sectors to ease traffic congestion across Dubai.

The Executive Council approved Dubai's strategic direction for boosting data centre economy, aiming to establish the city as a leading destination for the future economy driven by emerging technologies. Aligned with Dubai Economic Agenda, which aims to boost productivity by 50 percent through digital adoption and innovation, the strategy focuses on developing high-performance computing, utilising liquid cooling systems, and providing advanced data centres powered by renewable energy. By 2028, Dubai aims to be a hub for sustainable data centres, equipped for Artificial Intelligence (AI) applications and next-generation networking technologies like Web 3.0 and the Metaverse.

This initiative seeks to increase Dubai's data capacity by five times, enhance value addition by AED14.3 billion annually, and solidify its position as a regional data industry hub. The project reinforces Dubai's appeal for global AI investments with its cutting-edge infrastructure and investor-friendly environment. Implementation oversight will be managed by the Dubai Digital Authority and other relevant entities.

The Executive Council also approved the Community Participation Policy, which supports the Dubai Social Agenda 33 by increasing community participation in shaping policy, legislation and government services. The move aims to improve the quality of services by aligning them more closely with community needs and expectations, which will be identified through enhanced public engagement. The policy will facilitate cooperation between various stakeholders to benefit the quality of life of all Dubai residents.

Developed in collaboration between the General Secretariat of the Executive Council of Dubai, the Dubai Digital Authority, the Supreme Legislation Committee, and the Department of Finance, the Community Engagement Policy is based on the principles of inclusivity, empowerment, sustainability, cooperation, and transparency.