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Dubai’s Sheikh Mohammad Bin Zayed Road to be transformed into new 64km ‘green spine’

Dubai’s Sheikh Mohammad Bin Zayed Road to be transformed into new 64km ‘green spine’
10 July 2024 08:56


As part of the city’s effort to revitalise its urban landscape in line with its 2040 master plan, Dubai’s Sheikh Mohammad Bin Zayed Road is set to be transformed into a 64km green spine complete with a solar power tramway, landscaped gardens, parks and pedestrian highlines.

The ambitious project, announced Monday by developer URB, will look to help remedy the city’s often fragmented urban planning and reduce traffic all whilst increasing sustainability and green space in an effort to make Dubai more liveable. 
“The Dubai Green Spine isn’t just about transit; it’s about transforming urban functionality, making the city more liveable and human centric,” said URB’s CEO, Baharash Bagherian.

  • Dubai’s Sheikh Mohammad Bin Zayed Road to be transformed into new 64km ‘green spine’

“It challenges conventional infrastructure norms, proving that our streets can do more than facilitate car traffic; they can significantly enhance quality of life. This project exemplifies the profound impact thoughtful, integrated urban planning can have on a city’s health and vibrancy.”

The high-level plan aims to completely reimagine the urban landscape of Dubai and profoundly alter the lifestyle of its residents. A representative for URB told Aletihad that the project was still in the research phase but would likely be constructed over the “next 10 years” in four separate phases.


  • Dubai’s Sheikh Mohammad Bin Zayed Road to be transformed into new 64km ‘green spine’

“During construction, we plan to implement phased upgrades and temporary lanes to minimise disruptions. In the long term, the enhanced infrastructure will alleviate congestion, promote alternative transportation modes, and contribute to smoother and more efficient traffic management,” the UBR representative told Aletihad.

“This project is intended to serve as a model for sustainable infrastructure development across Dubai. By demonstrating the benefits of integrating green spaces, advanced mobility solutions, and sustainable practices, the project aims to inspire similar initiatives on other major roads in the city.”


  • Dubai’s Sheikh Mohammad Bin Zayed Road to be transformed into new 64km ‘green spine’

The green spine aims to create an “urban corridor” that will generate 300 megawatts of solar power, promote biodiversity through the planting of 1 million trees, promote non-motorised transport through a tramway, incorporate urban farms and gardens as well as utilise porous drainage systems.  It hopes that this will foster economic and social growth, enhance community connectivity, and reduce Dubai’s carbon footprint by 1 million tonnes annually, whilst also tackling the problems of air pollution, urban heat and disconnected pedestrian and public transport architecture.

Responding to widespread flooding earlier this year, and increasingly volatile weather due to climate change, the green spine is set to be future proofed with heat-resistant materials and permeable hardscape surfaces that will feed into a larger water management system. The system will include Bioswales, or landscape elements designed to concentrate and convey stormwater runoff, that will help capture, recycle, and utilise rainwater and greywater.

“Adopting a more human-centric approach means prioritising people and green spaces over cars. The Dubai Green Spine is at the forefront of this shift, transforming urban spaces into vibrant, healthy environments that serve as the city’s lungs and arteries,” Baharash said.

“This initiative promotes sustainable modes of transport and community zones over traditional car-dominated roads, thus enhancing the quality of urban life. We’re not just improving mobility; we’re creating an environment where people thrive. This forward-thinking approach is the future of urban planning, focusing on the wellbeing and connectivity of all residents.”

In 2021, the Dubai Municipality released its 2040 vision to completely revamp the city’s urban architecture. The plan included goals to double the size of green and recreational areas, increase natural reserves, quadruple the length of public beaches and reduce commute times creating a “20 minute-city”. The plan is intended to act a benchmark for the sustainable development of the city which will likely add more than 2 million residents in the next few decades.  The green spine project is one of several recent announcements that intend to make this vision a reality. Earlier this week, His Highness Sheikh Hamdan bin Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Crown Prince of Dubai and Chairman of Dubai Executive Council, approved the master plan and designs for the Jebel Ali Beach Development Project, which will add nearly 6.6km of publicly accessible beachfront to the emirate.

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