Abu Dhabi plans new transport projects, healthy living drive

The emirate has previously revealed plans for a 131km rail system



Abu Dhabi Executive Council has announced plans for new transport projects and programmes to improve wellbeing and attract cultural events under the fourth pillar of its Dhs50bn ($13.6bn) stimulus plan.

The three-year Tomorrow 2021 plan was first announced by Abu Dhabi’s Crown Prince in June and covers four main areas – business, society, knowledge and innovation and lifestyle.

The fourth pillar focuses on the improvement of living standards by boosting transport, mobility and the urban environment, encouraging an active lifestyle and cultural programmes and projects.

Among its aims are to make Abu Dhabi one of the world’s top cities to live in.

Initiatives under the pillar include a focus on improving Abu Dhabi’s urban masterplan, improving telecoms and transport infrastructure such as roads and tunnels and establishing new transport projects, details of which were not disclosed.

The emirate has previously revealed plans for a 131km rail system, supported by a tram, feeder buses and a 40km monorail. Signs for the network were erected earlier this year but there has bene no indication of further progress.

Abu Dhabi developer Aldar in April also announced a memorandum with Hyperloop Transportation Technologies to bring what was claimed to be the world’s first commercial hyperloop system to Abu Dhabi. The deal is for a hyperloop site within a new urban centre under Aldar’s Seih Al Sdeirah landbank near the border between Dubai and Abu Dhabi.

Read: Abu Dhabi-Dubai border town chosen for “world’s first” commercial hyperloop

Officials will seek to encourage an active lifestyle by promoting sport and physical activity, offering betters sports facilities and programmes and promoting awareness of health and wellbeing.

Cultural initiatives will include a focus on heritages sites and centres and developing and attracting cultural events.

Earlier this week, the council announced details of 10 initiatives to support the society pillar including plans to create thousands of Emirati jobs, open six private schools and provide social assistance.

Read: Abu Dhabi to target Emirati jobs, build schools, boost home loans under stimulus plan

It also detailed various incentives to attract start-ups and support research and development under the knowledge and innovation pillar.

Read: Abu Dhabi confirms start-up, R&D incentives under stimulus plan

The most comprehensive reforms appear to be under the business pillar, including Dhs10bn ($2.72bn) of SME financing from local banks, a new public private partnership law and the settling of late payments.

Read: Abu Dhabi confirms Dhs10bn of SME loans, PPP law, faster payments under stimulus plan