Reem Island by Arup


Reem Downtown as seen from the direction of the Khalifa Bridge in Abu Dhabi

A human-centred, sustainable approach to planning and design

The largely undeveloped site provided the team with an opportunity to design an exemplar masterplan to deliver an inclusive and liveable environment in this part of Abu Dhabi and beyond.

Our human-centred approach to development includes varied build typology and volumes, with heights decreasing towards the waterfront.

Designed to encourage public transport and active usage, we ensured green spaces are spread throughout with a burgeoning cycle network and the first completely pedestrianised public street in the Emirate.

We worked closely with the client to optimise and balance economic, social, cultural and environmental improvements for short and long term public benefits.

Measured against the Estidama rating system

Our masterplan for Reem Island integrates the Abu Dhabi led sustainability framework Estidama (sustainability in Arabic) Pearl Community Rating System in which cultural sustainability features alongside economic, social and environmental aspects.

The overarching theme of the masterplan is a sensitive approach to people and place, both natural and developed, and a pace of change respectful of context.

This is highlighted by a novel approach in addressing the adjacent mangroves, allowing residents to engage with this natural asset.

Accessible, inclusive and connected; the Reem Downtown masterplan exceeds the requirements of local policy. We also embedded into our work many of the United Nation’s 17 Sustainable Development Goals.

Our collaborative approach, and extensive stakeholder engagement underpinned planning and design to create a liveable, workable and desirable Downtown for Reem Island.

A rendering showing the western promenade of our masterplan.

A rendering showing the western promenade of our masterplan.

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