Stress on sustainability as project gets thumbs up

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Stress on sustainability as project gets thumbs up

Take London’s 350-acre Hyde Park, and make it almost a third bigger. Now put the world’s largest mall around the outside — and you’ll still only have part of Dubai’s planned newest city, Mohammed bin Rashid City.

By Amanda Fisher

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Published: Sun 25 Nov 2012, 9:03 AM

Last updated: Tue 7 Apr 2015, 12:00 PM

The vision, announced on Saturday by His Highness Shaikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice-President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai, has prompted calls to keep in mind environmental lessons learned during the country’s past 10 years of hectic progress. Shaikh Mohammed has said the city, bearing his name, will be built using global environmental standards, while boosting the UAE into an entrepreneurial, arts, cultural and tourism capital.

Emirates Environmental Group chairperson Habiba Al Marashi said if environmental sustainability was not at the core of development “you are not achieving any (real) development”.

“I think this is a very visionary idea being put forward because you are putting so many things together, you are putting tourism at the heart of it, sustainable tourism.” Dubai needed to remember sustainability lessons from the past. “It has been very fast growth...All this has had its toll on the environmental scenario... But I believe we will ensure this time around that it is not only growth, but it is sustainable.”

It was important green areas were watered using waste water and covered in local, not imported, flora, she said.

“This is really an understatement to say we should be worrying (about the environment) it is a fact the world is getting warmer...we cannot afford to have unsustainable cities anymore.”

Meanwhile, Grosvenor Real Estate client manager Luke Emney said the mass development was a sure sign the country was coming out of recession. “It’s kind of rebuilding itself and it’s good for sustainability (of the economy).

“Right now there’s definitely more (property) supply than demand, more supply would repress prices even more...but there is steady population growth too.”

The real estate development would provide more jobs, while offering residents more living options, with the park surrounds helping escape the “urban jungle” of other inner-city areas.

Land Department director Sultan Buti bin Mujrin said the launch of the project, the third phase of Dubai’s development, indicated the real estate market was recovering and would soon be “booming”.

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