Dubai unveils masterplan for rural, countryside development

Dubai has unveiled a key masterplan for the development of its countryside and rural areas spanning a 2,216-sq-km area and covering major regions including Lehbab, Marmoom and Al Aweer. It will serve as a comprehensive plan for the next 20 years.

HH Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice President, Prime Minister and Ruler of Dubai, has approved the Dubai Countryside and Rural Areas Development Master Plan, spanning an area of 2,216 sq km, reported Wam.
The plan seeks to preserve the nature of areas including Lehbab, Margham, Al Marmoom, Al Lisaili, Al Faqaa and Al Aweer, and provide a variety of services and amenities to residents and visitors to enhance their wellbeing.
It will serve as a comprehensive plan for the next 20 years, in line with the Dubai Urban Plan 2040.
The key objective is to offer a unique touristic experience and transform each area into a key tourist destination in the emirate.
The Dubai ruler also approved a host of development projects and initiatives aimed at protecting natural reserves and archaeological sites.
The Supreme Committee for Urban Planning will be in charge of implementing and governing the projects.
Sheikh Mohammed also approved the Saih Al Salam Scenic Route (Route 1) project, a 100-km-long road for vehicles and bicycles. 
To be built based on the Scenic Route concept, the project will include facilities to provide a holistic tourism experience. It aims to increase the number of activities, events and services that promote desert tourism.
The project will also offer investment opportunities for inhabitants, support local projects that stimulate tourism and encourage entrepreneurs to preserve the area’s nature and distinctive identity.
The Route 1 project includes major initiatives, such as providing facilities and services to visitors along the route, offering trips to the ancient sites of Saruq Al Hadid and Al Marmoom Heritage Village, and other experiences including horse and camel riding and desert walks, said the Wam report.
As part of the project, camps and lodges in the form of glass domes with panoramic windows will be built along with open lounges that will allow people to enjoy their stay beside the existing lakes in the area, it stated.
As part of The Route 1 project, vertical balloons will be made available to the visitors for offering them an elevated view of the lakes. 
In addition, kayak boats will be available and souvenir shops and cafes close to the lakes to enrich the visitors’ experience, it stated.
The Saih Al Salam Scenic Route 1 Project will also include an outdoor cinema experience through the Open Cinema initiative, in addition to events and art exhibitions. There will be a Caravan Park fitted with the infrastructure and public facilities to receive caravans, it added.
Sheikh Mohammed said the project also includes sports initiatives such as skydiving, hot-air balloons, safari trips, and a club for remotely controlled planes and cars. 
It will also include the first dedicated path for desert means, bicycles and desert electric scooters to link tourist attractions and entertainment areas with the existing cycling track at Al Qudra and Saih Al Salam, he added.