Planning Abu Dhabi: An Urban History, 1st Edition (Hardback) book cover

Planning Abu Dhabi

An Urban History, 1st Edition

By Alamira Reem Bani Hashim


276 pages | 50 B/W Illus.

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Hardback: 9781138300309
pub: 2018-11-19
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Abu Dhabi’s urban development path contrasts sharply with its exuberant neighbour, Dubai. As Alamira Reem puts it, Abu Dhabi, capital of the United Arab Emirates since 1971, ‘has been quietly devising its own plans … to manifest its role and stature as a capital city’.

Alamira Reem, a native Abu Dhabian and urban planner and researcher who has studied the emirate’s development for more than a decade, is uniquely placed to write its urban history. Following the introduction and description of Abu Dhabi’s early modern history, she focuses on three distinct periods dating from the discovery of oil in 1960, and coinciding with periods in power of the three rulers since then: Sheikh Shakhbut bin Sultan Al Nahyan (1960–1966), Sheikh Zayed bin Sultan Al Nahyan (1966–2004), and Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan (2004–). Based on archival research, key interviews and spatial mapping, she analyses the different approaches of each ruler to development; investigates the role of planning consultants, architects, developers, construction companies and government agencies; examines the emergence of comprehensive development plans and the policies underlying them; and assesses the effects of these many and varied influences on Abu Dhabi’s development. She concludes that, while much still needs to be done, Abu Dhabi’s progress towards becoming a global, sustainable city provides lessons for cities elsewhere.

Table of Contents

Preface. Acknowledgements. List of Figures. 1. The Construction of an Urban Past 2. From the Hinterland to the Coast 3. Maintaining the Status Quo (1960 - 1966) 4. The Emergence of a Modern City (1966-2004) 5. Building the Global, Sustainable Arab Capital City (2004 - 2016) 6. Conclusion Appendices. Bibliography. Index

About the Author

Alamira Reem Bani Hashim has a PhD in City and Regional Planning from the University of California, Berkeley, USA. She is the first Emirati woman to be awarded a PhD in Planning.

About the Series

Planning, History and Environment Series

This series offers a unique window on the creation of the modern environment. Designed for an international readership, the emphasis is on:

  • urban and regional planning
  • recent as well as longer-term history
  • what the past can tell us about the present
  • local as well as global and comparative topics

Within this framework the books address three themes:

  • regional, continental and comparative studies
  • planning histories of key cities
  • changing planning ideologies and policies


Learn more…

Subject Categories

BISAC Subject Codes/Headings:
ARCHITECTURE / Urban & Land Use Planning