Saadiyat Island Transport Master Plan Peer Review

Saadiyat Island (Arabic: السعديات‎‎; Happiness Island) is a large, low-lying island 500 metres (1,600 ft) off the coast of Abu Dhabi island in the UAE, and is currently under development. A mixed commercial, residential, and leisure project is currently under construction on the island, expected to be completed in 2020. According to government officials, Saadiyat Island is expected to become Abu Dhabi's cultural centre. Saadiyat Island is a unique tourism-cultural showcase project of the Emirati firm intention to make growth all in preserving nature and hailing Emirati heritage and culture.

Saadiyat Island is being developed by the Tourism Development & Investment Company (TDIC), an independent public joint stock company of which Abu Dhabi Tourism Authority is the sole shareholder. TDIC's strategy is to dispose of development land on the island to private investors who will each develop their sites in accordance with the masterplan and supporting planning regulations and design guidelines.

The master plan for Saadiyat island was done by EDAW and is planned and created around an environmentally sensitive philosophy and low-density master plan.

Our Contribution:

The work carried out by MIC for the Saadiyat Island master plan was focused on a review of the Parsons Transport Masterplan to verify:

  • principles and methodology of the transport strategy,
  • Consistency between outputs and planning recommendations.

The public transport and cycling network were analysed in detail, as they were elements of the master plan, which required special attention due to the particular climate and cultural conditions.

MIC filled in the gap in experience and a practice background for these modes of transport within the region of Abu Dhabi and in general in the UAE.

MIC was also tasked with the preparation of the Parking Master Plan for Saadiyat Island which promoted criteria such as

  • Reduced parking requirements for single development parcels in relation to their public transport accessibility level - a methodology inspired from London’s PTAL was implemented for the development,
  • Municipal public parking structures parking distributed in the densest districts of the Island to cope with short-stay demand of visitors.