Dubai lets first contracts for $5.4bn ‘Desert Flower’

The government of Dubai has announced the first contracts for its $5.4bn Desert Flower sustainable city. Bids are invited from consultants interested in pre-design work and preparing designs for roads and landscaping. The deadline for bids is 22 June. 

Desert Flower will be built on a site about 20km inland from Jumeirah. The scheme, which is intended to house about 160,000 people, was given the go ahead in March by Dubai’s ruler, Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid al-Maktoum. Dubai is planning to complete the first part of the first phase in time for the 2020 Expo. 

The urban planning of the project will be in the shape of a desert flower in different colours in sync with the desert environment as a symbol of sustainability– Hussain Nasser Lootah, the director-general of Dubai Municipality

Hussain Nasser Lootah, the director-general of Dubai Municipality, gave an account of his plans for the city while announcing a competition for emirati university students to put forward design solutions to meet the project’s sustainable ambitions. 

He added that the city would aim to satisfy the population’s entire economic, social, cultural and environmental requirements. 

Dawood Al Hajiri, the director of planning department explained on the website that the project would include  "diversified and simple sustainable housing areas with general services and facilities, a city center that serves the economic, administrative and service activities which has an electronic train track connected with Dubai Metro". 

Desert Flower will include a commercial centre, a series of 10-storey residential blocks and some 8,000 villas. The scheme will incorporate photovoltaic panels and passive solar heaters, but the municipality has not gone into detail about its environmental technology, merely saying that the city would have service facilities that produce renewable energy and facilities for recycling wastes and sewage water for irrigation and gardening will be taken care of. 

Al Hajiri said the competition for students, which has a $8,000 prize, would go to a proposal that showed "new, creative and innovative" thinking.

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