Abu Dhabi on display in global infra design guide


Abu Dhabi’s streets are to feature in an international guide setting out the first ever worldwide standards for designing roads and public spaces, Abu Dhabi Urban Planning Council (Abu Dhabi UPC) announced.

Abu Dhabi UPC has been invited to contribute to the new Global Street Design Guide being compiled by the US-based National Association of City Transportation Officials (NACTO).

The guide, which aims to set a new global benchmark in urban street design, will feature examples from around the world of streets that incorporate international best practices.


The UAE is the first country from the Middle East to be included in the guide as part of its Global Expert Network.

Abu Dhabi will be used as an example and is one of 50 cities from 32 countries to be featured.

NACTO selected Abu Dhabi for inclusion in the guide because of its growing international reputation for improving quality of life for residents by providing sustainable, safe, visually appealing and walkable streets, state agency WAM reported.

It recognises the success of the UPC’s highly acclaimed Abu Dhabi Urban Street Design Manual (USDM), which equips designers with the necessary tools to plan, design and build safer and more user-friendly streets for pedestrians, transit users, cyclists and motorists across the emirate.

Demonstrating how the USDM improves safety, post-implementation studies on Sheikh Zayed Street, a major artery in Abu Dhabi which was rebuilt following USDM standards, highlighted that remarkable results have been achieved in terms of pedestrian safety.

The new standards at refuge islands, the pedestrian area located in the middle of the street, resulted in the probability of pedestrian fatalities at right turn lanes being reduced from 25% to 5%.

Feedback from residents living in the area has also been very positive.

Abdulla Al Sahi, acting executive director of Abu Dhabi UPC’s planning and infrastructure department, said: “It’s an honour for us to be included in a prestigious publication that highlights best practices around the world, and it shows that Abu Dhabi is increasingly being recognised as a model of a sustainable, highly live-able urban landscape. “

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