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Dubai introduces new law governing urban planning in the city

Dubai has announced a new urban planning law.

The law will approve the city’s structure as per the 2040 Urban Master Plan.

It also gives powers to the Dubai Municipality to carry out tasks in freezones and special development zones. The new law will also identify the permits and documentation needed by any person or company carrying out development work in Dubai. 

Dubai announces urban planning law

In his capacity as the Ruler of Dubai, Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice President and Prime Minister of the UAE, has issued Law No. (16) of 2023 regulating urban planning in Dubai.

The law seeks to develop an integrated and effective urban planning system that encourages investment, sustainable development, prosperity and improves the quality of life for citizens.

It also aims to ensure the security and safety of the emirate’s community, enhance governance of the urban planning sector, define the responsibilities of related authorities, and improve cooperation, coordination and integration among them.

The law also seeks to enhance the efficiency of preparing and implementing plans, strategies, and policies related to urban planning, monitoring and gauging their results and achieving the principles of justice, equality, transparency and accountability.

The law will regulate and monitor urban planning activities, ensure their alignment with adopted plans, strategies, and policies, preserve the environment, biodiversity, and natural resources of the emirate.

It will also contribute to establishing an environmental impact assessment and strategic environmental assessment system in Dubai.

Supreme Committee for Urban Planning

According to the law, a “Supreme Committee for Urban Planning” will be formed composed of representatives of relevant authorities responsible for urban planning in Dubai, who shall be appointed through a resolution issued by the Chairman of The Executive Council of Dubai.

The law defines the tasks and responsibilities of the Supreme Committee, including setting the general policy for urban planning in Dubai and defining the objectives of urban development within the framework of the approved goals and strategies.

The Supreme Committee for Urban Planning, established by Executive Council Resolution No. (18) of 2021, will continue to exercise its tasks and responsibilities until the Supreme Committee is re-formed by a resolution issued by the Chairman of The Executive Council of Dubai in accordance with the provisions of this law.


Dubai 2040 Urban Master Plan

Effective from the start date of this law, the “Dubai 2040 Urban Master Plan” is considered the approved structural plan for the emirate.

Law No. (16) of 2023 assigns Dubai Municipality with the sole responsibility of regulating the urban planning sector in the city.

The law also grants the Municipality with the authority to coordinate with relevant entities and authorities that oversee special development zones and free zones, if necessary, enabling it to carry out the tasks and responsibilities specified by this law.

As per the law, it is prohibited for any person to carry out or allow any development works in the emirate without obtaining related permits.

Every person must ensure compliance with applicable legislations in the emirate while executing development works and with the conditions of permits issued to them.

Any provision in any other legislation that contradicts the provisions of this law shall be annulled.

The regulations, rules and systems in place regarding urban planning prior to the implementation of this law shall continue to apply to the extent that they do not contradict its provisions until new regulations, rules and systems are issued to replace them.

This law will be published in the Official Gazette and will be effective (90) ninety days from its date of issuance.

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