Desert Town - Madinat Zayed, UAE

A short drive from the city of Abu Dhabi, a desert resort was planned to provide relaxation and comfort for urbanites from the city of Abu Dhabi. Privacy to enjoy the calmness of the desert is seen as a valuable quality.

This proposal provided each individual villa with the pinnacle of privacy: each villa has both a horizon view and a private oasis. The holiday villas were to be scattered across the terrain and be covered with subtle irregularly shaped roofs that react to the desert dunes, the wind and the inclines of the oases.

The ambition of the project was to become a predominantly self-sustaining development with a windmill and solar panels providing energy and a condensation cooler to harvest dew water.

Key themes

The city of Madinat Zayed is located at the heart of Abu Dhabi’s Western region, Al Gharbia, at the crossroads between the Liwa Crescent and Abu Dhabi.
Madinat Zayed is to be revitalized into an industrial and agricultural hub for the Western Region, with a distinct desert lifestyle, a new town centre and an industrial centre.

The master plan proposes a concept for ‘One City; Three Identities’. The three identities embrace the spread-out character of the existing city and emphasize a Garden Town, an Urban Town and an Industrial Town.

The building blocks transform the town improving its DNA. The hierarchy and readability of streets; continuity and functionality for various modes of traffic and a conitinuous public realm linking parks squares and neighbourhoods, together provide a strong base for the redevelopment and rejuvenation program of Madinat Zayed.

A variety of housing types and two town centres have been developed in more detail as part of the master plan design.

Project data

NameDesert Town - Madinat Zayed, UAE
PlaceMadinat Zayed, Abu Dhabi
Area10 kmĀ²
Collaborationstraffic and utilities engineering; AECOM
Design collaborationsurbanism and landscape; Juurlink [+] Geluk
Design teamJaakko van 't Spijker, Bert Karel Deuten, Henk Bultstra, Nikki Mulder, Nika Jaeda
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