Jan. 12, 2015

HE Eng. Husain Nasser Lootah

UAE, Dubai

HE Eng. Husain Nasser Lootah

Director General, Dubai Municipality


Husain Nasser Lootah has plenty of achievements he can be proud of in the history of his eventful career and professional life. With a US Civil Engineering degree and over 30 years' experience with Dubai Municipality, he represents the face of the civic body, one of the largest government organizations in the UAE as well as in the region. Lootah has painstakingly inched his way up to the post he currently holds; Director General of Dubai Municipality.

Given its rapidly growing population, what is the role of urban planning in Dubai?

The civic body aims to convert 30,000 buildings to green buildings by 2030, which is about 25% of the 120,000 buildings that we have now. At first, we will select the most energy-consuming buildings, targeting government buildings in the first stage, in order to set an example. We did not forget about the older buildings or those constructed before the mandatory green buildings regulation and specifications were implemented in March 2014. The best approaches on how to convert older buildings using eco-friendly materials on both the inside and outside of a structure will be taken into account. Dubai Municipality also works on a proposal to set up a rating system for buildings, which can be used as a tool for building owners to rate their buildings and, in turn, have a higher rate in the market. The steering committee for the Dubai Urban Plan 2020 has implemented a set of rules to ensure that all new and ongoing projects in the Emirate of Dubai do not affect the government's initiative to achieve a green city.

Which new exciting projects are to be completed in the long term and how will they shape Dubai?

The Dubai Safari project is under construction in Al Warqa 5, Aweer Road, on an area of 119 hectares. The project includes Arabian, Asian, and African villages to accommodate animals from different continents, in addition to an open safari. The Safari, which covers 22 hectares of the total area, is aimed at establishing the best center for wildlife in the world, providing a variety of environments appropriate to different animals. The Dubai Frame project is an integrated frame that uniquely highlights the attractions of the Emirate as visitors view the scenes and buildings on Sheikh Zayed Road from one side, which symbolize the modern Dubai, while from the other side of the frame visitors can see the landmarks of Deira, Umm Hurair, and Karama, which symbolize the old Dubai. The Frame also includes a museum that tells the story of the development of the city and information on the past and present. The height of the Dubai Frame will be 150 meters, with a width of 100 meters. Another project is Al Fahidi Market, at a cost of AED50.5 million, and over 27,000 sqm, resembles Souq Naif in Deira in terms of its traditional architecture with a combination of ancient and modern culture and trade. The market allocates specific areas for different types of trade activities, such as food, fabrics, toys, handicrafts, traditional products, and gold. The project also aims to promote the small trading activities of the local community, which do not require a large amount of capital and create new job opportunities. The Crocodile Park project aims to house and care for a number of crocodiles and facilitate the best feeding methods, healthcare, as well as reproduction schemes with regard to endangered animals. It will attract tourists from the UAE and foreign countries and serve as an educational center for students. Furthermore, Deira Fish Market is a fully air-conditioned commercial complex that provides the best services. The unique Holy Quran Park is also expected to be completed by September 2015 at an estimated cost of AED26 million. The park is one of the most prestigious projects of the civic body located in the Al Khawaneej area and is specially designed from an Islamic perspective to introduce the miracles of the Quran through a variety of surprises for the visitors. There are many other important ongoing and under-design projects, such as different markets, a number of residential and public parks, public facilities and buildings, architectural and heritage projects, and tourist attractions being implemented by Dubai Municipality that will contribute to achieving its vision of creating an excellent city that provides the essence of success and comfort for sustainable living.