IN PURSUIT OF HAPPINESS

UAE, Dubai 2015 | ECONOMY | FOCUS: DUBAI PLAN 2021

Following the completion of Dubai Strategic Plan 2015, the Dubai Executive Council announced Dubai Plan 2021, which sets out six pillars of development that support the social and economic development of Dubai.

Over the last two decades, Dubai has undergone unprecedented growth and an unrivaled transformation on a global level. Through such a rapid pace of development, the essence and importance of controlled and directional growth has been emphasized by HH Sheikh Mohammed Bin Rashid Al Maktoum, UAE Vice-President and Prime Minister and Ruler of Dubai. As such, HH Sheikh Mohammed established the first documented long-term strategy for the Emirate, namely Dubai Strategic Plan 2015 (DSP 2015). DSP 2015 embodied the vision for development set forth by His Highness, which centered on five main areas of development: economic, social, security and safety, infrastructure and environment, and government excellence. With these thrusts identified, DSP 2015 provides both the private and public sectors with a roadmap of development for the next seven years. As DSP 2015 finalizes this year, Dubai's Executive Council, under the patronage of HH Sheikh Mohammed, have announced Dubai Plan 2021 (DP 2021), the next installment of His Highness' vision for the Emirate.

As Dubai continues to accelerate economically, socially, and toward World Expo 2020, DP 2021 aims to reinforce Dubai's positioning as a global center and destination across a number of fields. Importantly, the development of the Dubai Plan 2021 takes into account the impact and involvement of everyone in Dubai: Emiratis, residents, visitors, government, businesses, international organizations, and others. In so doing, the project for development includes input from key industry stakeholders from both the public and private sectors, including interviews, workshops, and a comprehensive media campaign to spread awareness and garner feedback on the priorities of the plan. Furthermore, the government has established four developmental principles crucial to the long-term success of the plan. The first and foremost objective of the DP 2021 was to yield a strategy to push Dubai to the top ranks of cities around the world. Second, DP 2021 must identify and adopt the best practices in national strategic planning. Third, the plan must be able to be measured and assessed by all constituents. Fourth, the approach to the plan must engage various constituents and stakeholders involved in or affected by Dubai Plan 2021. As such, the development of DP 2021 began in November 2013 and involved over 60 leaders of the Emirate and the government, 200 government employees, 40 external experts, 70 university students, and 75 workshops, and culminated in the launch of the DP 2021 in December 2014.

The end result of over one year of planning and the strategy for the next five years centers around what Dubai considers the core to its previous and future success: the people and society that make up the city. With this, the first and foremost objective of DP 2021 is to achieve people's happiness. Happiness has been identified as a clear linchpin to success for the aspirations of the city across all areas. The Dubai Plan 2021 seeks to address the needs of the people in order for them to achieve happiness, thereby allowing them to achieve the city's aspirations. In order to accomplish this ambition, DP 2021 rests upon six pillars. First, Dubai aims to create an inclusive and cohesive society and create an exemplary multicultural destination around the world. Second, Dubai aims to build upon the rich high-quality experience that acts as a critical advantage to create a preferred place to live, work, and visit. Third, Dubai seeks to create a pioneering government that acts as an authority for the people and becomes a leader in creativity, leadership, transparency, and innovation. Fourth, DB 2021 aims to continue the success Dubai has had as a pivotal hub in the economy by ensuring a sustainable and economically friendly global business growth center going into the future. Fifth, Dubai targets to develop economically in line with being a leader in infrastructure integration, connectivity, safety, and environmental awareness. Sixth, Dubai underscores the importance of its people and ensuring their education, innovation, and happiness across all areas of life.

As Dubai continues to grow toward its aspirations of becoming the capital of the Islamic economy, a global trade hub, and an international tourism destination, the importance for controlled and guided growth becomes underscored. Through the success of the Dubai Strategic Plan 2015 and over a year of planning including input from both private and public stakeholders, the Executive Council of Dubai put into force the Dubai Plan 2021, which sets forth the roadmap for development, which centers on the theme of improving people's sense of happiness.