Plan Al Dhafra

With a heritage of more than 150,000 years of continuous human habitation, Al Dhafra is blessed with a depth of cultural assets. From the maritime legacy of fishing and pearling to the agricultural activities of the inland tribes, the people and places of Al Dhafra are inextricably tied to their ancient past while heading toward a modern era of development and expansion.

Situated between the Empty Quarter and the Arabian Gulf to the west of Abu Dhabi, the Al Dhafra Region encompasses approximately 35,250 km2 including the country's richest oil and gas reserves.

Al Dhafra offers a diversity of place and a unique reflection upon the evolving Emirati lifestyle. Al Dhafra was paid particular attention by the late Sheikh Zayed bin Sultan Al Nahyan, who dedicated his efforts and time to developing the region and improving the quality of life for its inhabitants.

Al Dhafra is characterised by a large geographic spread and low population density. There are seven main settlements in the region, each providing a range of services and opportunities to residents. These are Madinat Zayed, Mirfa, Ghayathi, Liwa, Ruwais, Sila'a, and Delma Island. Population density is spread across these seven settlements, with the highest concentrations in Madinat Zayed and Ruwais.


Key statistics box:

Al Dhafra is 35,250 square kilometres: 60% of Abu Dhabi Emirate's landmass The population of Al Dhafra in 2013 was estimated 301,000, which comprised of approximately 10% UAE Nationals and 90% Non-UAE Nationals.


The Vision of Plan Al Dhafra

Al Dhafra Plan is designed to aid in moving Al Dhafra toward the future through managed, responsible growth. Environmental respect, social health, cultural identity and economic development all share equal status and provide the opportunity to leverage economic growth without sacrificing the cultural and historic significance of the region for future generations.

More About Urban-Planning

Plan Maritime

Abu Dhabi's mainland coastline is approximately 2,435 km long and its waters include around 215 islands and a diverse and rich marine environment, which includes fragile wetlands, mangroves and an internationally important dugong population. These marine areas will become increasingly important contributors towards the diversification of Abu Dhabi's economy, as they will help to attract greater numbers of tourists.

Plan Capital

DPM has developed Plan Capital to optimise the city's development through a comprehensive urban evolution program. In doing so, it is laying the foundations for a socially cohesive and economically sustainable community that preserves the Emirate's unique cultural heritage. This foresight to plan for infrastructure ahead of time is a key example of a visionary governance.

Plan Al Ain

Al Ain is the soul of the Emirate. Its spirit emerges from the unique conjunction of Jebel Hafeet, the nurturing oases and the majestic desert that have sustained continuous settlement over 5,000 years. It now exemplifies both the ancient Bedouin traditions and the modern aspirations of the Emirate.