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Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum Issues Landmark Law on Urban Planning in Dubai

Law No. (16) of 2023 regarding urban planning in Dubai has been issued by His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice President and Prime Minister of the UAE, in his role as the Ruler of Dubai.

The purpose of this Law is to establish a comprehensive urban planning framework that fosters investment, sustainable development, and prosperity while enhancing citizens’ quality of life and ensuring community security and safety. Additionally, it aims to improve governance in the urban planning sector, delineate the responsibilities of relevant authorities, and enhance cooperation and coordination among them.

Furthermore, the Law aims to streamline the preparation and implementation of urban plans, strategies, and policies, as well as to monitor their effectiveness and uphold principles such as justice, equality, transparency, and accountability. It will regulate and oversee urban planning activities to ensure alignment with established plans and policies, while also prioritizing environmental preservation and establishing assessment systems for environmental impacts and strategic planning.

The establishment of a ‘Supreme Committee for Urban Planning,’ comprising representatives from pertinent authorities, is mandated by the Law. This committee will set the overarching urban planning policy for Dubai and define development objectives within the framework of approved strategies. The existing Supreme Committee, established by Executive Council Resolution No. (18) of 2021, will continue its duties until reconstitution according to the provisions of this Law.

The ‘Dubai 2040 Urban Master Plan’ becomes the official structural plan for the emirate upon the enactment of this Law. Additionally, Dubai Municipality is designated as the sole regulator of the urban planning sector, with the authority to coordinate with relevant entities overseeing special development zones and free zones.

The Law prohibits any development activity in Dubai without obtaining the necessary permits and mandates compliance with relevant legislation and permit conditions. Any conflicting provisions in other laws are nullified, and existing regulations remain applicable until new ones are issued.

Finally, this Law will be published in the Official Gazette and become effective ninety days from its issuance date.

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