Estidama Program


Department of Urban Planning and Municipalities (DPM) establishes a clear vision for sustainability as the foundation of any new development occurring in the Emirate and capital city of Abu Dhabi. This commitment is a reflection of the values and ideals of our nation. The tenets of sustainable living in the Middle East is the guiding force behind Estidama. More than just a sustainability program, Estidama is the symbol of an inspired vision for governance and community development. It promotes a new mindset for building a forward thinking global capital.

To establish a distinctive overarching framework for measuring sustainability performance beyond the usual planning and construction phases, Department of Urban Planning and Municipalities has worked with the team guiding Estidama to assure that sustainability is continually addressed through four pre-defined pillars: environmental, economic, social and cultural.

The purpose of Estidama is to create a new sustainability framework that will direct our current course while allowing adaptation as new understanding evolves. By promoting a new sense of responsibility with Estidama, Department of Urban Planning and Municipalities is going beyond other sustainable development initiatives around the world, by creating new tools, resources and procedures crucial to the Abu Dhabi Plan.


Estidama Program

Department of Urban Planning and Municipalities (DPM) is recognised internationally for large-scale sustainable urban planning and for rapid growth. Plan Capital - also known as Abu Dhabi Urban Structure Framework Plan - addresses sustainability as a core principle. Estidama, which is the Arabic word for sustainability, is an initiative developed and promoted by the DPM. Estidama is the intellectual legacy of the late Sheikh Zayed bin Sultan Al Nahyan and a manifestation of visionary governance promoting thoughtful and responsible development. The leadership of Abu Dhabi are progressing the principles and imperatives for sustainable development, through Estidama, while recognising that the unique cultural, climatic and economic development needs of the region require a more localised definition of sustainability.

Estidama is not just a rating method or something people do, it is a vision and a desire to achieve a new sustainable way of life in the Arab world. The ultimate goal of Estidama is to preserve and enrich Abu Dhabi's physical and cultural identity, while creating an always improving quality of life for its residents on four equal pillars of sustainability: environmental, economic, social, and cultural. This touches all aspects of life in Abu Dhabi - the way we build, the way we resource, the way we live, the choices we make - all in an effort to attain a sustainable state of living.

Estidama arose from the need to properly plan, design, construct and operate sustainable developments with respect to the traditions embedded within the rich local culture on one hand and the harsh climatic nature of the region on the other. To this end, project owners, developers, design teams and even residents need to think differently about how they approach the design and planning process.

Estidama is the first program of its kind that is tailored to the Middle East region. In the immediate term, Estidama is focused on the rapidly changing built environment. It is in this area that the DPM is making significant strides to influence projects under design, development or construction within the Emirate of Abu Dhabi.

Estidama will continually evolve to embrace the rapidly changing concepts for sustainability, and ground them in the environmental, social, cultural, and economic needs of the GCC region. Estidama sets the path for a bright future for the Emirate, its citizens, its residents and the generations to follow. Consequently, the success of Estidama will depend on everyone in the Emirate to create a better future for all.

The Government of Abu Dhabi has directly committed itself to strengthen and develop four key priority areas:

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    Economic Development
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    Social & human resources development
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    Infrastructure development & enviormental sustanbility 
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    Optimisation of goverment operations

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