UAE’s Roadmap to the Future

A visionary leader is someone who not only has ambitious dreams for the nation’s future but also possesses the strategic foresight, political will, and administrative acumen to turn these dreams into reality. For the UAE, this has translated into a series of bold and progressive initiatives to diversify the economy beyond oil. This visionary path reshapes the country’s landscape and sets a global benchmark for future-oriented development. Here, we explore some strategic development goals of the UAE from the present until 2117.

I. Space Exploration

Over the past few years, the UAE has demonstrated a strong interest in space exploration. This interest goes beyond mere curiosity and serves to address some of the most pressing challenges here on Earth, such as climate change and environmental preservation. We have observed several successful space projects launched by the UAE, such as Dubai-Sat1 and Thuraya-1, and establishing the UAE’s Space Law. In the coming years, we will witness more missions to explore distant planets and moons, pushing the boundaries of human exploration further into our solar system and beyond.

Emirati Interplanetary Mission 2028

In October 2021, the UAE Space Agency unveiled plans for an ambitious mission to Venus and the asteroid belt, targeting a 2028 launch. This advanced mission will span over five years, covering a distance of 3.6 billion kilometers. By leveraging gravity assists from Venus and Earth, the probe aims to reach the asteroid belt beyond Mars, requiring advanced thermal protection and energy management due to the varied distances from the sun. Building on the Emirates Mars Mission’s legacy, the project sets its sights on studying seven asteroids within the belt, setting the stage for the UAE to become the fourth nation to achieve an asteroid landing by 2033.

Mars 2117

By 2117, the UAE plans to establish the initial human settlement on Mars, capable of sustaining life. The objective is to train groups of space experts who can help the UAE make significant contributions to the advancement of space exploration and the ability to settle on other planets. Mars 2117 will cultivate the essential scientific and creative technical expertise required to establish a viable human settlement on Mars in cooperation with global partners.

II. Environment & Energy

Despite challenges like limited natural resources and its arid geographical setting, the UAE remains steadfast in its commitment to sustainability and environmental preservation. A significant milestone in this endeavor was hosting COP28, where participating nations collectively pledged to shift away from reliance on fossil fuels. There are more plans to be implemented, some of which are mentioned below.

RAK Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy for 2040

The strategy of RAK Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy for 2040 plans to attain a minimum of 30% reduction in electricity usage, a 20% decrease in water usage, and a 20% share of renewable energy in the energy supply mix compared to typical business operations. It is expected to generate more than AED 9 billion in net benefits for the economy of Ras Al Khaimah on a present-value basis. Currently, regarding the progress made so far towards the annual targets of this strategy, it has been noted electricity savings of more than 2% and about 3% in water savings. In 2023, an initiative was launched to promote energy-efficient practices among its citizens. The municipality conducts free home audits, offers energy consumption advice, and provides bill credits as incentives.

UAE Water Security Strategy 2036

The UAE Water Security Strategy 2036’s objectives include ensuring consistent access to water in both regular and emergency situations. The strategy targets reducing the overall demand for water resources by 21%, increasing the water productivity index to USD 110 per cubic meter, decreasing the water scarcity index by three degrees, improving the utilization of treated water to 95%, and expanding the national water storage capacity to cover two days.

Food Security Strategy 2051

The Food Security Strategy 2051 is dedicated to ensuring all residents have access to sufficient, safe, and nutritious food at all times. Its goal is to elevate the UAE to the top position in the Global Food Security Index by 2051. Additionally, it seeks to establish a comprehensive national system that promotes sustainable food production through modern technologies and boosts local production.

III. Economy

In 1971, the oil sector contributed 90% to the UAE’s GDP, but with sustained diversification efforts, the non-oil sector now represents over 70%, showcasing increased business confidence. This transition has led the government to further development plans to enhance its non-oil sectors.

We the UAE 2031

The vision of ‘We the UAE 2031’ represents a 10-year national strategy for the UAE’s development, focusing on social, economic, investment, and development aspects. It seeks to strengthen the UAE’s position as a global partner and an influential economic center. The vision is based on four pillars covering society, economy, diplomacy, and the ecosystem. The UAE government is taking a proactive approach to meet the requirements of the development process. In 2023, more than 152 federal government projects were completed, and the government is committed to continuing to build the best development model in the region and the world.


Dubai has launched the Dubai Economic Agenda “D33” with the goal of doubling Dubai’s economy over the next decade and solidifying its position among the top 3 global cities.

D33 objectives by 2033:

  • Increase foreign trade to AED 25.6 trillion
  • Boost foreign direct investment to reach a total of AED 650 billion
  • Increase government expenditures to AED 700 billion
  • Raise private sector investments to AED 1 trillion
  • Expand the value of domestic demand for goods and services to AED 3 trillion
  • Generate an annual contribution of AED 100 billion from digital transformation projects to Dubai’s economy

IV. Transportation and Infrastructure

In recent years, the UAE has been overhauling its transport system with an emphasis on expanding public transportation, promoting electric and autonomous vehicles, and exploring futuristic transport technologies. Additionally, the nation is investing in modernizing airports and ports, deploying smart mobility solutions, and enhancing non-motorized transport options. UAE’s urban development showcases a remarkable fusion of futuristic innovation and sustainability. Projects involve creating more green spaces, expanding beaches, and reducing the carbon footprint of buildings.

Surface Transport Master Plan

The Surface Transport Master Plan (STMP) is focused on delivering a world-class, sustainable transport system that supports Abu Dhabi’s economic, social, and environmental goals. STMP is designed to develop a world-leading transport system that meets the needs of residents, visitors, and businesses in the most efficient, safe, reliable, and environmentally sustainable way. STMP encompasses many sustainability and low-carbon initiatives, featuring advanced public transportation systems powered by leading renewable energy technologies and alternative fuels. It includes innovative Personal Rapid Transit systems that leverage the country’s extensive solar resources. To support this, several projects have already been implemented, including the hyperloop, unmanned aerial vehicles, robots, new modes of public transport, and the Etihad Rail network. Autonomous taxis, buses, and trams currently operate on Yas Island in Abu Dhabi, providing transportation for residents and tourists.

Dubai 2040 Master Plan

The Dubai 2040 Urban Master Plan is focused on executing Dubai’s plans and strategies, with a core emphasis on enhancing the well-being, happiness, and stability of its residents. This people-centric plan seeks to implement a work strategy inspired by global best practices while aligning with the community’s needs. The plan intends to achieve various objectives in the Emirate to support its futuristic vision. Some of the objectives that have already been put in place are:

  • Development of Al Mamzar and Jumeirah 1 beaches
  • Approval of the Dubai Metro Blue Line Project
  • Launch of Hatta Master Development Plan
  • Development and investment in five urban centers
  • Adoption of Dubai Countryside and Rural Areas Development Master Plan
  • Allocation of a substantial budget for Dubai National Housing Policy

The UAE is working towards a future that embraces sustainability, innovation, and economic diversification. In addition to these goals, it also lays significant groundwork in the realms of AI, science and technology, and the industrial sector, seeking to diversify its economy further and build a resilient society in the face of global shifts. As it advances toward its long-term goals, the nation exemplifies the importance of visionary planning for a sustainable and thriving future.

Download the full article here.

Scroll to Top