The Arzanah Master Plan transforms a culturally significant area of Abu Dhabi into fully sustainable, 21st-century mixed-use community. Sasaki's plan integrates existing landmark structures with new uses and the vision for a world-class public realm and landscape. Working in the UAE presents unique challenges regarding use of natural resources and maneuvering within existing conditions and context. Sasaki's key approach for Arzanah was to weave together these various conditions into a coherent, sustainable whole that presents a memorable and desirable destination for the city and enormous value for the client.
The site is located steps away from the newly opened Grand Mosque—the final resting place of the founder of the UAE, Sheikh Zayed bin Sultan Al Nahyan. The 120-hectare parcel of land was previously known as Zayed Sports City, a collection of existing sports-related buildings and fields that include the iconic Sheikh Zayed Stadium from the 1970s and the recently-built Abu Dhabi International Tennis Center. These major sporting venues have been retained, enhanced, and incorporated into the Arzanah Master Plan.
Sasaki's plan is further characterized by a number of distinct, pedestrian-oriented neighborhoods and a range of residential, retail, and special-use buildings and public spaces. Arzanah will house approximately 31,263 new residents and provides apartments and townhouses across a range of densities and building heights. Sasaki carefully integrated the existing stadium and tennis complex and maintained special views to the Grand Mosque. The plan also creates a key waterfront parcel. Overall, the design is intended to create environmental value, promote healthy living, and encourage interactivity.
Arzanah is highly connected to its surrounding context through a new underground Metro link, other public transit, and vehicular circulation routes, as well as through park and greenway linkages to the future National Heritage Trail and a new waterfront boardwalk. This open and accessible vision for Arzanah will benefit all residents of Abu Dhabi and will set new standards for the delivery of amenities and urban design in the city.