Abu Dhabi University Education Park (ADUEP) is a fundamental initiative of Abu Dhabi University's mission to provide a workforce educated in technology to meet the demands of Abu Dhabi's burgeoning economy. Built upon the most successful models of university research parks from around the world, ADUEP will contain research and development labs, business incubators, and affiliated offices along with retail services and residential units to create a flexible, 24-hour, pedestrian-friendly environment.
Throughout the world, university research parks have become key drivers in the shift to a knowledge-based economy. By placing businesses in alliance with universities, tremendous synergies are developed—businesses have access to faculty and university support services, and universities have access to cooperative internships and on-the-job training for students and faculty. In a mutually supportive environment, opportunities are created for both the academic world and the business world. Within this model, ADUEP will be the first of its kind in the Middle East.
The master plan of ADUEP is established within a framework that builds upon the Abu Dhabi 2030 Vision Plan and the Capital District Plan established by the Urban Planning Council. As part of the design process, Sasaki collaborated with the university to develop an appropriate program mix and determine the population density that would forge strong links between the research park and Abu Dhabi University as well as create a vibrant mixed-use district. The core program of ADUEP consists of affiliated offices, incubator offices, research and development labs, and centers for vocational and entrepreneurship development. These are supplemented by two hotels, a conference center, retail, sports and recreation facilities, community amenities, and market-rate housing that will help create an active work-live-learn-play community. The proposed road system will knit into the road network planned for the Capital District, and the program is intended to take advantage of the planned network of trams and light rail. Buildings will be low in scale and placed in an arrangement that creates a sequence of small shaded courtyards linked to a larger landscape system that begins within the Abu Dhabi University campus, extends through ADUEP, and connects to the Capital District.