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Keeping it real

When a country develops at a rapid pace, there is always the risk that in the rush to create something new, the value of what was already in place somehow gets lost.

Commercial Outdoor Desig, COMMENT, Design

When a country develops at a rapid pace, there is always the risk that in the rush to create something new, the value of what was already in place somehow gets lost.

Development is, of course, necessary to support the expansion in the region and anticipated population growth, but in the process of creating a bigger and better UAE, it is important to keep a sense of place.

Sustainable guidelines will go some way towards achieving this, pushing developers to value open space, and promoting measures such as the use of native plants, although it remains to be seen how much of a difference they will truly make.

Government initiatives to extend and protect greenery will also help ensure that respecting and preserving the existing landscape is kept at the front of rather than the back of development plans.

The desert landscape has its own very unique beauty, and is something to be celebrated and integrated into new developments, not cancelled out in favour of something else.

Our international case study next month - the Anahita resort in Mauritius is an excellent example of how this can be done.

There is no doubt that it is a fascinating time to be in the UAE, but in the excitement of creating something new, lets not forget to protect what we already have.

Michele Howe is the editor of Commercial Outdoor Design.

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