Wednesday, 4 November 2015

UPC Tawasul Workshop Brings Together Key Developers in Latest Phase of Collaboration

Abu Dhabi Urban Planning Council (UPC) invites property developer representatives and sustainability experts to exchange ideas and identify opportunities for innovation in planning. 
ABU DHABI, 04 November 2015: The UPC is holding a workshop with Abu Dhabi’s leading real estate developers and sustainability experts, heralding a new phase of collaboration between urban planners and the Emirate’s property sector.
The Tawasul workshop on the 5thNovember, will be held in the Rosewood Hotel, and will see Abu Dhabi’s urban planners join with senior representatives of Aldar Properties, Al Qudra Holding, Reem Developers, Tamouh, and the Tourism Development and Investment Company (TDIC) for a day of group discussion on key topics.
The workshop will be integral to enhancing communication and engagement in a new phase of close dialogue between developers and the UPC. A series of themes will be discussed in groups covering processes, policy implementation, communication channels and alignment between developers and government agencies regarding the UPC’s Urban Development review process.
The UPC is responsible for reviewing all plans over 40,000 m2 of GFA. Plans are split into two categories: a Master Plan is defined as separated multiple buildings, with a road network and community facilities. A Project is defined as a single building with no road network (or multiple buildings connected by a podium).
Given the scale and complexity of these plans, the UPC, as part of its commitment to providing an excellent customer experience, regularly engages with the development community to garner feedback.
The workshop is just one of a number of communications and outreach strategies the UPC has implemented to ensure developers’ needs and ideas are identified and any updates to processes and policies are made in order to ensure that the most efficient, streamlined review and approvals processes are in place to support the development of Abu Dhabi over the coming years.
“This meeting aims to foster an even stronger spirit of cooperation between all parties involved in Abu Dhabi’s urban development and is the first of many that will engage the development community,” said Mohamed Al Khadar, Executive Director, Urban Development & Estidama Sector, UPC.
“The UPC and developers already share many notable achievements with regard to Abu Dhabi’s sustainable urban growth and we aim to nurture this proactive collaboration well into the future as we advance towards Vision 2030.
“Through a number of channels, we actively engage with key developer stakeholders to identify shared areas of improvement that are achievable, measureable, and add value to developments right across the Emirate.”
15 representatives from five property developers will join a team from the UPC comprising senior managers and technical team members. .
Also in attendance are a number of Pearl Qualified Professional (PQP) sustainability experts from Green Consulting Engineering, Integrated Environmental Services, Engineering Consulting Office, Alabbar Energy & Sustainability Group and AECOM. PQPs are tasked with providing guidance to a company on the technical requirements of the UPC’s mandatory Estidama Pearl Rating System.
The purpose of the meeting is to forge a close working relationship in a number of areas. It will begin by discussing ways of aligning all phases of real estate project development – from planning and design to construction and handover – with a unified Government approval and permitting process.
Attendees will also analyse the UPC’s process of reviewing and assessing project submissions, as well as the advantages to developers of implementing the UPC’s policies and guidelines.
Lastly, the meeting will tackle how to develop lines of communication between the UPC and developers to ensure they are clear, concise and actionable. 
The agenda was set according to a survey sent to developers and PQP companies in advance, aiming to identify and confirm areas of their relationship with the UPC that they wish to discuss and explore.
The conclusions drawn from the workshop will be used to inform the UPC’s 2016-2020 strategy by identifying the key actions required to make enhancements to its Urban Development & Estidama Sector processes, with further outreach sessions planned for 2016.
The meeting comes soon after the real estate charter signing ceremony in October 2015 in which the UPC received formal commitments from 19 leading land developers to provide an even greater level of detail on their completed and ongoing projects.  The information will enable the UPC to build and oversee a comprehensive Real Estate Data Management database on Abu Dhabi’s commercial, retail, hospitality and residential supply and demand.