What does urban development 2.0 look like in the Arab region? At PAUDS, more than 100 leading practitioners, influential thinkers and change-makers defined the strategic priorities for the future of sustainable urban development in Arab cities. This expert meeting raised the questions that Abu Dhabi DPM and UN-Habitat ROAS will take to the tenth World Urban Forum (WUF10) in Abu Dhabi in 2020.Read more
His Excellency Falah Al Ahbabi is Chairman of the Department of Urban Planning and Municipalities, and board member of GSEC. He is responsible for the creation, management and implementation of the Emirate-wide framework plans within the Emirate of Abu Dhabi. These include Plan Capital, Plan Al Ain, Plan Al Dhafra and Plan Maritime. Together, these form a complete strategic framework plan for the Emirate.
Formerly known as the Urban Planning Council, Falah was integral to the launch of the government entity in 2007, along with its continued success. He has guided the creation of the four framework plans, in addition to 47 large-scale master plans covering approximately 91,000 hectares. In 2010, under the direction of Falah’s leadership, the entity implemented the Estidama Pearl Rating System, a mandatory sustainability design, construction and operation rating system for villas, buildings and communities.
Falah has been instrumental in the creation of the DPM’s “Complete Sustainable Communities” initiative—a comprehensive suite of policies, regulations and manuals, that enables planners to design communities that are flexible enough to meet the diverse needs of both current and future generations, and enhance quality of life. The CSC initiative does this by incorporating a range of housing options, community facilities and public spaces that are well-connected, safe and sustainable, in line with the Abu Dhabi Plan.
Previously, Falah Al Ahbabi played a pivotal role in establishing the first helicopter academy in the Middle East. He was also involved in the launch of a satellite while working with the Mubadala Development Company. Other highlights of Falah’s career include the privatization of government services and gaining a global experience in utilities.
Falah has a degree in Management from California State University, USA.
Memberships and Boards:
• Chairman, Higher Corporation for Specialized Economic Zones – ZonesCorp
• Chairman, Infrastructure and Environment Committee at The Executive Council
• Chairman, Centre for Waste Management in Abu Dhabi (TADWEER)
• Board Member, Environment Agency – Abu Dhabi
• Board Member, Abu Dhabi Housing Authority (ADHA)
• Chairman, Al Reem Island Essential Infrastructure Committee
• Committee member, Future Development of Mussafah Area
Minister of Infrastructure Development
Acting Executive Director
Assistant Undersecretary, Knowledge and Cultural Policies Sector
Salma is the Assistant Undersecretary of the Knowledge and Cultural Policies Sector at the Ministry of Culture and Knowledge Development (MCKD). Salma is responsible of developing cultural strategies for the country, ensuring the necessary cultural policies and legislation are in place, and planning for MCKD’s effective participation with international partners and organizations.
Before joining MCKD, Salma worked at the United Nations Research Institute for Social Development, UAE Permanent Mission to the UN in Geneva, General Secretariat of the Executive Council of Abu Dhabi, General Secretariat of the Federal National Council, and the Abu Dhabi Government Restructuring Committee.
Salma was named as one of the 100 Arab Youth Pioneers in 2018. Her academic background includes a BA in International Studies from Zayed University, an MSc in Human Rights from the London School of Economics and Political Science, and a Post Graduate Diploma in International Law from the University of London.
Ms. Zena Ali-Ahmad is the Director of UN-HABITAT Regional Office for Arab States. Zena has been working with the United Nations for the last twenty years, where she assumed key technical and management positions, including UNDP Deputy Director for the Regional Center for Arab States in Amman (2016-2017), Country Director in Jordan (2013-2016) and Syria (2008- 2012), Regional Advisor on Local Governance for Arab States (2005-2008), and Assistant Representative in Lebanon (1997-2004). Before working with the United Nations, Zena worked as a consultant for the UN, World Bank, USAID, and NGOs on issues related to poverty reduction, local development, and local governance.
Zena holds a MSc. Degree in Management of Social Change from the University of London and a MSc. Degree in Agricultural Economics and Development from the American University of Beirut.
She is a co-author of several studies on poverty, gender, socioeconomic rehabilitation, and post-conflict reconstruction and recovery.