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MENA city populations to reach 226 million by 2020

UN report predicts strong regional urbanisation trends and challenges

| | Oct 15, 2013 | 10:34 pm
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UN report predicts strong regional urbanisation trends and challenges

oct2013-region04More than 226 million people will be living in cities throughout the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) by 2020, accounting for nearly 62% of the region’s total population, the UN has estimated. According to the latest revision of the World Urbanisaton Prospects report by the UN Department of Economic and Social Affairs, a two per cent average annual urbanisation growth rate will exist across the MENA region until the end of the decade, as predominantly youthful populations gravitate towards cities in search of improved work opportunities and better lifestyles. Further, Saudi Arabia, the UAE, Qatar, Bahrain, Kuwait, and Oman in particular will have dense urban conglomerations, with 45.1 million people expected to reside in GCC cities by 2020 – 85% of the total estimated population.

oct2013-region03Disseminating this information through a news release based on the UN agency reports, the Dubai Municipality, Environment Center for Arab Towns, the Arab Towns Organisation, and Informa Exhibitions, have revealed that ensuring a city’s well being, growth and development will be the key message at the Future Cities conference, taking place from October 8 to 10 at the Dubai World Trade Centre, running alongside the Cityscape Global exhibition.

Organised jointly by the Dubai Municipality, Environment Center for Arab Towns, the Arab Towns Organisation, and Informa Exhibitions, the three-day summit has reportedly attracted world-leading authorities on urban planning to discuss the key pillars of a prosperous city: security, water & waste management, tourism & hospitality, transport, energy management, disaster relief, and green building, the organisers claimed.

Beginning with the keynote address by H.E. Engineer Hussain Lootah, Director General of the Dubai Municipality, Future Cities will comprise a two-day conference and a one-day urban planning workshop, and highlight best-practice case studies that ensure that cities address regional challenges, the organisers highlighted.

“Prudent government policies are key drivers to regulate the market and draw investors in clean energy technologies,” said Taher Diab, Director of Strategy & Planning for the Dubai Supreme Council of Energy, and a speaker on the first day of the conference.

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