Al Karama

Dubaï, United Arab Emirates

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Winning team: Studio Dar
Team members: Dheyaa Dheyaa, Elham El Dweik, Nadine Ammar - American University in Dubai
Elissa Sebaaly - King’s College London
Advisors: Abdellatif Qamhaieh

Studio Dar’s vision of a green and thriving neighbourhood is one that is truly diverse and inclusive, a reflection of the spirit of Dubai being a melting pot of cultures and ethnicities. As well as a neighbourhood that is not dependent on cars but walkable and safe with sustainable transportation options. ‘La Karama’ aims to apply these concepts using a bottom-up approach that first and foremost caters to the users of the area and invites others to visit it. Different forms of public spaces are considered, the addition of bike lanes, public seating areas, and increased walkability. ‘La Karama’ offers the following: urban gyms, urban libraries and art centres, urban outdoor music bars, as well as a new parking structure and adding more vegetation to the area.

Key components

  • La Karma will offer low-budget solutions such as increased vegetation and shading devices. 
  • Creation of recreational zones that are safe, varied, and appealing increases the overall quality of life in the area.

Find more information about the project here.

Presentation of the site

Al Karama is one of the older neighbourhoods in Dubai, located to the north of downtown. It is a predominantly low rise residential area with many buildings having retail units on the ground floor. It is one of the most populated areas in Dubai, with a diverse set of residents calling it home. The site is incredibly accessible, with a major metro station connecting the area directly to the city centre and airport.

While the area has large natural attractions and features nearby, such as the Dubai Creek, Zabeel Park, and Karama Park – many of the streets lack vegetation, places to rest or relax and are dominated by concrete structures and cars. Alongside this walking and cycling connections to these wider attractions are limited and lack thermal comfort.

The site chosen for this competition is situated around the metro station. To increase metro patronage, and therefore reduce emissions associated with private transportation, greater investment is needed in the area around the station. The streets and spaces connecting residents to the metro need to be regenerated to develop a safe, enjoyable and attractive environment.

Approx. site area
20 hectares

The Al Karama area has an overall population of approx. 76000. The identified site is part of this dense neighborhood

Soon to be released TEDxCountdown talk of the winning team

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Jury Composition

Sana’a Abdulla Al Alili, Head of Urban Planning and Studies Department Dubai Municipality
Mahra Salem Al Shamsi, Head of the Urban Design Section Dubai Municipality
Shruti Narayan, Regional Director, South and West Asia C40
Nicola White, Director, Planning Policy & Economics Arup
Khalid Hussien Nasef, Senior Housing Specialist, Dubai Municipality
Robert Simon Tensen, Senior Urban Planning Specialist, Dubai Municipality
Khalid Al Awadhi, Associate Professor Khalifa University
Salem Al Shafei, Adjunct Professor of Urban Planning College of Architecture - American University

If you have a question or would like more details on the site and the Students Reinventing Cities competition, please use the form below. You will receive a response via email.

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