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You need to select a City of your choice from any country and prepare your project

Administrative structure

  • E.g. Municipality, Company town, Town Board, etc.;
  • Administration organogram,
  • Functions of different functional units,
  • Key dates, wards (sizes and maps)

Land uses

  • Land use types, zoning regulations, etc.
  • What are the trends in terms of land uses and areal size?
  • Which zoning regulations improvements would you recommend and why?

Area size and trends

  • E.g 1970s, 1980s, 1990, 2000, 2010 most recent (sizes in ha or square km).
  • Process of land incorporation

Population size and trends

  • Based on census results 1986, 1997, 2007,
  • Population composition – sex and age,

Resource flows

  • E.g. water, forestry products, sand, etc.
  • Impacts
  • Policy issues

Environmental Management Issues

  • Pollution (ex. air, water, etc.)
  • Policy issues

Other Issues

  • Financial base
  • Provision of social services

Project Issues

Al ain, is among the largest cities in United Arab Emirates. The city is also known as garden city due to its greenery. To be specific, the city is number four in terms of size after Dubai, Abu Dhabi and Shajah. The population in the city has been growing and it has been inhabited for more than 4,000 years. The city is inhabited by people of many nationalities with Emirati nationals having the highest percentage.  From Abu Dhabi, Al ain city is located about 160 kilometres (99 miles) to the east of the capital and close to 120 kilometres (75 miles) south of Dubai (Al AIN UNIVERSITY, 2017).  Different issues are related to the Al ain city. This paper will look at different issues and the trends which they have gone through over the past and the current status.

Administratively, Al ain city lies in one of the key emirate of UAE. The city lies on Abu Dhabi emirate. The city is one of the key municipalities of the Abu Dhabi emirate. Down the line, the municipality is divided into towns and village sections. Al ain city municipality was established in 1967 to serve the city and other neighbouring regions. The municipality functions like a government and is charged with development of programs to improve the standards of the city.  The ruler of the Abu Dhabi is able to control the activities and functionality of the city of Al ain city. Nevertheless, the city is headed by general manager. The city is divided in different divisions which are charged to undertake developments on different sections. Different departments are created within the municipality to enhance the provision of services (Zahlan, 2009). These departments help the management of the municipality to run the cities activities. The departments have some key sub-sections divided according to the intended work or area of operation. For instance, the infrastructure and assets department within the municipality has several key sub-sections which aid in the administrative works of the city. Al ain Oasis event are some of the key dates for the city of Al ain (Sharabi, 2008). The event is organized at different dates. Moreover, Al Ain is divided into 64 districts, where 29 are urban and 35 are rural and suburban. In addition, the districts are divided further to 322 communities in the Al ain municipality.

Figure 1: Administrative structure of Al Ain city

Al ain city has been used for development services. The department of municipality is key in enhancing the zoning issue of the land in the city. In addition, Abu Dhabi urban Planning Council (UPC) plays a critical role on land issue planning in the Al ain city. The urban structure of the city is controlled by the UPC management (Central Intelligence Agency, 2016). The implementation strategy is done by the management of the city although planning is done by the UPC. UPC carried the major mandate on enhancing the environmental, social and economical issues of Al ain city and therefore controls the land use activities and city planning. City master plans to transform the Al ain city has been launched by the UPC (The Marron  Institute, 2017). The Al ain city has been regarded as a garden city for long due to the lush vegetation and fertile urban farms. Nevertheless, of late the transformation of the city is taking place with major projects being launched on the region. Plan Al Ain project goals are aimed at defining an urban centre to adjust the region with urban planning set up (AL AIN UNIVERSITY, 2017). In addition, there are numerous farms of different sizes used to grow different salad crops.

Administrative structure

In addition, the “Plan Al Ain 2030 Plan” is dedicating to ensure that the balance between the conservation and development plans are achieved. This means that the aim to maintain the city as a green city is a key aim of the planner as the strategic plans to develop the urban centre are on curse. Intelligent land use is a key policy which the management team of the city are using to ensure that the 2030 plan does not affect the conservation issues in the city. The increase of industrialization in the region is affecting the ground water resources and city’s oases (Vine, and Casey, 2010). The city has a total area of 15,100 square kilometres (5,800 sq miles). In addition, other key land reservations on the land are on the parks, tree-lined avenues and city decorated areas. Key focus on the land uses are some of the zoning issues which need to be focused on (The Marron  Institute, 2017). Looking at the development issues and the type of activities to be carried out is a key issues need to be focused on during the zoning. Clear plans to develop the city need to look at the needs of the city and what services are needed.

Al ain city has been regarded as a green city due to the fertile lands, which are used for the urban farming for long. Urban Structure Framework Plan has been launched in the city in the aim to transform the city urban centre structure. Development plans has been taking place on the city in the aim to accommodate the increasing population in the region. The Plan Al Ain 2030 plan is aimed at transforming the land use and management and transforming the land into development plans (Freedom House, 2014). In addition, large area sizes have been focused to create tourism and recreation services in the region. The increased tourism attraction on the region has seen the key focus on the increased developments to take the tourism activities on the region. Hotels and development of structural areas has increased over the last 10 years. In 1970s, most of the land was used for the farming (Zahlan, 2009 and Roberts, 2009). Less that 1,000 sq. Km was used at the time for the development while 80 percent was used for the farming reasons. Between 1980s and 1990s, the development activities increased and covered close to 1,500 square kilometres of the city area. By 2000, the amount of land in development in the city was about 5,000 sq. km. This shows that there was a great increase on the development services as compared to the agricultural activities. By 2010, the development activities had taken key milestone. The agricultural activities stood at 5,000 sq. km while about 9,000 sq km was on development (The Marron  Institute, 2017). In addition, the process of land in cooperation involves the involvement of the municipality. The municipality and UPC should be able to offer the go ahead for the development activities after considering the impact on the city.

Land uses

The population trends in the city have been in increase over the past. In the Abu Dhabi region, Al ain city has the largest number of nationals. Since 1986, the population growth for both nationals and non nationals has been in increase. In 1985, the city had a population of about 133,000. The following table shows the population growth in the city in every 5 years. From the statistics, the city has a population growth of 5.83% per year. According to reports, 30 per cent of the inhabitants are locals while the rests are non nationals. The ration of men to women in the city stands at 1 woman to 2 men. Nevertheless, the ration of the population of male to female for the nationals stands at 1 female to 4 males. Therefore due to the high population of the non-nationals, the city has more males than females (Vine, and Casey, 2010). The city is able to experience some of highest population growth in the world and UAE region. In addition, in terms of age, youthful population form most of the population in the region for the nationals. For the non-nationals, the high population range between 25 and 45 years of age.

Tanle 1: population growth in Al Ain city, UAE


Population (in Thousands)















Courtesy of (Census Bureau, 2009)

In terms of resources, the city has several avenues of resources for agricultural and cultural benefit. Both tangible and non-tangible resources, which consist of the archaeological sites, historic buildings, cultural and naturals landscapes, historic collect and ethnographic resources do exist on this city (Ruler’s Representative Court, 2017). Moreover, the city has ancient oases, settlements and cultural landscapes which form part of the cultural significance for the city. The city lies on the desert region and the tourism activities are able to play key role in the economy of the city. For water, the city relies on oases for water activities. The water resource has been used in enhancing the beauty of the city through tree plantation and other uses. The city has changes policies on the use of the water resources. The policies have seen the reduction of wastage of the oases water from 140,000 litres per day to consumption of 80,000 litres per day. This is in the aim of preserving the resources available. The oases resources have been used to maintain forestry in the city. ANGE has been chosen by the Al ain city municipality to maintain the oases and they have embraced on tree plantation to make the city green (United Nations Department of Economic and Social Affairs, 2015). The forestry plantation has seen a 75% resource saving in the city. In addition, the city management has raised policies to renovate and preserve the historic buildings, archaeological sites, cultural and collections in the city. This has been able to contribute a lot to the tourism activities and therefore form a key part of the economic resources for the region.

UAE and more specifically, Al ain city has experienced some of the low standards in terms of environmental management. Resource exploitation due to the rapid population growth has been a key issue affecting the environment in this location. Moreover, this has seen water shortage and drought extend affect the region more (Ministry of Information and Culture, 2017). The Abu Dhabi Emirate, which means that the Al ain city is included, has taken measures on introduction of strategy for reducing its ecological footprint. This is in the efforts to enhance the environmental conservation in the region. The footprint aims to see that the resources are well used and proper conservation is done. The UAE region has been termed as one of the highly rated region with biggest ecological footprints (Vine, and Casey, 2010). The ecological footprint is the measure of the country’s sustainability measures compared to the use of the natural resources per person per capita. Reduction of carbon emissions is one of the details of the footprint details (Todorova, 2010). In Al ain, the city has embarked on installation of water and electric meters on people homes (Central Intelligence Agency, 2016). The city also has plans on adoption of environmentally friendly products to reduce the carbon emission. Air pollution is on the rise in the region considering the desert climatic condition. Nevertheless, the region through the city’s plan to plant trees helps to mitigate the effects of dust pollution (Held, 2014). Water pollution issues and wastage issues have been a key area which the city has aimed to preserve the oases on the region. The city has signed treaties with ANGE to manage the resources and ensure the pollution issues are addressed.  

Area size and trends

Al Ain city relies on tourism and business activities. There areas are able to form key areas in the financial base of the city. The activities form the key area for the city economic activities and therefore financial generation base. Some of the financial activities of the region are earned from tourism and the business activities. Commercial activities and industrialization are in increase on the region and they are also forming a key part of the financial base on the region (Ruler’s Representative Court, 2017). Most of the financial status of the city originates from the tourism activities. The city also focuses on the industrialization of the city and this is seen in the Al Ain 2030 plan. This plan looks to increase the developments in the region and therefore increasing the industrial activities of the region. These are the main area which is forming the financial base of the city.

In terms of social activities, the city has many social regions, which form the major areas for the city’s tourism activities. The cultural centres and other attraction areas are used for the social activities and social services. Due to the numerous social places, social services have been increased to enhance the social activities in the region. Hotels and shopping mores have been built in the region to enhance the regional economic status (United Nations Department of Economic and Social Affairs, 2015). In addition, enhance the environment has been key to enhance the attraction of the city. Tree-planted area and walks has been done on the region to enhance the social status of the city. In addition, the regional area has enhanced the waste maintained on the city as part of the social services on the region (Thesiger, 2012). This has seen increased reduction of the pollution of the environment.  The city has embarked on enhance pollution mitigation measures to ensure that the city is clean and safe for the people visiting. The social amenities status has been increased over the past decade and the city looks to grow them further. In addition social services are meant to accommodate the different activities undertaken by the residents and the non nationals in the city.


In conclusion, Al Ain city in UAE is one of the fast growing cities in terms of the population. The increased activities on the region are attracting different people from different locations. In terms of the administration, the Abu Dhabi Emirate is key to regulate the activities being undertaken on the city. The planning of the city is done by the Abu Dhabi UPC and therefore dictates the different service undertaken on the city. In terms of land usage, different economic activities have found their roots in this region. The city has been known for its fertile land and the urban farming activities. Nevertheless, over the past ten years, the activities are changing much and a lot of land is being set for development purposes. Economic activities have gained a lot of effort and development of different amenities has take place in this region. This has highly changed the norm of the agricultural set up of the region. UPC has taken the main zoning activities of the city and it maintenance plan. In addition, the population growth of the city has been one of the highest. The city has more than 5% growth rate per year in terms of the population. Although considered to have the highest number of the nationals in UAE region, the city has about 70% of the inhabitations as non nationals. The city has different resources which create the main pool of its financial base. Oases and natural landscape are key for the tourist attraction in the region. Archaeological sites, historic buildings, cultural and naturals landscapes, historic collect and ethnographic resources are all found in this city and they form part of the key resources flow in the region. The city relies on these resources to generate its income and therefore being key on the economic growth from the resources. Nevertheless, the city has been affected by different environmental issues. Different policies have been developed to ensure that mitigation measures of the adverse environmental activities are met. For instance the city has developed plans to reduce the pollution in the region and also reduction of carbon emission. The management of the city has move to enhance the city aesthetic and does that through the plantation of the trees on the streets and therefore preserving the environment.


Al AIN UNIVERSITY (2017). About Al Ain City.  Retrieved on 26 November 2017.

Census Bureau, (2009). “Commuting in the Al Ain City.:” at:

Central Intelligence Agency. (Apr. 27, 2016).  World Fact Book, United Arab Emirates. at:

Freedom House, (2014). “United Arab Emirates,” at:

Held, C., C. (2014). Middle East Patterns: Places, Peoples, and Politics. Boulder, Colorado: Westview Press.

Ministry of Information and Culture, (2017). United Arab Emirates. UAE Yearbook. Available from

Roberts, J.,  (Apr 9, 2009). Plan Al Ain 2030 Unveiled. 

Ruler’s Representative Court. (October, 2017). The Seven Emirates. retrieved on 26 Nov. 17

Sharabi, H, (2008). Theory, Politics and the Arab World. New York: Routledge.

Thesiger, W. (2012). Arabian Sands. New York,: Dutton.

Todorova, V. (October 7, 2010). Air pollution a factor in hundreds of deaths.

United Nations Department of Economic and Social Affairs, (2015). at:

Vine, P. and Casey, P. (2010). United Arab Emirates, Heritage and Modern Development. London: Immel Publishing.

World Population Prospects (2017 Revision) - United Nations population estimates and projections.

Yagoub, M. M. (2007). Application of remote sensing and geographic information systems (gis) to population studies in the gulf: A case of al ain city (UAE). Vol. 34 Issues, 1. Journal of the Indian Society of Remote Sensing

Zahlan, R., S. (2009). The Origins of the United Arab Emirates. New York: St. Martin's Press

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