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Jubail Island aerial view rendering with buildings surrounded by greenery, water adjacent
Jubail Island

A Nature-Inspired Island for the UAE Capital


LEAD Development

Project Location

Abu Dhabi, UAE


Hospitality, residential, retail


Planning, architecture, XGD

Jubail Island in Abu Dhabi is a new nature island being developed as part of a greater master plan that includes a culture island and an entertainment island. Jubail Island is a key nature reserve in Abu Dhabi making its development a high-profile milestone for the UAE capital. Jubail Island, poised to become Abu Dhabi’s most desirable residential sanctuary, has been designed to appeal to a lifestyle focused on wellness and carefully balanced to be in harmony with the natural environment.

The overall objective for Jubail Island is to preserve, promote and harmonize the natural context with the built elements, encouraging community with nature, unique waterfront living, and wellness. Promotes a nature oriented lifestyle village life with an unique and compelling pedestrian experiences in full harmony with the site and the local context.

The Vision

Our design creates a mixed-use district with a range of offer including hospitality, residential, and retail. The hotel’s design includes a large atrium and provides unique offerings in addition to being connected to a retail village with shopping and entertainment options. The residential component is inspired by regional design so that this new development blends with the existing residences to create a unified community. The design is centered around human connection both within the neighborhoods and to the town center. This connectivity is supported through well balanced parking situated beneath a park to capitalize on the surface space and ensure visibility throughout the site. The vision is founded on preparing a long term, sustainable preserve framework for the entire area of Jubail Island. The framework allows for the placement of low rise and low impact village type development within a unique location. This is a long term project that will add a managed natural preserve park for the citizens of and visitors to Abu Dhabi.

The Project

The wayfinding design approach reflects the core values of the development: nature preservation and sustainability. This means sensitivity in the use of materials and considerations for sign placement to avoid visual pollution. Challenging the norms of traditional “standardized” signage design, and our emphasis on contextual design across the project, inspired the development of a kit of parts that adapts from one asset to another across the Island while retaining a common visual language.

The User Experience

The navigation and orientation experience for residents and visitors of Jubail Island will be aided by a wayfinding program this is functional while respecting both the natural and the built environment. The design follos the natural path of the surroundings by integrating the signage and adding accents to the architecture, the interior design, and the landscape.


Native or adaptive plant species which are drought and/or saline tolerant as per The Public Realm Design Manual PDRM of Abu Dhabi enhance the ecological value of the site through 70% plants specified, including a minimum of 10 different types of species. Trees and shrubs selected are adaptive to the environment of Jubail Island and local climate of the UAE, overall.

Irrigation design applies the following principles below:

  • Eliminate all surface spray components, except in public parks or playing fields.
  • Irrigate only during non-daylight hours, except if sub-surface.
  • Include moisture sensors that control the irrigation system to irrigate only when required.
  • Provide irrigation zones, with independently controlled valves, segregated by plants.
  • Utilize soil amendment techniques to reduce evapo-transpiration.

Careful consideration has been taken in the selection of materials for this project to ensure a sustainable development incompliance with Estidama and green standards.

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