Locale : Global (English)
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Aerial view of the Dubai skyline.

Thinking of a masterplan

Dubai’s population has increased more than tenfold since 1975 and now stands at almost 3M. This growth, combined with an associated boom in business activity, has substantially increased solid waste generation across the city.

ClientDubai Municipality Waste Management Department
ExpertiseWaste management, masterplanning and strategy support, Lenders' technical advisor


Our client required expert technical advice to develop a strategic, integrated the Dubai waste management masterplan (WMMP) that would deliver efficient, cost effective and sustainable waste management services. One of the key targets was to achieve 70% recycling by 2025. Challenges posed by continuing business expansion and population growth were key considerations.


We worked with waste management consultancy Integrated Skills Ltd to develop the WMMP, which considers the prevention, minimisation, collection, recovery, recycling and disposal of waste in Dubai up to 2030. Our work involved data gathering, review and reporting on the situation prior to the masterplan, analysis of waste arisings and future projections to determine baseline waste generation.

We identified and reviewed options for waste management, assessed these using established criteria relevant to Dubai, and estimated costs for the preferred scenario. We reviewed legal and institutional frameworks and technical guidelines, and identified and evaluated options for financing the WMMP and procuring capital assets. Our team supported the client using international good practice throughout the process, enabling knowledge and skills transfer.


The WMMP provides a road map for the development and delivery of systems that will put Dubai at the forefront of international sustainable waste management practice. Five key performance indicators (KPIs) are driving the process to deliver the masterplan, which will help Dubai to retain its position as one of the cleanest cities in the world:

  • KPI 1 – waste classified, managed, recorded and disposed of in an environmentally sympathetic manner using best practice techniques
  • KPI 2 – dry recyclable materials segregated from domestic waste at point of production: expected to deliver a 25% recycling rate.
  • KPI 3 – separate collection of organic wastes: expected to deliver a 50% domestic waste recycling rate
  • KPI 4 – maximal segregation and recycling of organic waste and recyclable materials from domestic waste stream to deliver aspirational 70% recycling target
  • KPI 5 – thermal treatment of residual wastes to ultimately reduce waste to landfill to just 2%
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