There is no doubt that the layout of a building or space affects people and their moods. It is suggested that by enriching public spaces, people feel good, more engaged and comfortable with their surroundings. This idea introduces the concept of “Conscious Cities,” which refers to environments designed with user’s needs and activities at the forefront.
This concept was also echoed by the late Sheikh Zayed Bin Sultan Al Nahyan, Founding Father of the United Arab Emirates (UAE) who once said, "Projects will not be undertaken simply to boost our prestige. Everything we do now must be aimed at meeting the immediate needs of the people.”
Al Qana will be part of the conscious city of Abu Dhabi and subscribes to the philosophy that by making surroundings more social, we can raise our well-being. It has been designed to bring people together – locals and visitors alike, to make a stronger community.
The physical experience of Al Qana will insight curiosity and human connections: opening hearts and creating bridges to an understanding of different cultures and fostering tolerance. The latter in particular is a focus of the UAE Government, to promote cohesive societies. The area will make people cross paths and start conversations, from waterside walkways to landscaped community areas, from waterfront dining to wellness facilities. Visitors will also have fun together too, with 50% of space devoted to entertainment.
People need places in which to work, play, learn, worship, meet, shop, eat and visit. These places enhance communication and create connections, thus shape culture. Al Qana will provide these spaces for the current and future generation, in line with the Abu Dhabi Plan 2030 and Tomorrow 2021 plan for a secure and confident society.
The positive impacts of Al Qana will extend beyond its boundaries and enhance the broader Abu Dhabi community too; for example the lives and routines of UAE residents, businesses, schools, interest groups and local workers. It will add another layer of complexity to the already rich and culturally diverse city; complementing its intriguing mix of new attractions and older landmarks.
Overall, Al Qana will be the premier destination to bring locals and visitors together in Abu Dhabi and will be a shining example of Arab tolerance and hospitality. The development will always remain user-conscious, focusing on visitors’ practical needs, but also their emotions and activities.