KEO was commissioned to undertake the concept and detailed master planning of this residential community in Abu Dhabi, as well as to provide complete infrastructure designs for the whole project. The Al Shamkha development covers over 1,200 hectares of land, located 10 kilometers from Abu Dhabi airport. The project conforms to the Government’s policy of providing Emirati communities with a high quality of lifestyle while remaining responsive to traditional and cultural requirements.

KEO placed a high priority on the development of a progressive and integrated approach to design which avoids the accepted conventions of master planning in order to accommodate the cultural foundations of Emirati society and the demands of Fareej housing principles. These principles involved the establishment of clusters of housing served by a network of Sikkahs, Barahas and Meydans which successfully separate vehicle and pedestrian traffic. The Fareej model allows families to live together in relatively small, informal groupings while ensuring the privacy of each one. This resulted in more open spaces than is usual in conventional, modern residential developments, and provides residents with a superior quality of domestic environment.