Outdoor spaces increase people’s happiness and are vital for livable cities, experts say ahead of the Urban Design & Landscaping Expo


With the perfect season for open air activities being just around the corner, Dubai residents are getting ready to unwind at the city’s expanding outdoor areas. A survey conducted by the Urban Design & Landscaping Expo, the region's premier event for the Landscaping, Infrastructure & Urban Development industries, have asked residents to vote for their favorite outdoor spot in Dubai as cooler months lie ahead.

Over 43,000 voters crowned The Beach at JBR by MERAAS as the number one happy go-to area in the Emirate, followed by Al Mamzar Beach Park, and another MERAAS development – La Mer. City Walk and Dubai Miracle Garden also made it to the top five.



Well-designed outdoor areas are a major drive for happiness, experts point out.

Mixed use that promotes diversity of spaces with programs responding to specific needs of the people is a major drive for happiness,”

says Ceylan Belek Ombregt, Associate Director at Martha Schwartz Partners, and a speaker at the Urban Design & Landscaping Summit on November 28.

Soft landscapes in particular create an antidote for accumulated stress in today's cities, which is caused by congestion, pollution, increased urban heat and lack of open space and resources. Soft landscapes cool down the effects of global warming.”

[Read the full interview with Ceylan Belek Ombregt]

Rasmus Astrup, who will deliver a presentation on “City Nature - How to grow a livable city” at the Urban Design & Landscaping Summit, agrees:

Urban spaces are vital for livable cities.”

There’s an increasing request for a more sustainable approach within landscape design and urban spaces, but there is still a lot of room for improvement,” he adds.  

According to Rasmus, in the Middle East much more “wild”, local plantings need to be brought into urban developments.

Nature is part of every nation’s culture,” he explains. “When you create planting with the local nature you achieve robust and resilient urban spaces. We can use the plantings to optimize the micro climate by providing lowered temperatures. Not only does it make you sense the plantings, the local species also make you understand and appreciate your country.”

[Read the full interview with Rasmus Astrup]

With the expansion of its outdoor areas, Dubai is scraping its stereotype of a city living and breathing exclusively during the cooler months.


In response to the growing demand for urban design and landscaping solutions, the first Urban Design & Landscaping Expo (UDLE) will launch at the Dubai World Trade Centre from 26 to 29 November this year.

Running as part of The Big 5 international construction show, the event will display the most innovative solutions for the construction and maintenance of urban and green spaces, sports grounds and playgrounds, from around the globe.

UDLE will also host the high-level Urban Design & Landscaping Summit on November 28, gathering some of the most prominent local and international experts in the field.

Key speakers include the Deputy Mayor - Green Spaces, Nature & Biodiversity, of the City of Paris, Pénélope Komitès; Senior Landscape Architect + UNESCO World Heritage Advisor at Oman Botanic Garden, Andrew Burton Anderson; the Urban Planning Advisor of the Sharjah Urban Planning Council, Val Zillig; the Head of Parks Section at Al Ain Municipality, Ayub Hassan Algaferi; and the Director of Urban Planning at the Dubai Creative Clusters Authority (DCCA), Ahmad Bukhash

With the theme “Promoting greener, healthier and more sustainable built environments with best practices in urban design and landscaping”, the Urban Design & Landscaping Summit will attract landscape architects, municipalities, urban designers, property developers, parks and resorts, contractors, as well as engineering and building consultants.

Focusing on the opportunities and challenges faced in turning the region green, the Summit will explore the initiatives taken up by global and local government bodies, as well as prominent projects developed by urban design and landscape architecture firms both globally and locally.

Organised by dmg events, the Urban Design & Landscaping Expo (UDLE) will run from 26 to 29 November 2018 at the Dubai World Trade Centre as part of The Big 5. The event is free to attend for pre-registered visitors. To know more visit or click HERE to register.

The Urban Design & Landscaping Summit will take place on November 28, from 10:00 am to 5:30 pm. To secure your seat visit: ​

The Big 5 2018 - Package Selection


*Note to the Editor:

The poll was conducted online by UDLE in collaboration with the Khaleej Times, between September 9 and 23, 2018. A total of 43,034 responses were collected. Results for the top 5 entrees are: 

1. The Beach at JBR: 11,559 (26.9%)

2. Al Mamzar Beach Park: 7,972 (18.5%)

3. La Mer: 7,573 (17.6%)

4. City Walk: 5,182 (12%)

5. Dubai Miracle Garden: 3,587 (8.3%)


About The Big 5

The Big 5 is the construction event providing leading-edge innovation, knowledge, and business opportunities for industry players around the world to connect, grow, and succeed.

Taking place annually in Dubai since 1979, the event has launched hundreds of thousands of products boosting the expansion of emerging markets. It has facilitated partnerships, advanced knowledge and industry best practices, while serving as the gateway for international companies to access the Middle East, Africa and South Asia regions.

The Big 5 covers the full construction cycle; not only does it showcase products across dedicated sectors, it also runs alongside nine specialised events enabling industry professionals to source building solutions from around the globe for every stage of the construction projects: The Big 5 Heavy, Middle East Concrete, Windows, Doors & Facades Event, Gulf Glass, HVAC R Expo, The Big 5 Solar, Middle East Stone, the Urban Design & Landscape Expo, and FM Expo.

The event includes high-level summits, practical seminars, CPD-certified workshops, and The Big 5 Impact Awards to foster collaboration, support best practices, and provide effective solutions to today’s industry challenges.

The Big 5 is organised by dmg events and is free to attend for all pre-registered visitors. 


To know more, visit

About dmg events

dmg events is a leading organiser of face-to-face events and a publisher of trade magazines.

We aim to keep businesses informed and connect them with relevant communities to create vibrant marketplaces and to accelerate their business through face-to-face events.

dmg events organises more than 80 events across 25 countries, attracting over 425,000 attendees and delegates every year. The company’s portfolio of products includes many industry-leading events in the energy, construction, hospitality & design, coatings and transportation sectors. ADIPEC, The Big 5, Gastech, EGYPS, The Hotel Show and INDEX are the company’s flagship events. For more information visit

About DMGT

DMGT manages a portfolio of companies that provide businesses and consumers with compelling information, analysis, insight, events, news and entertainment. The Group takes a long-term approach to investment and has market-leading positions in consumer media, insurance risk, property information, education technology, energy information and events & exhibitions. In total, DMGT generates revenues of around £1 billion.