10 Things You Need To Know About Masdar City


This planned city project, being constructed beside Abu Dhabi International Airport, was designed to be a hub for clean tech companies (basically those that reduce waste and require as few non-renewable resources as possible). The completion was slated for this year, but currently only a fraction of the town has been built and as per recent reports the project hasn’t quite achieved its purpose. Though the completion is now estimated to be in 2030, the UAE is still eager to be seen as a leader in renewable energy and sustainability. His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rahid Al Maktoum’s tweet, earlier this year, confirms it. 


The original idea…

Touted as the ‘City of the Future’, this project was introduced as the world’s first zero-carbon, zero-waste and car-free city where photovoltaic panels would generate electricity and concentrated solar power would provide the cooling. And that’s not all. A solar-powered desalination plant would be responsible for providing water, while landscaping within and crops grown around the city would be irrigated with grey water and treated waste water produced by the city’s water treatment plant.

1. Masdar City has been designed by Fosters and Partners who have also designed Index Tower in Dubai

2. The plan was to home up to 50,000 people and 1,500 businesses. Currently less than 2,000 people are employed there and 300 students of the Masdar Institute (who are given free accommodation) live there

3. The design of the city, from a distance, looks like a cube and Arabesque patterns have been used on the terracotta walls

4. The city remains around 15 degrees Celsius cooler than the surrounding area because of its unique design – the 148-feet high wind tower which helps push cool breeze through the streets

5. The first tenant of Masdar City, the Masdar Institute of Science and Technology moved there in September 2010 and the HQ of International Renewable Energy Agency is located there too

6. Construction began in 2008 and by October 2010 the first six buildings were completed and occupied

7. Mix electric vehicles and clean-energy vehicles will be used for transportation within the city. Currently there is a bike-sharing station available, but paths haven’t been built yet

8. In addition to tenants such as General Electric and Mitsubishi, it also the regional HQ for Siemens – the most energy-efficient structure in all of Abu Dhabi (as per government ratings)

9. There are no light switches or water taps in the city. Movement sensors are used instead to cut consumption of light and water by more than 50%

10. The city is powered by a 54-acre field of 87,777 solar panels, in addition to panels on roofs


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