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What is the new city in the desert in UAE?

The United Arab Emirates (UAE) is known for its visionary projects and ambitious goals. One such project is Masdar City, a groundbreaking sustainable city rising from the desert sands near Abu Dhabi. This article delves into the history, design, and aspirations of Masdar City, offering a comprehensive look at this pioneering urban development.

What is the new city in the desert in UAE?

Masdar City is a planned city project in Abu Dhabi, UAE, designed to be one of the world’s most sustainable urban developments. Launched in 2006, the city aims to be a hub for clean-tech companies and a model for sustainable urban living. The city is being developed by Masdar, a subsidiary of Mubadala Development Company, with the goal of creating a zero-carbon, zero-waste community.

Location and Size

Masdar City is located 17 kilometers (11 miles) east-southeast of Abu Dhabi, the capital of the UAE. The city covers an area of 6 square kilometers (2.3 square miles) and is expected to house around 50,000 people and 1,500 businesses when fully completed.

Timeline and Development Phases

The development of Masdar City is divided into several phases:

  • Phase 1 (2008-2015): Construction of the Masdar Institute of Science and Technology, the city’s first major tenant, along with residential buildings, commercial space, and a public square.
  • Phase 2 (2016-2025): Expansion of the city with additional residential, commercial, and research facilities.
  • Phase 3 (2026-2030): Completion of the city, with a total planned population of 50,000 residents and 40,000 commuters.

As of 2021, the city is still under development, with several key buildings and infrastructure elements already completed.

Sustainable Design and Technologies

Masdar City is designed to be a model for sustainable urban development, incorporating a wide range of green technologies and design principles.

Renewable Energy

The city is powered by a 10-megawatt solar photovoltaic plant and a 1-megawatt wind farm. Additional energy is provided by rooftop solar panels on buildings throughout the city. The goal is for Masdar City to be entirely powered by renewable energy.

Water Conservation

Masdar City employs various water conservation techniques, including:

  • High-efficiency appliances and fixtures
  • Greywater recycling for landscaping irrigation
  • Rainwater harvesting
  • Low-water landscaping with native plants

These measures aim to reduce water consumption by 50% compared to conventional cities.

Waste Management

The city has a comprehensive waste management plan that includes:

  • Recycling and composting facilities
  • Waste-to-energy plants
  • Minimizing construction waste through efficient building design

The goal is to divert 99% of waste from landfills and achieve a zero-waste city.

Transportation

Masdar City promotes sustainable transportation through:

  • A personal rapid transit (PRT) system of electric-powered, autonomous vehicles
  • An extensive network of pedestrian and bicycle paths
  • Electric vehicle charging stations
  • Encouraging the use of public transportation

The city is designed to minimize the need for private cars, with the aim of reducing carbon emissions from transportation.

Architecture and Urban Design

The city’s architecture and urban design incorporate various sustainable features, such as:

  • Narrow, shaded streets to reduce heat gain
  • Buildings oriented to maximize natural light and ventilation
  • High-insulation materials and smart building management systems
  • Green roofs and walls to reduce cooling loads

These design elements work together to create a comfortable, energy-efficient urban environment.

Key Institutions and Tenants

Masdar City is home to several important institutions and companies focused on sustainability and clean technology.

Masdar Institute of Science and Technology

The Masdar Institute of Science and Technology, now part of Khalifa University, was the first tenant of Masdar City. It is a graduate-level research institution focused on renewable energy, environmental sustainability, and clean technology. The institute has been instrumental in attracting other clean-tech companies to the city.

International Renewable Energy Agency (IRENA)

IRENA, an intergovernmental organization that supports countries in their transition to sustainable energy, has its headquarters in Masdar City. The presence of IRENA underscores the city’s commitment to renewable energy and its role as a global hub for sustainability.

Siemens

Siemens, a global technology company, has a significant presence in Masdar City. The company’s Middle East headquarters is located in the city, and it has been involved in various projects, including the development of a smart grid solution for the city.

Other Clean-Tech Companies

Masdar City has attracted numerous other clean-tech companies, including:

  • GE Ecomagination Center
  • Mitsubishi Heavy Industries
  • Schneider Electric
  • Lockheed Martin

These companies contribute to the city’s innovation ecosystem and help drive the development of new sustainable technologies.

Economic and Social Impact

Masdar City is expected to have significant economic and social impacts on the UAE and the broader region.

Job Creation

As a hub for clean-tech companies and research institutions, Masdar City is expected to create thousands of high-skilled jobs in fields such as renewable energy, sustainable design, and environmental technology. This will contribute to the diversification of the UAE’s economy and help reduce its reliance on oil and gas.

Knowledge and Innovation

The city’s focus on sustainability and clean technology will foster knowledge creation and innovation. The presence of leading research institutions and companies will encourage collaboration and the development of new technologies and solutions to global sustainability challenges.

Social Benefits

Masdar City aims to provide a high quality of life for its residents while minimizing environmental impact. The city’s design promotes walkability, social interaction, and a sense of community. By demonstrating the feasibility of sustainable urban living, Masdar City can inspire other cities around the world to adopt similar practices.

Key Takeaway

Masdar City is a groundbreaking sustainable urban development in the UAE that showcases innovative technologies and design principles aimed at creating a zero-carbon, zero-waste community. As a hub for clean-tech companies and research institutions, the city is poised to have a significant economic and social impact, driving innovation and inspiring sustainable urban development worldwide.

Conclusion

Masdar City represents a bold vision for sustainable urban living in the 21st century. By integrating renewable energy, water conservation, waste management, and sustainable transportation and design, the city aims to demonstrate that it is possible to create thriving urban communities while minimizing environmental impact. As the city continues to develop and attract new tenants, it will serve as a model for other cities around the world seeking to embrace sustainability and combat climate change.

Frequently Asked Questions

Q: Where is Masdar City located?
A: Masdar City is located 17 kilometers (11 miles) east-southeast of Abu Dhabi, the capital of the United Arab Emirates.

Q: Who is developing Masdar City?
A: Masdar City is being developed by Masdar, a subsidiary of Mubadala Development Company.

Q: What is the total planned area of Masdar City?
A: Masdar City covers an area of 6 square kilometers (2.3 square miles).

Q: How many people is Masdar City expected to house when completed?
A: Masdar City is expected to house around 50,000 people and 1,500 businesses when fully completed.

Q: What is the timeline for the development of Masdar City?
A: The development of Masdar City is divided into several phases, with the final phase expected to be completed by 2030

Q: How is Masdar City powered?
A: Masdar City is powered by a 10-megawatt solar photovoltaic plant, a 1-megawatt wind farm, and rooftop solar panels on buildings throughout the city.

Q: What are some of the water conservation techniques used in Masdar City?
A: Masdar City employs high-efficiency appliances and fixtures, greywater recycling for landscaping irrigation, rainwater harvesting, and low-water landscaping with native plants.

Q: How does Masdar City manage waste?
A: Masdar City has a comprehensive waste management plan that includes recycling and composting facilities, waste-to-energy plants, and minimizing construction waste through efficient building design.

Q: What sustainable transportation options are available in Masdar City?
A: Masdar City promotes sustainable transportation through a personal rapid transit (PRT) system of electric-powered, autonomous vehicles, an extensive network of pedestrian and bicycle paths, and electric vehicle charging stations.

Q: What are some of the sustainable architecture and urban design features of Masdar City?
A: Masdar City’s architecture and urban design incorporate narrow, shaded streets, buildings oriented to maximize natural light and ventilation, high-insulation materials, smart building management systems, and green roofs and walls.

Q: What is the Masdar Institute of Science and Technology?
A: The Masdar Institute of Science and Technology, now part of Khalifa University, is a graduate-level research institution focused on renewable energy, environmental sustainability, and clean technology.

Q: Why is IRENA headquartered in Masdar City?
A: The International Renewable Energy Agency (IRENA), an intergovernmental organization that supports countries in their transition to sustainable energy, has its headquarters in Masdar City, underscoring the city’s commitment to renewable energy and its role as a global hub for sustainability.

Q: What clean-tech companies have a presence in Masdar City?
A: Several clean-tech companies have a presence in Masdar City, including Siemens, GE Ecomagination Center, Mitsubishi Heavy Industries, Schneider Electric, and Lockheed Martin.

Q: How is Masdar City expected to impact job creation in the UAE?
A: As a hub for clean-tech companies and research institutions, Masdar City is expected to create thousands of high-skilled jobs in fields such as renewable energy, sustainable design, and environmental technology.

Q: How will Masdar City contribute to knowledge and innovation in sustainability?
A: The city’s focus on sustainability and clean technology will foster knowledge creation and innovation through the presence of leading research institutions and companies, encouraging collaboration and the development of new technologies and solutions.

Q: What are the social benefits of living in Masdar City?
A: Masdar City aims to provide a high quality of life for its residents while minimizing environmental impact, promoting walkability, social interaction, and a sense of community.

Q: Is Masdar City currently open to residents and businesses?
A: As of 2021, Masdar City is still under development, with several key buildings and infrastructure elements already completed. Some residents and businesses have already moved in, while others are expected to do so as the city continues to grow.

Q: Can visitors tour Masdar City?
A: Yes, visitors can take guided tours of Masdar City to learn about its sustainable design and technologies. Tours are available through the Masdar City visitor center.

Q: How does Masdar City aim to achieve zero carbon emissions?
A: Masdar City aims to achieve zero carbon emissions through a combination of renewable energy sources, energy-efficient building design, sustainable transportation, and waste reduction and management strategies.

Q: What role does Masdar City play in the UAE’s sustainability goals?
A: Masdar City is a key component of the UAE’s sustainability goals, serving as a model for sustainable urban development and contributing to the country’s efforts to diversify its economy and reduce its carbon footprint.

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