Masdar City represents the first attempt in the Middle East to build a sustainable city. Masdar City aims to reduce the use of energy and water and the generation of waste. It uses a combination of technology, architectural designs and solar power to run. Using minimum energy is one of its primary steps to conserve the environment.
For example, the use of low-flow showers and smart water metres ensure reduction of water wastage. The architecture of Masdar City ensures that streets and houses are cooler than they would be otherwise. In addition, the use of high-efficiency appliances conserves energy.
Masdar City houses the headquarters of International Renewable Energy Agency, an intergovernmental organisation that supports countries in their transition to a sustainable energy future.
Dubai Plan 2021
One of the aims of Dubai Plan 2021 is to make Dubai a smart and sustainable city. Under this vision, Dubai is building a couple of sustainable cities. They are:
- Sustainable City
- Desert Rose City
- Dubai South District
- Dubai Silicon Oasis
Called Sustainable City, this project is underway in Dubailand. The mixed-use township will run on solar energy produced indigenously. The residences, offices and other properties would be equipped with appliances that save energy. The township will be car-free. It will reportedly feature 10,000 trees and house organic farms.
Desert Rose City will come up in the Al Ruwayyah area along the Dubai-Al Ain road. This too is a mixed-use property. Its design, in the shape of the desert rose flower, would help reduce electricity consumption. It will run on renewable energy that it will produce itself. It would also have a waste recycling facility. 20,000 residential units of Desert Rose City will be for Emiratis and 10,000 will be for expatriates.
Dubai South District is the venue of Expo 2020. Sustainability is one of the themes of Expo 2020. Half of the electricity used by Expo during the event will come from wholly renewable sources, with half of this generated on the site itself. The vast majority of the material used in permanent construction on the site will be reused in building infrastructure.
As of January 2016, Dubai Silicon Oasis (DSOA) had succeeded in reducing cumulative energy consumption by 31 per cent exceeding the target set by Dubai Integrated Energy Strategy 2030 of 30 per cent. DSOA is implementing a number of initiatives in line with Dubai Clean Energy Strategy 2050. These are:
- Power consumption of lights
This includes a switch from 8,000 traditional lights to LED contributing to reducing power use by 1,178 megawatts or 23 per cent of total consumption.
DSOA is the first entity in the UAE that implemented street lighting based on smart technology. Motion sensors were used which provided 25 per cent visibility and triggered to full power by approaching vehicles and walkers, thus allowing less energy consumption.
- Smart building technologies
This includes placing sensors in buildings to manage electricity consumption to enable energy and cost savings and allowing automatic regulation of temperature throughout each building.
The initiative provides for the installation of intelligent systems, 24/7 alert and self-inspection systems, as well as applications for smart lightning.
The current sewage treatment plant in DSOA reduced operational costs by 70 per cent.
DSOA implemented the smart weather pole and integrated it within the sub-surface irrigation system. The pole is able to measure the temperature and humidity and supply the area with the most efficient amount of water thereby reducing around 55 per cent of the water used for irrigation.