10 things you didn’t know about Masdar City

30 Mar 2021
Sustainable Cities
1. Anyone can visit Masdar City: That’s right. If you want to discover more about how a sustainable urban community looks and works, visit Masdar City and explore its different elements. Don’t forget to download the Masdar City mobile app for a self-guided tour at your convenience.


2. It’s home to the UAE Pavilion from Milan Expo 2015: For those who couldn’t make it to Milan for the Expo in 2015, the UAE Pavilion is in Masdar City. It has been repurposed and is now the headquarters of the UAE Space Agency.


3. The first and the biggest…: Masdar’s 10 megawatt (MW) solar photovoltaic (PV) power plant was the first and largest utility-scale solar PV plant in the Middle East when it was connected to the grid back in 2009. The facility produces approximately 17,500 megawatt-hours (MWh) of clean electricity annually and displaces approximately 15,000 tonnes of carbon emissions per year – equivalent to removing 3,300 cars from Abu Dhabi’s roads.


4. Masdar City is destination start-up: Masdar City Tech Park is the destination of choice for start-ups focused on technology, sustainability and the digital economy. The eco-friendly cluster of offices, hot desks and workshops made from recycled shipping containers meet Masdar City’s strict sustainability standards, having significantly lower embodied energy costs than regular offices. The Tech Park is also home to the Catalyst, our joint venture with BP, the MENA region’s first start-up accelerator dedicated to sustainability.


5. Through its smart design, Masdar City is a few degrees cooler than the rest of Abu Dhabi”
This is because the city’s streets are oriented on a southeast-northwest axis to catch the prevailing winds for cooling. The street widths are minimized and lined with buildings which provide street shading. 


6. Home to IRENA’s headquarters: International Renewable Energy Agency chose to build a home in Masdar City. The 32,064-square-metre complex is the UAE’s first 4 Pearl building based on the Estidama Pearl Building Rating System. Passive design and smart-energy management systems enable the complex to consume 64% less energy than typical office buildings in Abu Dhabi.


7. Low energy + low water = high ratings: Buildings within Masdar City are mandated to achieve a minimum 3-Pearl rating under the Estidama Pearl Building Rating System (PBRS). They are designed to reduce energy by at least 40% compared to ASHRAE* standards and reduce water consumption by at least 40% in accordance with Estidama Pearl Building Rating System baselines. 
* The American Society of Heating, Refrigerating and Air-Conditioning Engineers is an American professional association seeking to advance heating, ventilation, air conditioning and refrigeration systems design and construction


8. Pioneering new ways of moving: Masdar City is home to integrated innovative smart mobility solutions, including the world’s first personal rapid transport (PRT) system, the Navya – the Middle East and North Africa’s (MENA) first autonomous shuttle, and the first electric Eco-bus in the region. Tesla vehicles are also available for hire on demand. 


9. Showing the sustainable way of life: The Etihad Eco-Residence complex is designed to achieve a 60% reduction in total energy consumption compared to the industry baseline, use 40% less potable water and recycle more than 85% of its construction waste. 


10. Growing the fuel of the future: Etihad Airways flew the world’s first commercial flight using locally produced jet fuel derived from plants that grow at salt marshes or beaches. The landmark flight flew from Abu Dhabi to Amsterdam, marking a major milestone in the development of eco-friendly alternative to crude oil to reduce carbon emissions. The special fuel used was produced in the UAE through the Sustainable Bioenergy Research Consortium (SBRC), a non-profit entity established by Masdar Institute, part of the Khalifa University of Science and Technology. It was derived from oil in Salicornia plants, also known as glasswort or picklegrass, which were grown on a two-hectare farm, the Seawater Energy and Agriculture System (SEAS) in Masdar City.