Category Archives: Infrastructure

This Is How Dubai Is Going Green

This Is How Dubai Is Going Green

Dubai is a city known for attaining big achievements at a rapid pace. While the city was primarily known as a small trading port and fishing hub prior to the 1960s, the Middle East’s bourgeoning oil and real estate industries have spurred incredible growth in what is now one of the world’s most technologically advanced, cosmopolitan cities.

Dubai is home to a dense metropolitan area that includes the world’s tallest skyscraper and third-busiest airport. More than 2.8 million people reside in the city, and it welcomes as many as 10 million visitors per year.

While a clear marker of the region’s growing impact on the global economy and culture, the rapid development in Dubai and elsewhere within the United Arab Emirates has not been without its consequences. In 2006, the World Wildlife Fund identified the UAE as having the largest per-capita ecological footprint in the world. This distinction was largely the result of the nation’s carbon emissions, which have skyrocketed due to its fast-paced population growth and industrial development.

True to its ever-increasing reputation as a truly modern city, Dubai has set out to solve this problem. The city’s leadership intends not only to merely reduce its carbon footprint, but to achieve the smallest ecological footprint of any city in the world. The following are several ways that Dubai is going green—and perhaps becoming the greenest city on Earth:

dubai

 

  1. Focused Leadership

In order to make significant, sustainable changes to a city’s infrastructure, the leadership must be absolutely committed to this goal. Dubai’s leaders have made sustainability a priority for the city’s development, setting clear benchmarks to direct the municipality down a greener path. The emir of Dubai, His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, has been clear about his dedication to sustainable development since assuming his current role in 2006. He has set a goal for the city to derive at least 75 percent of its energy from sustainable sources by 2050, and he is dedicated to shrinking Dubai’s carbon footprint to the smallest in the world.

 

  1. Sustainable Transportation

Dubai’s population has doubled since 2006, leading to an even larger increase in cars traveling its roads. The Dubai municipality has set out to curb this obvious source of carbon emissions by prioritizing the development of green public transit options, such as the Dubai Metro. Spanning 47 stations, the metro transports passengers throughout the city in driverless train cars constructed with a number of uniquely sustainable features. Design elements such as solar shading, advanced insulation, energy-efficient lighting, and high performance glazing work in tandem to reduce the amount of energy required to power and cool the train cars in Dubai’s hot, arid climate.

 

  1. Green Housing

Dubai has commissioned the construction of multiple communities that aim to make sustainability a natural part of daily life for residents. These innovative developments include Dubai Sustainable City, a mixed-use complex of houses, hotel and resort space, and businesses sharing the goal of sustainability. Powered by 600,000 square feet of solar cells, Dubai’s Sustainable City seeks to become the first community in the city to produce more energy than it uses through robust recycling programs and clean energy generation. In addition to traditional amenities such as banks, hospitals, and mosques, the development is also home to a Sustainable Engineering and Research Institute and Training Center, an eco-resort, a variety of outdoor leisure areas, and several greenhouses, organic farms, and private gardens.

The Sustainable City stands as a global example of excellence in sustainable design, and Dubai will continue to build its reputation for eco-friendly development with Desert Rose, a 4,000-hectare “smart city” being developed with a similar emphasis on sustainability.

UAE

 

  1. More Environmentally Friendly Construction Practices

Dubai has implemented a number of new construction regulations with the aim of cutting the sector’s energy usage by 30 percent. Implemented in March 2014, the Green Building Regulations and Specifications and subsequent Al Safat construction rating system require all new building projects to include sustainable features, including solar water heaters and automated lighting and air conditioning systems. These standards apply not only to new constructions in the city, but also to ongoing efforts to renovate 30,000 existing buildings.

 

  1. Clean Energy

Dubai’s electrical and water authority, DEWA, has outlined clear benchmarks intended to significantly reduce the city’s reliance on imported energy from non-renewable sources. Under the Dubai Clean Energy Strategy, the city will strive to draw 7 percent of its energy from renewable sources by 2020, with this number increasing to 25 percent in 2030 and 75 percent by 2050. The city will accomplish these goals in part through the development of the Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum Solar Park, which will stand out among similar solar facilities with a total capacity of 5,000 megawatts by 2030.

 

  1. Green Spaces

Dubai is also becoming greener in a very literal sense. The city has largely increased the amount of trees, green spaces, and gardens dispersed throughout the metropolitan area, creating new wildlife sanctuaries and planting trees such as date palms, damas, and ghafs along its busiest roadways. Specifically, Dubai plans to achieve 25 square meters of green space per capita by 2020, and back in 2013, city leaders were already halfway to this goal.

7 Facts You Need to Know about the Riyadh Metro

7 Facts You Need to Know about the Riyadh Metro

The Middle East is seeing rapid infrastructure development, with many major cities working to adapt to rapidly changing times. In Saudi Arabia, the capital city and bustling metropolitan hub of Riyadh is currently executing an innovative transportation plan to respond to its surging population and ensure that all residents can travel the city safely and… Continue Reading

The Rise of 5G: 7 Facts You Need to Know

The Rise of 5G: 7 Facts You Need to Know

Since the development of the first analog cellular devices, now known as 1G, each consecutive generation of mobile wireless technology has provided consumers with faster data transmission speeds. The progression from 1G to 2G, 3G, and now 4G accompanied shifts to new encoding methods known as air interfaces, which have set each generation apart from… Continue Reading

3 of the Top Trends Transforming Telecommunications in the Middle East

3 of the Top Trends Transforming Telecommunications in the Middle East

The Middle East telecommunications industry is currently undergoing a period of significant growth and transformation. For the past decade, the regional business sector has grown by 3.5 percent each year, expanding at around 12 times the pace of the global telecom sector. Driven by surging populations and business opportunities, telecommunications companies throughout the region are… Continue Reading

What You Need to Know about the Gulf Railway Project

What You Need to Know about the Gulf Railway Project

A massive project underway in the Middle East could transform the region’s economy and transportation network. The Gulf Railway is a 2,117-kilometer railroad intended to link the six member states of the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC): Oman, United Arab Emirates, Qatar, Bahrain, Saudi Arabia, and Kuwait. Here’s what you need to know about this sprawling… Continue Reading

This Is How the Bayat Foundation Is Improving Public Health

This Is How the Bayat Foundation Is Improving Public Health

For over a decade, the Bayat Foundation has worked to provide Afghans with the opportunity to lead safe, healthy, and fulfilling lives. The nonprofit is dedicated to improving the quality of life for communities throughout Afghanistan by improving access to resources that further social development. It is the country’s largest private nonprofit dedicated to promoting… Continue Reading

Dubai: This Is the Surprising History of the World’s Tallest Building

Dubai: This Is the Surprising History of the World’s Tallest Building

Dubai is home to extraordinary history, innovative technology, and flavorful cuisine. It is also home to some amazing architecture, including the tallest building in the world, the Burj Khalifa (Arabic for Khalifa Tower). Reaching a total height of 2,722 feet (and breaking all height records), the tower has instituted a new breed of high rise… Continue Reading

4 Megaprojects in Saudi Arabia That Will Amaze You

4 Megaprojects in Saudi Arabia That Will Amaze You

There are projects, and then there are megaprojects. For countries looking to upgrade their infrastructure and improve quality of life for their citizens, megaprojects are often required. By definition, they are large-scale, complicated ventures with costs exceeding $1 billion, so they usually take years to develop and construct, not to mention finance. Megaprojects are typically… Continue Reading

Yemen’s Infrastructure Challenges – What You Need to Know

Yemen’s Infrastructure Challenges – What You Need to Know

The recent civil war in Yemen has caused significant damage to key infrastructure—including health services, water supplies, and telecommunications—and left half of the population struggling to find the resources they need to survive. According to the World Bank’s Damage and Needs Assessment report, Yemen’s economic losses may be in the vicinity of $14 billion. One… Continue Reading

Revealing the Surprising Details of Kuwait’s Big Week

Revealing the Surprising Details of Kuwait’s Big Week

When it comes to infrastructure and spending, Kuwait has big plans for the next few years. Between housing, energy, and water projects, the emirate anticipates future improvements will cost about $15.6 billion, with projected housing development continuing until 2030. This plan, along with other government-sponsored projects to boost the economy, were the central discussion in… Continue Reading