But in the past two decades, the UAE government has made an effort to lower its own dependency on fossil fuels, shifting toward more environmentally-friendly sources to power its cities.
The UAE aims to have 75% of Dubai’s energy come from clean sources by 2050. If the city pulls that off, it would have the smallest carbon footprint in the world.
As part of this larger goal, local company Diamond Developers is building a city 18 miles outside central Dubai that’s designed to produce more energy than it consumes. Called Sustainable City, the development is expected to cost $US354 million and be fully complete by 2019.
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In 2013, Diamond Developers started building Sustainable City, which is expected to be completed by the end of 2018.
Source: Arabian Business
The 113-acre city aims to curb CO2 emissions as much as possible. Cars are banned from most neighbourhoods.
Residents are only permitted to take public transport, drive electric-powered smart cars, or take horse-drawn buggies.
Instead of gas stations, there are 250 charging stations.
On January 22, Dubai’s transport authority signed an agreement to operate electric driverless cars in the new city. Homeowners also get a free electric golf cart or a $US10,000 subsidy toward buying another electric vehicle.
Residents can also ride the city’s electric buses for free.
Every home’s roof features solar panels.
And a 98-foot-wide park with 2,500 trees also helps reduce air pollution.
Diamond Developers is building the city in two phases.
The first phase — which opened in 2015 — includes 500 villas, 89 apartment buildings, 11 dome greenhouses that cut through the center of the development, 32,300 square feet of outdoor urban farms, and 1.16 million square feet of office and retail space.
The retail space includes fitness centres, community pools, and an equestrian centre with 32 stables.
There are also two man-made lakes with recycled water, according to The Khaleej Times.
The second phase is under construction and will feature a school, mosque, a science museum, a country club, and a mall.
Also as part of this phase, a new hotel that uses less energy than it generates will go up – the first of its kind in the Middle East, according to developers. They also claim that the city’s new research center will produce more energy than it consumes.
In recent years, the UAE has worked toward similar city-from-scratch projects. Some have been more successful at attracting residents than others. Only around 300 people live in Masdar City, Abu Dhabi, though it was planned for 40,000 residents.
Source: Business Insider
Sustainable City has garnered more interest from UAE residents (or at least those who can afford to live there, since homes start at $US1 million). Approximately 1,800 people have bought homes, while around 900 rent.
The metropolis signals that the UAE is trying to march toward a more sustainable future.
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