This year’s World Environment Day (WED) put a high beam on illegal trade of wildlife. Event sponsor, the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP), called on everyone to “go wild for life” and take action to help safeguard species under threat. In Saudi Arabia, a team of environmentalists and corporate volunteers took to a beach along[.....]
From vertical farming to rooftop gardening, here are 7 of the best agricultural companies and projects put in practice in the Middle East. There’s no getting around it: the world is becoming a much less secure place in which to live. Economies are tanking, geo-political systems are in turmoil, weather events such as wintertime drought are[.....]
Much of the Levant is under siege from a large dust storm right now covering Jordan, Lebanon, Palestine and Israel with parts of Cyprus and Turkey also affected. Meteorologists pin the poor weather on a low-pressure system that’s blanketing the region, and sands blown in from the east. The storm has prompted public health warnings,[.....]
Solar Impulse 2, the aircraft attempting to circumnavigate the world fueled only by sun power, will be grounded in Hawaii until next April for battery repairs. On July 3, the plane completed the longest leg of its global flight – a record-breaking (non-stop, solo piloted) five-day, five-night journey from Nagoya, Japan, to Hawaii – during[.....]
As spring turns into summer, the Khalifa fund’s investment in Abu Dhabi hydroponic agriculture is beginning to pay off. The Khalifa fund for enterprise development was Launched in 2007 to help local enterprise in Abu Dhabi. At the beginning of 2015, Ahmad Kalfan Al Romaithi revealed that Dh 130 million (approximately 35 million US dollars)[.....]
As of posting time for this story, pilot André Borschberg had been flying for over 24 hours on Leg 7 (of 12) of the Solar Impulse 2 trip around the planet. He’s completed about a quarter of his journey from Nanjing to Hawaii, the longest segment of this record-shattering expedition. And it’s all made possible[.....]
Cannes Film Festival is in full swing this week, but here in Jordan every day is a film festival thanks to vendors who hawk bootleg DVDs for a dinar apiece. That’s less than two bucks for a new release that would otherwise set you back $20 in a Manhattan theater. The downside with Amman’s cheap movies[.....]
Oryx, giraffes and cheetahs – species once facing regional extinction – are making a robust reappearance on a desert island off the coast of Abu Dhabi. Sheikh Zayed Bin Sultan al-Nahayan, founder of the United Arab Emirates (UAE), created the remote nature reserve in 1971. Forty years after Sir Bani Yas island received its first ‘imported’[.....]
Abu Dhabi police unveiled their latest acquisition cop car, a Rolls Royce Phantom tricked out in purple and white, the colors of the state police force. It’s the newest addition to the fleet of United Arab Emirates (UAE) police supercars.
The experimental flying lab better known as Solar Impulse 2 was launched today in Abu Dhabi. The groundbreaking airplane will circumnavigate the world flying both day and night without using a single drop of fossil fuel. Said co-pilot Betrand Piccard, “You can achieve miracles with renewable energy and clean technologies.”
A United Arab Emirates-based firm has just concluded what it says is the region’s first water and energy audit of a large-scale housing facility for over 1,000 guest workers. Facilities management company Farnek assessed performance of their staff accommodation center in Al Quoz, Dubai, identifying opportunities to slash annual utility bills by 20 per cent (an estimated[.....]
Google, bastion of cool-tech, has gone Throwback Thursday in a major way – resorting to camels to capture its latest addition to Google Maps. Thanks to their “camel-cam”, you can now explore Abu Dhabi’s Liwa Oasis exactly as the Bedouin have done for centuries, without leaving home.
Last year, Bertrand Piccard and André Borschberg became the first pilots to fly across America in a featherweight plane fueled only by the sun. The Swiss duo now plans to circumnavigate the world in a next-generation solar aircraft named the Solar Impulse 2. The March 2015 flight will start and finish in Abu Dhabi.
أكد الشيخ محمد بن راشد آل مكتوم، نائب رئيس دولة الإمارات و حاكم دبي، نية الدولة في إرسال مركبة فضاء إلى المريخ بحلول مارس من العام 2021، لتكون أول محاولة جادة لاكتشاف الفضاء تنطلق من الشرق الأوسط و قال الشيخ في تغريدة: هذه المنطقة مهد لحضارات كثيرة و عظيمة. باستطاعة العرب إثراء الموروث العلمي الإنساني من جديد بوجود الإمكانيات[.....]
Apart from a couple of monkeys from Iran, the Middle East has yet to send a serious mission to space. But Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, the UAE vice president and ruler of Dubai, recently confirmed that this is about to change with news that the United Arab Emirates is planning to send a[.....]
“Drones are the future of conservation,” said Dr. Shaikha Salem Al Dhaheri when commenting on his team’s plan to use drones to monitor flocks of flamingos at the Al Wathba Wetland Reserve in United Arab Emirates.
Thousands of folding glass panels cover the southern facade of the Al Bahr Towers in Abu Dhabi (above). Reacting to sunlight, they form a protective skin to decrease interior solar gain. It’s a modern riff on the best known element of Arabic architecture, in play since the Middle Ages. Meet the modern mashrabiya.
May Camelopardalis is the name given for a newly discovered meteor shower which may or may not dazzle viewers under clear-dark skies.
Our local photographer takes a look at what happens when trees are cut off from their water source in a “desert experiment” in the United Arab Emirates.
A charitable man who wishes to remain anonymous recently installed a refrigerator outside of his home in Hail, Saudi Arabia. His neighbors can leave their excess food inside the refrigerator where it is kept fresh and clean. Needy people can then anonymously use this excess food without the shame of begging.
The 2012 winners of a competition with a cringe-inducing name teamed up with a powerhouse plumbing manufacturer to design a self-contained restroom that could be deployed anywhere – it doesn’t require plumbing infrastructure or connection to a power grid!
Actors and actresses are starting to arrive in Abu Dhabi to film a segment of Star Wars 7 in the desert, according to sources close to The National – one of the best regarded newspapers in the United Arab Emirates. How does this fare for the local environment?
Masdar is taking decisive steps to build Masdar City’s first private homes. Adding to existing and planned educational, retail and business facilities just outside of Abu Dhabi, the 500 new houses promise to be “super sustainable” and ready within the next two years.
It can get hot enough in the Middle Eastern sun to fry an egg outside. If you’ve spent even a small amount of time in either Abu Dhabi or any other Gulf countries in summer, you know that it’s stifling hot outside and freezing cold inside just about every building. New paint may be able to reduce cooling loads[.....]
How many times have you seen a big old patch of lawn in the middle of Abu Dhabi and cringed?
Masdar CEO Sultan Al Jaber is moving on to “greener” pastures, according to a statement released by Abu Dhabi investment giant Mubadala. The firm has appointed Al Jaber as its chairman; Masdar’s new CEO has been identified as Ahmad Belhoul.
The ‘historical imagery’ function on google earth is particularly helpful in tracking changes to landscapes since about the turn of the millennium when satellite imagery became commonly available.
A fall from a stepladder can kill you, so what’s your chance of surviving a topple from a high-rise building? Earlier this month, a 9-year-old Syrian girl fell to her death from the eighth floor of her family’s Abu Dhabi apartment. In Sharjah last week a 4-year-old boy died after falling from a window. What’s going to[.....]
It’s Earth Hour this weekend, which means you have the chance to join millions of people around the globe in a united effort to consume less energy.
Designers from around the world will parade their latest collections in Abu Dhabi’s first-ever Eco Fashion Show, a five-day event featuring couture-with-a-conscience this April.
Masdar has sued the Spanish government. The multi-pronged company funded in part by the government of Abu Dhabi helped build the world’s first 24/7 solar power plant in Spain, a feat made possible in part with subsidies. But Spain has now cut incentives for renewable energy, which eats into Masdar’s investment.
After July, the United Arab Emirates (UAE), one of the world’s largest oil producers, will no longer import high energy incandescent light bulbs. And by the end of the year, it will be impossible to buy them. Hit the jump to find out what this means for you.
Abu Dhabi will host high level talks in advance of the UN Climate Summit in New York later this year.
Terrorists probably come to mind long before honey when people think of Yemen, but the raw Yemeni honey Balqees had for sale at the recent Masdar Festival was far and away the yummiest honey I ever put in my mouth.
An all-women team of Qatari students won the first GCC hybrid electric vehicle competition held in Abu Dhabi over the weekend. Showing some serious girl power, Gernas 114 from Qatar University beat 10 other teams to become the 2014 TAQA GCC Hybrid-Electric Challenge champions.
Masdar City is starting to shape up with a roster of new buildings. Siemens recently completed their LEED Platinum headquarters, the new IRENA headquarters is in progress, and GE just opened their first Ecomagination Center in the city’s first commercial building – the Incubator Building.
In 2012, the world’s airlines transported three billion people, emitting 689 million tonnes of CO2 into the atmosphere. To mitigate the aviation industry’s future environmental impact, Boeing, Etihad Airways and the Masdar Institute of Technology are working on a groundbreaking new jet fuel made from desert plants fed with saltwater.
When the Middle East eco-city developers from Masdar approached David Ardill, Partner and Design Director at Sheppard Robson, to design Siemens’ new corporate headquarters at Masdar City, the architect said it was the most challenging brief he had ever encountered. Green Prophet visited the building this week for an exclusive tour.
Can there be more Masdars? Can this experimental eco-city be replicated in other Middle Eastern or North African countries that don’t have Abu Dhabi’s immense oil wealth? Green Prophet put this question to Anthony Mallows, Director of Masdar City, and Chris Chi Lon Wan, City Design Manager, during a recent roundtable discussion.
The international renewable energy group IRENA announced the first six recipients of concessional loans for off grid renewable energy projects that are “ready for the shovel,” as Director General Adnan Z. Amin put it in a press conference yesterday. They will receive a combined $41 million from the Abu Dhabi Fund for Development (ADFD).
This is the second year that Masdar has hosted Green Prophet at the World Future Energy Summit (WFES). Last year we visited Shams I, the world’s largest CSP plant, more state-of-the art green buildings at Masdar City, and we saw an Estidama green villa prototype.
There’s something so satisfying about watching the seed of an idea turn into something real – like GE’s Ecomagination Center unveiled at Masdar City outside of Abu Dhabi today.
Do you dream about working towards a greener future in the Middle East but simply don’t know where the good jobs are? If so, you might want to head over to the 7th World Future Energy Summit (WFES), where Masdar Institute of Science and Technology and Reed Exhibitions are hosting a “Green Career Fair.”
The current road linking Abu Dhabi and Dubai, E111 is said to be one of the most dangerous, which killed roughly 9 out of 100,000 people in 2012, but the new state of the art E311 highway will be one of the world’s greenest.
Residents of Abu Dhabi might be familiar with buildings made from palm leaves and earth, but cardboard? Legendary Japanese architect Shigeru Ban built Design Souq – a mobile, recyclable pavilion made entirely out of cardboard that is every bit as sturdy as brick or stone.
An awe-inspiring sight, as one departs Abu Dhabi towards Saadiyat and Yas Islands, these pylons seems to disappear into the distant sea. But we are actually looking inland and they are delivering energy to, rather than from, the city center.
Dubai’s metro started running in 2009 (don’t fall asleep though) but Abu Dhabi, the wealthier Emirate, is only now reducing its dependence on cars with a swanky new rail and tram system. And Siemens hopes to hop on board.
With Masdar City, Foster & Partners was the first international architecture firm to design buildings in Abu Dhabi that borrow from the region’s desert-savvy vernacular. Now they are continuing that tradition with the Zayed National Museum on Al Saadiyat Island, which will sport five wing-shaped solar thermal towers when completed.
Gulf countries like Abu Dhabi may lack freshwater resources, but they also have a lot of humidity. MIT’s new super efficient fog harvesting material could help countries with climates like this capture that moisture for drinking water.
Richard Branson’s recent commitment to this year’s Zayed Future Energy Prize jury speaks volumes not only about Abu Dhabi’s leadership in energy innovation, but also the faith world leaders place in the emirate’s (many) initiatives.
In the new Portal 9, the first Arabic-English journal about the city, the founder of Abu Dhabi’s urban planning department talks with editor Todd Reisz about planning crowded Cairo, working with Sheikh Zayed and practicing in mid-century Egypt and Saudi Arabia.
While many companies in the Middle East are grabbing land throughout Africa to buffer resource scarcity, Abu Dhabi-based firm Nahtam has plans to plant an organic farm in Ghana to offset carbon and create jobs.