Dubai is synonymous with man-made folly. Their Burj Khalifa, the world’s tallest building, stands over half a mile high. They have manufactured islands in the shape of palm trees and continents. You can play tennis atop a skyscraper or ski in a mall. Now they’ve extended their fantastical designs to everyday functionality, with new garbage[.....]
A Dubai-based abaya fashion designer has come up with a way to take the traditional black cloak into the future by integrating nanotechnology into its sleeves, giving the garment the capability to charge a smartphone or tablet. Manaal Al Hammadi showcased her solar-powered abaya at the last month’s World Energy Summit 2016 at the Abu Dhabi[.....]
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,[.....]
Ever have a salad that was out of this world? Astronauts aboard International Space Station (ISS) Expedition 44 have. They just dined on the only lettuce ever cultivated without an atmosphere. The produce grew inside “Veggie”, a tiny greenhouse about the size of a computer monitor. Specifically designed for microgravity environments, the technology can potentially benefit food production[.....]
Want to sink some money into the latest Dubai folly? A Polish architect has served up a scheme for an underwater tennis center off the coast of Dubai, now he’s fishing for investors to make tennis beneath the ocean a reality in the United Arab Emirates (UAE).
The unveiling of Dubai’s rooftop solar project during March 2015 is one of many steps the emirate is taking in order to grow a domestic market regarding solar technology and usage. It is clear from these actions that the emirate is setting out to be greener and cleaner. At the same time, it is obvious[.....]
Dubai has taken a giant step forward in greening up the city with its decision to move away from ordinary Portland cement (OPC) for all new buildings. As of April 1, OPC use is limited across the emirate; building permissions are reliant on developers specifying eco-friendly Supplementary Cementing Materials (SCMs). The new requirement aims to give residents[.....]
The world went wild last week over an unforgettable image of a weasel riding bareback on a woodpecker in flight. It is difficult to imagine a more astonishing moment that the one captured by amateur British photographer Martin Le-May, unless maybe if that woodpecker had a camera strapped to his chest. But that sort of nutty nature photography could only happen[.....]
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.
Dubai developers reach a new zenith in outrageous investment with just-announced plans to build a tropical rainforest on the desert outskirts of the city. The forest will exist within a climate-controlled dome as a key feature of a new luxury housing development. But the real news within this news is that local environmentalists are complaining, finally.
You read that right. An outdoor water park in shadow of the Burj Al Arab*, featuring a heated/cooled wave pool, multiple water slides and two artificial surfing machines, has just been recognized for sustainable performance by one of the world’s most respected green certification programs for organizations within the travel and tourism industry. Following a recent sustainability audit, Wild Wadi[.....]
Working out with no results? Health professionals in Dubai have a counter-intuitive solution to consider: eat more! So you’re trying to make good on your New Year’s resolution to put down the shawarma and pick up some weights. But after a month, you can’t see results (nor your toes). Fear not, the Dubai Health Authority (DHA)[.....]
Winter storms hammered much of the Middle East last week with strong winds that rose seas and dropped snow from Egypt all the way to Turkey. Meteorologists claimed it was the most severe December storm since 1953 to hit Israel, northern Lebanon’s roads were paralyzed, and the Sea of Galilee rose 10 centimeters in a day. But[.....]
Dubai Municipality has invited businesses and individuals to take part in its annual Car-Free Day on February 4 to lower city-wide vehicle emissions while commemorating the United Arab Emirates’s (UAE) National Environment Day. Last year, 7,000 employees from 65 government and private organizations participated. The bait they’ll use to incite more action this year? A chance to win another[.....]
The most powerful family in Jordan is tapping into the most powerful energy source in the Universe to electrify their private residence. Prince Muhammad bin Talal, brother of Jordan’s King Hussein I, has installed what is the largest, self-use photovoltaic (PV) array in the Middle East. Prince bin Talal is an active pursuer of environmental solutions. Below[.....]
The Middle East and Africa subsidiary of Tokyo-based Sony Corporation officially launched an outrageous shopping experience for its Xperia products this month, with a pop-up store located just offshore from the environmentally dubious World Islands in Dubai – and 4 meters under the sea. It’s the world’s first underwater store.
British economist Milton Friedman once warned that if you put the government in charge of the Sahara Desert, in five years you’d have a shortage of sand. Whether governments or free markets are to blame, it is possible to deplete abundant resources such as Irish rain. Now thanks to global obsessions with concrete icons, fracking[.....]
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[.....]
What would the world’s major cities look like if they were plunged into complete darkness? We get a glimpse during black-outs, like when New York City suffered major power outages during Hurricane Sandy, but those scenes occurred under overcast skies which blocked the stars. There’s a fascinating photography exhibition underway at East Wing gallery in Dubai that[.....]
Dubai Municipality teamed up with spice giant Eastern Masala and Jaleel Holdings to launch a new project that aims to pass on a message of healthy living, encouraging residents to create home gardens to grow vegetables, herbs and fruit.
Al Maktoum International Airport at Dubai World Central (DWC) was recently approved for a $33 billion expansion making it the largest airport project on the planet – another world record for the booming emirate.
There seems to be a tremendous struggle happening in the Middle East – a fight between the good guys, like this 10-year-old Emirati wunderkid, and psychotic fundamentalists (along with a host of other corrupt elements.) The good maybe overwhelmed by the very worst bad guys there could be. And then there is the boy who[.....]
Two years after passing its Renewable Energy and Efficiency Law (REEL) Jordan is moving forward with what will be the largest largest solar photovoltaic (PV) installation in the Middle East. Construction will begin on the 52.5 MW Shams Ma’an facility in early 2015 with completion in 2016. Shams is the Arabic word for “sun”.
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[.....]
A new “eco-mosque” that seeks LEED silver certification has recently opened in Dubai. Designed to set an example for other mosques and local residents, the Port Saeed mosque can accommodate 3,500 worshippers.
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[.....]
Sheikh Zayed Road in Dubai will soon play host to the world’s largest shopping mall – the gargantuan Mall of the World. Comprised of 48 million square feet of over-the-top retail, residential, and even medical services, the covered pedestrian city is expected to attract some 180 million visitors a year. I shudder at the thought.
We’d love to tell you that the Middle East’s most famous contemporary architect is doing great green things for the region, but we can’t. Instead, Zaha Hadid’s latest project in Dubai, the Opus Hotel and Office Tower designed in collaboration with Meliá Hotels International, may well be among her most extravagant.
Over 400 senior executives will descend on Dubai this week to learn how best to develop and construct photovoltaic (PV) and concentrated solar thermal power (CSP) plants in the region’s top markets including Jordan, Saudi Arabia, United Arab Emirates, and Morocco.
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.
Three lamp-shaped towers make up the new Aladdin City that is being constructed in Dubai as part of an effort to boost the city’s profile ahead of the 2020 World Expo. I wonder what the genie thinks?
Decorative taxidermy reaches new heights in the United Arab Emirates! Dubai developer Emaar has shelled out big bucks for the remains of a 150-million-year-old dinosaur which will be permanently displayed in the world’s largest shopping venue, Dubai Mall.
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[.....]
Majlis are the boardrooms of the Arab world. A traditional ‘place of sitting’ often adorned with cushions on the floor, they are used to receive guests and exchange ideas. In the past, nomadic desert dwellers used special tents. Intercon takes a modern approach to this special meeting room with floating Majlis that are moved daily.
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.
It looks like yet another world record may be broken soon with the world’s longest billboard along the side of the Sheikh Zayed Road, just after Jebel Ali Port in Dubai. My car’s odometer tells me it’s about 3 km long.
A year after unveiling new Lamborghini patrol vehicles for lucky members of the force, Dubai police are rolling out an eco-friendly electric motorcycle. As far as we can tell – the 15,000-strong police force has purchased just one bike, which they tested at Jumeirah Beach Residence last week.
Last Friday, a ferocious desert rainstorm blew into Dubai swallowing up the city and making the world’s tallest building – the Burj Khalifa – disappear! Video below!
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.
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.
Dubai’s iconic Burj Al Arab hotel has earned an international Green Globe Certification. Not as news-worthy as when Tiger Woods teed off its rooftop, or when it served as cloud-touching tennis court for Andre Agassi and Roger Federer, but this nod from a recognized green rating system is making headlines for sustainable urban tourism.
Residents of the world’s tallest building in Dubai are being punished over unpaid maintenance fees – some of them unjustly. In order to pressure property owners who have defaulted on their annual payments, developers Emaar warned residents that air-conditioning and elevator service would be cut until they receive their money.
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.
Dubai rang in 2014 with a record-shattering fireworks display. In an effort to break the Guinness World Record for the world’s largest fireworks extravaganza previously held by Kuwait, the emirate exploded a whopping 400,000 fireworks in less than 10 minutes.
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.
Elon Musk is known as the founder of SpaceX, a pioneer in the commercialization of space travel and Tesla, a company named after a brilliantly mad high-voltage inventor of the nineteenth century and known for its electric cars. So what happens when this visionary sets his eyes on America’s decaying public transportation infrastructure?
An enormous flexible canopy of photovoltaic cells will shade the pavilions at Dubai’s 2020 expo, an innovative step towards greater energy efficiency for the international event, but critics warn that the workers slated to build the necessary infrastructure stand to suffer the most.
Middle East architects Raya Ani and Zayad Motlib first told us about their plans for Mesopotamian Marshlands ecosystem and community earlier this year, and now they’re presenting their ideas to the first AIA Middle East conference in Dubai.
Scientists in Dubai are growing a new kind of food crop in salt marshes along the Persian Gulf coast. A variety of salt-resistant succulent, Salicornia are typically sold in gourmet shops in Europe, but they have other uses as well.
Continuing the theme of mysterious abandoned developments, the identity of this one is better known than the desert lakes I featured in my previous two posts.
Dubai is getting another enormous development, except this time, Emaar Properties and Dubai Holding are pitching The Lagoons as an entrepreneurial and cultural hub for tomorrow’s youth.
In my last post I described how I had discovered the remains of a defunct development known as the ‘Arabian Canal’ in the desert some 30km outside Dubai. This time I’m featuring one of these remaining waterways which is still, mysteriously, flooded, despite having been abandoned some 4 years ago.