France has passed a new law that bans cups, cutlery, plates, and takeaway containers made from plastic. It’s The part of the nation’s Energy Transition for Green Growth Act, which will also carry out a ban on plastic bags in grocery shops and markets beginning in July. The law comes into effect in 2020. French President[.....]
A new report from the Climate Council of Australia revealed that last year’s global average temperature was the highest since global records began in 1880, with 2015 experiencing its hottest year on record – again – besting the 2014 stats by a jaw-dropping 0.16°C. To paraphrase Paris Hilton, that’s hot.
Green is sort of a buzzword nowadays. People will say they are going green (like Zaha Hadid), but are they as good as their word? Usually not. In the world of Middle Eastern architecture and engineering, rest assured that there are several who are fighting for green choices. Clients often see lots of green –[.....]
Critically acclaimed Scottish photographer Dougie Wallace has stepped on some well-heeled toes with his latest documentary project where he turns his lens to the rising economic power of the “one per cent”. His current exhibition, entitled Harrodsburg, captures the ultra-affluent visitors that inhabit – albeit only seasonally – the super-rich residential and retail district of[.....]
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,[.....]
Qatar – the tiny desert nation known for sinking millions into futuristic follies like artificial clouds and underwater TV studios – has come down to earth with a plan to grow up to 70 percent of its own vegetables by 2023. Currently under 16 percent of their veggies are locally grown. “Cutting edge technology” will[.....]
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[.....]
Researchers at the Qatar Environment and Energy Research Institute worked alongside colleagues at Trinity College Dublin to solve solar energy mysteries related to the physical properties of photovoltaic perovskite materials. Their discovery may lead to more efficient solar energy harvesting.
Scandinavian saunas are so yesterday. UAE trendsetters can now literally chillax in indoor “snow rooms” that create real snow using a snow-making system like that used for the interior ski slopes in Dubai’s Mall of the Emirates. It’s costly to be cool, prices start at $109,000. But our planet pays the real bill.
Last year, Green Prophet broadcast the alarming news of a Saudi prince who poached thousands of protected birds during a 21-day hunting safari in Pakistan. Nearly a year on, the Sindh High Court has revoked a federal notification that allowed issuance of permits to Arab dignitaries for hunting endangered species – (including the houbara bustard, pictured[.....]
Open a newspaper in the Middle East and expect to be whacked with some bad news. Still, I wasn’t prepared to read that – according to the World Misery Index (the name was a tip-off to what was coming) – Jordan (where I live) is the fourth most miserable country in the Arab world. Regionally, only[.....]
WASHINGTON — Inhabitants of the oil-exporting sheikhdoms and emirates of the Persian Gulf wolf down an average 3,700 calories a day —leading to the highest rates of obesity on Earth — even as at least 805 million people, one-ninth of the world’s population, go hungry. Such huge disparities will ultimately lead to widespread unrest, warns[.....]
Elementary and middle school students from schools across Qatar recently tested their robotics know-how.
The Jordan Food and Drug Administration (JFDA) announced plans to ban the use of plastic bags starting next year. The ruling also applies to plastic containers that come in direct contact with food products (think take-away and deli counter sales).
An energy-efficient house in Barwa City, Qatar will be put through its paces to see if it can perform to computer-modeled expectations. We first visited the idea of Passivhaus in 2012, but much has progressed in making a new energy efficient standard green building for hot climates.
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.
What’s the best way to get a nation of increasingly obese residents to embrace a healthier life? Host a World Cup and build a bunch of awesome sports clubs. Having secured 2022, the Qatar Olympic Committee has now commissioned Grimshaw Architects to install green recreational facilities throughout the emirate.
Qatar Solar Energy has unveiled a massive factory that will produce high quality solar panels that make the most of the desert sun, a boon not just for the emirate, but potentially for the entire Middle East.
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!
Qatar plans to spend roughly $200 billion to prepare for the hundreds of thousands of fans who are expected to show up for the 2022 World Cup – a sum that appears to be four stadiums more than the Emirate can afford.
Want to see a city on “speed” grow? This time lapse video captures Doha as it expands rapidly for the 2022 World Cup in soccer.
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.
There was great hullabaloo when The Shard was completed just one year ago. Not only was it financed by Qatar, but the 306 meter tower was said to have ruined the London neighborhood in which it was built. Now Renzo Piano has been commissioned to give the skyscraper a neighbor.
Three years ago, Qatar won the right to be the first Middle Eastern country to host a World Cup in 2022; after much speculation, FIFA’s Secretary General Jerome Valcke publicly ruled out the possibility that the competition will take place in summer.
We’re not the biggest fans of all the Middle East’s skyscrapers – the Burj Khalifa, the Kingdom Tower coming to Saudi and other soaring glass towers, because of their high environmental impact. Which is why we got such a kick out of these awesome candles from China.
Renowned architect Santiago Calatrava, who is most famous for his spectacular bridges, has unveiled a radical new design for three bridges and an elevated park that will completely transform Doha’s skyline in time for the 2022 World Cup in Qatar.
Qatar is spending billions of dollars to prepare for the 2022 World Cup and some of that money will be used to expand Al Dhakira, a coastal city just 37 miles outside of the capital Doha that has protected mangrove forests to the north and south.
Living large isn’t sustainable, at least that is what most green hearts tend to believe, but Sanzpont Arquitectura disagrees. Invited to participate in an international competition to design a private residence in Qatar, the studio came up with ‘A Palace for Nature’ – a magnificent solar-powered palace modeled after the sidra tree.
Guess who might be the culprit carrying a new SARS-like virus to people in the Middle East?
I never thought that I would agree with Zaha Hadid, the Iraqi starchitect who has failed time and again to support the green building movement. But her dismissal of claims that the Al-Wakrah stadium looks like a vagina has my support.
Qatar, Kuwait, Bahrain, and the United Arab Emirates have all ranked among the world’s top 10 fattest nations with ballooning obesity rates and an explosion of associated diseases. But there’s an upside to oversize:
Qatar is undergoing a massive change, and many of the world’s top architects are hoping to become a part of the action. Zaha Hadid and AECOM have weighed in with the Al-Wakrah stadium, and now Sou Fujimoto has re-imagined Doha with a series of modular stacked arches.
The Qatar Foundation is distinguishing itself as a leader at Greenbuild, the world’s largest gathering of green building pioneers in Philadelphia, where Hilary Clinton will deliver the 2013 keynote address tomorrow.
Qatar has promised a carbon neutral 2022 World Cup, but we know from the Masdar City experiment how hard that is to achieve. Still, here are five dubious steps AECOM and Zaha Hadid Architects are reported to be taking to support that goal with their joint design – Al-Wakrah Stadium.
As Qatar prepares for the 2022 World Cup amid bribery allegations and gross human rights violations, the world is watching every move. Which may explain why the Emir controls every major and minor decision – including the new Doha metro design.
It’s something we can’t avoid as human beings: we begin as naked embryos that go through stages of gestation. We emerge naked, until clothed.
Almost as soon as Qatar won the bid to host the 2022 World Cup with a suite of swanky solar-powered stadiums, activists started clambering about the emirate’s terrible working conditions. Turn’s out, their warnings were dead on.
The 3,500 square meter Qatar National Convention Center (QNCC) sees more time under the spotlight as Portuguese photographer Nelson Garrido’s new photographs of Arata Isozaki’s striking design surface.
Recently launched by Qatar’s Al Jazeera Media Network, Al Jazeera America has already made a splash for its no-nonsense climate change coverage – something local media stations have been too timid to tackle.
For soccer fans (or football in Europe!) The Qatar World Cup Games don’t start for almost a decade, but officials are still kicking the ball around over the irrational choice of tiny, wealthy, overweight Qatar as host nation for 2022 FIFA World Cup. With summer temperatures in Qatar reaching as high as 50°C (122°F), African[.....]
Saudi Arabian King Abdullah has intervened to help save the life of his largest subject, ordering Khalid bin Mohsen to be specially transported from the southern border province of Jazan to the country’s capital to undergo treatment. Nineteen-year-old Shaari, who weighs 1,345 pounds, is believed to be one of the world’s heaviest humans.
Qatar Solar has purchased a stake in SolarWorld AG to give the firm a much needed fiscal boost. Called the BMW of solar panel producers, the German firm has been struggling to compete against China’s flood of cheap, generic photovoltaic panels.
Cousin to the world’s tallest building, the rounded silhouette of Burj Doha soars over the capital of Qatar’s skyline. Designed by Jean Nouvel, it is the first building in the emirate with a vertical garden, and check out that modern mashrabiya.
A five-story apartment building in Hamburg, Germany gets its juice from its algae skin. It’s an example of the kind of architectural innovation that could readily transplant to the Middle East. So why is partnership between designers, investors and government largely absent in this region? The continuing drought of global investment requires innovative approaches to[.....]
Representatives from six Arab Gulf countries that form the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) recently expressed concern about the Bushehr nuclear power plant in Southwest Iran after an earthquake with a magnitude of 6.3 on the Richter scale struct the region earlier this year.
Islamic nations defer to astronomers in Saudi Arabia, Iran, or Turkey (depending on political affiliation) to determine when the new crescent moon harkens the Holy Month of Ramadan. Dependence on real-time moon-spotting means heightened anxiety. Rumors reel about Ramadan’s start, leaving the requisite housecleaning and food prep open-ended.
World Environment Day festivities came to a close on Friday, June 7 in Qatar as participants in the celebration’s green competitions were crowned winners. The message of the celebration is to save resources for future generations, an important message for the emirate hooked on natural gas and cheap non-renewable resources.
Thirty-three people are dead from MERS, a coronavirus that the World Health Organization (WHO) is calling a “threat to the entire world”. MERS, for Middle East Respiratory Syndrome, is a newly discovered virus that causes severe respiratory infection.
Water scarcity combined with desertification makes for a scary combination in the Middle East, but The Sahara Forest Project (SFP) is pioneering a promising solution: greenhouses that use saltwater to grow food in the middle of the desert.
Qatar’s controversial 2022 World Cup planning got a burst of star power when renowned Iraqi architect Zaha Hadid, who was one of Time Magazine’s top 100 most influential people in 2010, was appointed to join AECOM to design the Al Wakrah Stadium.
A belt made of tin. A hat made of cardboard. A dress made of newspaper with DVD and CD accents. These were some of many designs showcased during Qatar’s “long” celebration of World Environment Day starting in May continuing until after World Environment Day on June 5.
Earlier this year, Russian photographers Vadim Makhorov and Vitaliy Raskalov climbed the Great Pyramid of Giza, risking up to three years imprisonment (if caught) for a chance at remarkable picture-taking. They pulled a similar stunt on the rooftops of Dubai; a high-end example of “skywalking”.