Exploring UAE’s Efforts to Achieve Sustainability
Have you ever imagined a city thriving on the principles of sustainable living? One where eco-friendly homes, clean energy, and green spaces define the lifestyle?
The United Arab Emirates, a nation synonymous with architectural wonders and progressive visions, has dedicated 2023 as the Year of Sustainability. As part of their profound commitment, the UAE is revolutionizing its urban landscape, with developments like Sharjah Sustainable City setting a precedent.
Let’s explore the transformative sustainability initiatives sweeping the UAE, from residential cities to energy infrastructures, and learn how these efforts reshape the future.
UAE Sustainability: Initiatives and Commitments
The United Arab Emirates has firmly committed to sustainability, dedicating 2023 as the Year of Sustainability.
Under the theme ‘Today for Tomorrow’, the UAE has planned a series of initiatives, activities, and events to promote the values of sustainability and inspire nationwide and global collaboration to address environmental challenges.
Sharjah Sustainable City
In line with the UAE’s commitment to sustainability, Sharjah Sustainable City stands as the city’s first sustainable master-planned residential community. Developed by the Sharjah Investment and Development Authority (Shurooq) in partnership with Diamond Developers, Sharjah Sustainable City is an iconic development meeting the highest social, environmental, and economic sustainability standards.
Spanning over 7.2 million square feet in Sharjah’s Al Rahmaniyah area, the city comprises 3-, 4- and 5-bedroom villas configured in various layouts to minimize the community’s carbon footprint. The 4th and final phase of the city was launched in 2023, offering 324 units with prices starting from AED 1.7 million for 3-bedroom villas.
The townhouse villas in SSC promote an eco-friendly way of living through sustainable designs, spacious layouts optimizing natural light and heat, world-class amenities, and cutting-edge smart home and energy management technologies.
The city’s environmental sustainability is further emphasized with the use of thermal insulating construction materials, energy-saving electrical fittings, rooftop solar PVC installations, and a waste-to-energy plant, all of which are designed to deliver savings of up to 50% on utility bills for residents.
Moreover, this sustainable city in UAE encourages an active lifestyle with amenities like cycling and jogging tracks, green parks and playgrounds, swimming pools, and health clinics. The city is strategically located to offer easy access to downtown Sharjah, commercial hubs, and international airports, making it a desirable place for sustainable living.
Sustainable Development in UAE
As part of its commitment to sustainability, the UAE has made significant strides in harnessing renewable energy sources. Celebrating the ‘Year of Sustainability’, a new solar park with an installed capacity of 4,382 kilowatt-peak will be constructed at Tawazun Industrial Park (TIP) in Abu Dhabi.
It involves installing more than 7,600 solar panels for rooftop and carport applications, with construction expected to start in the second quarter of 2023 and operations by the end of 2023.
The solar park, a project by TIP and Yellow Door Energy, is expected to produce 7.1 million kilowatt-hours of clean energy in the first year of operation, equivalent to reducing carbon emissions by 5,000 metric tonnes.
This initiative reflects UAE’s dedication to supporting the UAE’s Net Zero by 2050 Strategy Plan. It’s a striking balance between industrial and technological progress and sustainable development in UAE.
Sustainability Efforts in UAE’s Policy and Governance
Furthermore, the UAE’s National Agenda for 2021 Vision keenly embeds sustainability as its core driver. It illustrates the government’s dedication to integrating sustainability within policies and governance. Concrete steps include legislating environmental protection laws, endorsing green business practices, and encouraging public participation in UAE sustainability initiatives.
Energy Transition: From Oil to Renewables
The UAE’s energy landscape also shifts from traditional oil reliance to renewable energy sources. It recently inaugurated the world’s largest solar power plant, Noor Abu Dhabi, a testament to this paradigm shift. The Barakah Nuclear Energy Plant demonstrates the UAE’s intention to diversify its energy sources.
Water Conservation and Management
Water management is another vital component in the UAE’s sustainability efforts due to its desert climate. The UAE employs innovative desalination techniques to meet its water needs while promoting recycling initiatives. Advanced irrigation systems, such as drip irrigation, ensure efficient use of this scarce resource in agriculture.
Harnessing the Power of Renewable Energy
The UAE also has chosen to invest in renewable energy. Its journey towards clean energy, which began more than 15 years ago, has received an investment of over 40 billion USD.
Meanwhile, its clean energy capacity, including solar and nuclear, is set to reach a staggering 14 GW by 2030. Its commitment to renewable energy continues beyond its borders. It has invested around 16.8 billion USD in renewable energy ventures across 70 countries, mainly focusing on developing nations.
The UAE’s commitment to sustainability permeates its national policies, energy sector, water management practices, and urban development. The nation’s continuous efforts towards overcoming challenges signal a promising trajectory in achieving sustainability for the UAE and setting a benchmark for other countries.