Masdar City is an emerging clean technology cluster that places its resident companies in the heart of
the global renewable energy and clean tech industry.
Widely recognised as one of the world’s most exciting eco-developments, the city is a free zone located
in close proximity to Abu Dhabi International Airport and 17 kilometers from downtown Abu Dhabi. The
community is a launching point into local, regional and international markets, and it provides a critical
mass of sector knowledge and talent.
The exceptional value proposition that Masdar City offers to clients includes:
100% foreign ownership
100% exemption from corporate and personal income taxes
Quick and easy set-up with a ‘One-Stop Shop’ for registration, government relations and visa processing
Freedom of repatriation of both capital and profits
One of the world’s most sustainable living and working business clusters
Research & Development hub partnering with Masdar Institute
Highly cost effective licensing and office space.
As designed, the city would be home to 45,000 to 50,000 people and 1,500 businesses, primarily
commercial and manufacturing facilities specialising in environmentally friendly products. In turn, more
than 60,000 workers are expected to commute to the city daily. The city relies on solar energy and other
renewable energy sources.
Masdar is a sustainable mixed-use development designed to be very friendly to pedestrians and cyclists.
Masdar City has terracotta walls decorated with arabesque patterns. From a distance, the city looks like
a cube. The temperature in the streets is generally 15 to 20 °C (27 to 36 °F) cooler than the surrounding
desert. The temperature difference is due to Masdar’s unique construction. A 45-meter-high (148 ft) wind
tower modeled on traditional Arab designs sucks air from above and pushes a cooling breeze through
Masdar’s streets. The site is raised above the surrounding land to create a slight cooling effect. Buildings
are clustered close together to create streets and walkways shielded from the sun.
The initial design banned automobiles, as travel will be accomplished via public mass transit and
personal rapid transit (PRT) systems, with existing road and railways connecting to other locations
outside the city.The absence of motor vehicles coupled with Masdar’s perimeter wall, designed to keep
out the hot desert winds, allows for narrow and shaded streets that help funnel cooler breezes across the
city.Masdar will instead use a mix of electric vehicles and other clean-energy vehicles for mass transit
inside the city. The majority of private vehicles will be restricted to parking lots along the city’s perimeter.
Abu Dhabi’s planned and delayed light rail and metro line will connect Masdar City’s center with the
greater metropolitan area.
Some of the most notable tenants include General Electric, Mitsubishi, Siemens, Schneider Electric, and
the Global Green Growth Institute.
There are no light switches or water taps in the city; movement sensors control lighting and water to cut
electricity and water consumption by 51 and 55 percent respectively.
Blowing sand has been a problem for its solar panels, so Masdar has been working with other
companies to engineer surfaces with pores smaller than sand particles to stop them from sticking on the
panels. Scientists at the Masdar Institute are also working on coatings that repel sand and bacteria for
use on solar panels and in other applications.
Water management has been planned in an environmentally sound manner as well. Approximately 80
percent of the water used will be recycled and waste water will be reused “as many times as possible”,
with this greywater being used for crop irrigation and other purposes.
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