Masdar News

Masdar City expansion plans earn Abu Dhabi Urban Planning Council approval

11 Apr 2016

Abu Dhabi, UAE, 12 April 2016 – Masdar, Abu Dhabi’s renewable energy and sustainable development company, and the Abu Dhabi Urban Planning Council (UPC) today announced the UPC’s approval of the Detailed Master Plans for Phases 2 and 5 of Masdar City, one of the world’s most sustainable urban developments.

Masdar City is targeting a 4 Pearl Estidama Community Rating, the first development in the UAE to do so. The approval of the City’s new Detailed Master Plans also coincides with Masdar’s 10-year anniversary and an ambitious phase of expansion now under way at the City.

Around 35% of the planned built-up area for Masdar City will be completed over the next five years – up from 5% today – and nearly 30% has been committed to, including private homes, schools, hotels and more office space.

Phase 2 of Masdar City involves a dedicated R&D cluster built around many of its existing pilot research projects served by a residential community including 2,000 apartments, a GEMS Education school, restaurants, cafés and parkland. Phase 5 is primarily villas and townhouses surrounded by recreational amenities and green open spaces.

Anthony Mallows, Masdar City Executive Director, said: “Obtaining the Abu Dhabi Urban Planning Council’s approval of the Detailed Master Plans for Phase 2 and 5 opens the way for the future ambitious expansion of Masdar City, and is further evidence of our commitment to realise the world’s most sustainable urban development.

“Masdar City aspires to be a model for the way our cities are built in the future, setting new standards for reducing energy and water demand, waste and carbon emissions. We look forward to becoming the first development in the UAE to achieve the 4 Pearl Estidama Community, working in partnership with the UPC.”

The City’s forward-thinking plans meet, and in many cases exceed, the requirements of the UPC’s standards and manuals, while giving the development a strong identity and the flexibility to accommodate its future organic growth.

The highly collaborative approach of Masdar’s Master Planning and Design Team and the UPC’s Urban Development & Estidama Sector has delivered an optimised urban framework focused on sustainability and innovation. The highly replicable plans create a continuous public realm that promotes community building and knowledge exchange.

Mohamed Al Khadar, Executive Director for Urban Development & Estidama Sector at UPC, said: “The approval of the Detailed Master Plans for Phase 2 and 5 of Masdar City is an important milestone for the development of Masdar City, which is a vital component of Plan Capital 2030, and of the UPC’s vision to create sustainable, safe, walkable and attractive neighbourhoods for all Abu Dhabi residents.”

Estidama, which means ‘sustainability’ in Arabic, is a UPC initiative aimed at transforming Abu Dhabi into a model for sustainable environmental, economic, social and cultural urbanisation.

The Estidama Pearl Community Rating System (PCRS) promotes the development of Complete Sustainable Communities (CSCs) and advocates improvements in the quality of life of all residents. Achieving a Pearl Community Rating requires the integration of the four pillars of Estidama – social, environmental, economic and cultural – and a collaborative, inter-disciplinary approach to master planning.

Maximising water and energy efficiency, reducing waste, and using locally sourced building materials are priorities – both to reduce the environmental impact of urbanisation and to improve the overall supply chain for sustainable products and services.

“The UPC’s Estidama department will continue to work very closely with the Masdar City team to do everything it can to ensure they meet the requirements of the 4 Pearl Community Rating that they are so committed to achieving,” added Mohamed Al Khadar.

“It will be the first in the UAE – a phenomenal goal that we are very excited to be working towards. What this will mean for future residents of Masdar City is that they will be living in one of the most sustainable areas of Abu Dhabi – sustainability is the future for Abu Dhabi and creating sustainable communities is a key priority for us all.”

Masdar City’s existing developments and ongoing expansion will be showcased throughout Cityscape Abu Dhabi, the real estate exhibition and conference running until April 14.


About Masdar

Masdar is Abu Dhabi’s renewable energy company working to advance the development, commercialisation and deployment of clean energy technologies and solutions. The company serves as a link between today’s hydrocarbon economy and the energy economy of the future. Wholly owned by the Mubadala Development Company PJSC, the strategic investment company of the Government of Abu Dhabi, Masdar is dedicated to realising the UAE’s long-term vision for energy and water security.

About Masdar City

One of the world’s most sustainable urban developments, Masdar City in Abu Dhabi is enabling innovation in sustainability and clean technologies by integrating education, research & development, investment and business opportunity. It is an innovation ecosystem: a thriving community, a business and investment free zone, and a hub for knowledge creation and R&D realising pilot projects in the commercialisation of clean technologies. The nucleus of Masdar City is the Masdar Institute of Science & Technology (MI), the region’s first graduate-level university researching real-world technologies and solutions at the energy and water nexus.

  • Through initiatives such as Masdar City, Masdar is helping to realise a template – or ‘green-print’ – for sustainable urban development in the UAE and potentially other countries.

About the Abu Dhabi Urban Planning Council

The Abu Dhabi Urban Planning Council (UPC) was created by law number 23 of the year 2007 and is the agency responsible for the future of Abu Dhabi’s urban environments, and the expert authority behind the framework plans for the Emirate: Plan Capital 2030, Plan Al Ain 2030, Plan Al Gharbia 2030 and Plan Maritime 2030.Chaired by His Highness Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi and Deputy Supreme Commander of the UAE Armed Forces, the Abu Dhabi Urban Planning Council defines the shape of the Emirate, ensuring factors such as sustainability, infrastructure capacity, community planning and quality of life, by overseeing development across the city and the Emirate as a whole.The Abu Dhabi Urban Planning Council ensures best practice in planning for both new and existing urban areas.

The Abu Dhabi Urban Planning Council’s primary purpose is to deliver upon the vision of His Highness Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan, President of the UAE, Ruler of Abu Dhabi for the continued fulfilment of the grand design envisaged by the late Sheikh Zayed bin Sultan Al Nahyan and the ongoing evolution of Abu Dhabi as a global capital city.By drawing on urban planning expertise locally, throughout the GCC and around the world, the UPC strives to be a global authority on the future of urban planning and design.


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Alison Oliver
+971 50 154 1958