Shifting Sands - How Abu Dhabi is Transforming its Energy Landscape

By The Department Of Municipal Affairs In Abu Dhabi, PRNE
Sunday, January 16, 2011

ABU DHABI, UAE, January 17, 2011 - Last year's large scale oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico brought the
world's attention once again to the continued depletion of our fossil fuels.
Our constant quest to find new, sustainable, renewable forms of energy to
power our planet continues apace as we seek out new ways of improving energy
efficiency and protecting our environment.

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In 2007, the Emirate of Abu Dhabi launched the Abu Dhabi Vision 2030 to
provide the Emirate with the strategic environment that achieves sustainable
urban planning and economic growth. With a population expected to reach up to
5 million by 2030, the Emirate, which is one of the seven emirates that
comprise the United Arab Emirates and home to its capital city, is firmly
focused on creating a diversified economy to reduce its dependency on oil and
building the necessary foundations and infrastructure that will support a
sustainable society in the future.

If proof were needed of the sweeping changes that are taking place right
across the Emirate, then one need look no further than 2011 World Future
Energy Summit (WFES) which Abu Dhabi is proudly hosting this month. Visitors
to the event, which in 2010 attracted almost 25,000 industry professionals
from nearly 150 countries, will be able to see 17 of the pioneering projects
that the Emirate is working on to better conserve energy and drive
sustainable development.

These 17 projects that the Emirate's Municipal System is showcasing-
which is comprised of the DMA and the three regional municipal
administrations; Abu Dhabi Municipality, Al Ain Municipality, and Western
Region Municipality - undeniably illustrate just how much the Emirate is
changing to lessen its reliance on more traditional forms of energy.

One of the most dramatic - and arguably the hardest hitting - steps
towards the Emirate's energy conservation and sustainability targets has been
the very recent introduction of a set of Building Codes by the Department of
Municipal Affairs (DMA), the regulatory and legislative body of the Emirate's
Municipal System. The New Building Codes, which represent one of the biggest
changes to the municipal system in many years, will unify building practices
and create better, safer, greener buildings that are more cost-effective and
durable, and which are built to even higher health and safety standards.

One of the new Building Codes likely to be of particular interest to WFES
visitors is the International Energy Code, which sets out minimum standards
for energy conservation that it is hoped will help the Emirate meet all
United Nation's Green Building targets for extremely hot areas.

Other projects being showcased at the event by the Municipal System
include the Mohammed Bin Zayed (MBZ) City Project which is setting the
standard for building sustainable communities; the introduction of more
energy-efficient street lighting using solar energy and LED technology, the
use of solar panels for lighting and providing air conditioning in bus
shelters, waste water re-use to irrigate municipal parks, gardens and green
spaces, the implementation of new irrigation systems that can monitor
leakages, the introduction of more green areas and the protection of the
Emirate's natural habitat by planting trees and shrubs to act as windbreaks
and prevent desertification

Commenting on the municipal system's participation, H.E. Majid Ali Al
, Chairman of the Department of Municipal Affairs, commented, "With
the successful implementation of many local sustainability initiatives such
as regulating mandatory use of energy efficient LED street-lighting, creating
environmental health and safety management frameworks and introducing a
unified set of building codes for the construction sector, the Emirate of Abu
is leading by example with practical initiatives to reduce energy
consumption and protect the environment in the MENA region."

If the pioneering projects being showcased at the WFES are anything to go
by, then the Emirate of Abu Dhabi is clearly all about quality - quality of
development, quality of service and ultimately, improving the quality of life
for all. By continuing to lead the way on sustainability, the citizens of Abu
Dhabi Emirate are clearly well placed to benefit from all three.


    Arwa Alkhatib


Arwa Alkhatib, +971506613082

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