Zero carbon, zero waste, zero competition.
The UAE owns roughly ten per cent of the world's oil reserves and five per cent of its natural gas. Oil and gas make up approximately 90% of Abu Dhabi's current exports and per-barrel costs continue to rise.
Despite the UAE having the world's third highest per capita carbon footprint economically speaking, Abu Dhabi doesn't need to focus its attention on energy efficiency. For better or worse, most of the world still operates on the few resources that are in abundant supply beneath its sands and shorelines.
Having said that, world opinion is changing. "We need to address the environment from the carbon footprint angle because that's really the problem in the UAE, " says Khaled Awad, director of property development at Masdar.
In response to this need, the Abu Dhabi Future Energy Company (ADFEC) and Foster+Partners are pursuing the world's first zero carbon, zero waste mixed-use development in Masdar City.
Read the January 2008 issue of Middle East Architect for a full analysis of the challenges facing Foster+Partners in Masdar City.