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First residents move into $22bn Masdar City

Students pour in to Abu Dhabi's $22bn eco-friendly development

Abu Dhabi's Masdar City has recevied its first residents.
Abu Dhabi's Masdar City has recevied its first residents.

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The first residents at Masdar City, the world’s only city to be powered by renewable energy, have moved in.

Nearly 200 students at the Masdar Institute of Science and Technology have taken up residence in the $22bn city in Abu Dhabi, the president of the environmental technology research-focused institute told AFP.

“The total number of our students is about 170-175,” Dr Fred Moavenzadeh, president of Masdar Institute of Science and Technology, told the newswire. “Of that, 100 of them, roughly, are here ... living on the campus.”

Abu Dhabi, which holds around 9% of the world’s proven oil reserves and almost 5% of the world’s natural gas, established Masdar to develop sustainable and clean energy. The city is 100% owned by the Abu Dhabi government through the Mubadala Development Company.

Once complete Masdar City - which means “source” in Arabic - will cover 6km2 and house 40,000 residents and 1,500 businesses. No cars will be allowed inside the city perimeters.

Moavenzadeh said the city will eventually be “a test-bed for technology” on which the institute is conducting research. Masdar’s students will be expected to spend no more than 50% of their time in class, instead devoting themselves to research, he said.

All students, 20-25% of which are Emirati, are currently on scholarships. The institute offers various master’s degrees and introduced a doctoral programme this year.

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