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Masdar City, Abu Dhabi's eco-city, is finally starting to make some headway in its development with the announcement in May that it is building its first 500 private homes. Adding to the educational, retail and commercial facilities already in place or in their planning stages, the new 500 homes will be sustainable in keeping with the city's green theme.
The city has developed state-of-the-art infrastructure for the sustainable city including an incubator building, a solar field, cutting-edge research as well as various renewable energy breakthroughs; however, the number of visitors to the remarkable city remains relatively low. Many visitors have remarked on how inaccessible Masdar City is from central Abu Dhabi which could be keeping visitor numbers down.
Within the next few months, Masdar has plans to begin the first phase of the Woods Baggot-designed homes with hopes of completing them by 2016, the vast majority of which will be leased to corporates and educational establishments, and would be owned by Masdar City itself.
Furthermore, there are still plans to build a residential neighborhood consisting of 2,000 homes at a cost of US$ 15-18 billion. This development is set to house 40,000 residents and 50,000 workers, all within sustainable surroundings. Two-thirds of the units have already been leased out to Masdar Institute as staff housing, with the remaining 750 to be available to the general public once completed.
While there are still no homes completed and just a few of the planned office developments, there is already a 16-building university campus for Masdar Institute as well as a 316-room Double Tree Hilton Hotel under construction.
Masdar City director Anthony Mallows has said that he is confident that Masdar City will have doubled in size within just two years to more than 300,000 square meters.
• The city has developed state-of-the-art sustainable infrastructure
• There is already a 16-building university campus for Masdar Institute
• Masdar City announced in May it is building first 500 private homes
Click on Masdar City to find out more
Source: Nicholas Baker, Special to Properties
The writer is a freelancer