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Masdar City, the ecological city of the future

Updated on 28.04.2018

Masdar City is the technological and ecological showcase of Abu Dhabi - it is a research center for the environment, sustainable development and experimentation of the city of the future. The visit of the eco-friendly city Masdar with futuristic architecture begins full of promise by going aboard self-driving electric cars with zero emissions. All the information to organize your visit is here (timetable, map, how to get there, advices and opinions).

Electric car, autonomous and automatic in the ecological city of the future Masdar City, in Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates ©Odyfolio

Genesis of Masdar City

The emirate of Abu Dhabi has greatly enriched through the export of oil. In less than a century, the small fishing port with a few hundred souls has become a megalopolis of several million inhabitants. The main island has been covered with apartment buildings, and in the 21st century hotels and luxury residences grow like mushrooms on the surrounding islands. Building a city in the middle of the desert has been possible by taming the water, desalinated in industrial quantities, thanks to gas reserves that seem limitless.

Under the leadership of Sheikh Zayed, the city and the emirate are looking for a greener future less dependent on fossil fuels. Thus was born the city of Masdar, nicknamed the city of the future, to experiment the technologies of tomorrow.

Built from the plans of the architectural firm Norman Foster, Masdar has gobbled up billions of dollars to build a slab of 150,000 m2, a few dozen buildings with their futuristic technologies, including an underground electric transport network with autonomous cars.

Masdar City Tour

Before visiting a sustainable city, you must first put your car in the car park. Then borrow one of four autonomous electric carts that lead to the center of the city.

Façade d'un immeuble de la ville écologique de Masdar City, à Abu Dhabi aux Émirats Arabes Unis ©Odyfolio

The rest takes place on foot. Start by heading to the Wind Tower, a modern replica of traditional wind towers, bringing freshness to the city center. For the rest of the visit, walk according to your desires and admire the architectures of buildings, each dedicated to a type of renewable energy: solar, wind, biomass, tides.

Modern wind tower in Masdar City, United Arab Emirates ©Odyfolio

What success for Masdar City?

After the fun of the little electric cars, the rest of the visit leaves us with many questions: are there really inhabitants in the city? why do they all have big 4x4s and are exempted from using electric carts? Why ten years after its construction the promoters of the Emirates did not adopt the technologies tested on the spot?

We realize that the experiment is not ready to become reality, because before building the city, it is necessary to prepare the populations. Let's just hope that this is not just a gigantic greenwashing operation organized by the emirate.

Access map and practical information

Masdar City is located right next to Abu Dhabi International Airport, on the edge of Khalifa City A. Easily reachable by car or taxi, head towards the airport. Free entry.

The closest hotel to Masdar City is Premier Inn but if you are coming to Masdar for business we would recommend staying on the nearby Yas Island or at Westin Golf Resort and Spa hotel.

Location of Masdar City in Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates ©OpenStreetMap contributors

Detailed access map to Masdar City, near Abu Dhabi International Airport ©OpenStreetMap contributors