Masdar's development cost for its carbon-neutral city has fallen by a total of $6bn since it was unveiled.
Masdar's development cost for its carbon-neutral city has fallen by a total of $6bn since it was unveiled.

Masdar City clips another $2.5bn from price tag



Masdar, the Abu Dhabi Government's clean energy company, has cut another US$2.5 billion (Dh9.18bn) from the cost of its carbon-neutral city project, reducing the price tag to $16bn.

The savings result from a recent review that abandoned a costly pod transit system, removed a raised podium design for the buildings and scrapped a plan to instal solar panels on all roofs.

The project's estimated cost has fallen by a total of $6bn, or 27 per cent, from $22bn when the original plan for Masdar City was unveiled less than three years ago.

Masdar completed a review of the master plan in October, dropping the price tag to $18.5bn, even as it extended the expected date for completion of the development by 10 years to 2025.

Dropping the podium on which the community would be built above a layer of infrastructure and settling on a plan to bury utility cables and pipes "has allowed huge savings on realising a city of the same size", said Mark Bone-Knell, the intellectual property manager of Masdar's property development unit. "None of the original aims of the city have been diluted."

Mr Bone-Knell was speaking at a Yas Island media forum organised by the German government.

But Masdar has found some elements of the development plan to be uneconomical. Gone is a proposal for a pod-based personal rapid transit (PRT) system, which would have run beneath the podium.

PRT pods are already running at the development site but only from the gate to the recently opened building that houses the Masdar Institute, a post-graduate university with a focus on clean energy. The pod cars are part of a pilot project, Mr Bone-Knell said.

While the economics for installing rooftop panels across the city to generate electricity did not pass muster, Masdar is now looking at options for adding further ground-mounted photovoltaic arrays to the 10-megawatt system already installed. That grid-connected array is powering the construction of Masdar City and supplying electricity to the Masdar Institute.

Perhaps the most sweeping change to the original plan is that construction will proceed by neighbourhoods instead of all at once, allowing lessons learned from each phase to be applied to the next.

The target for completing the first integrated neighbourhood is 2016, Mr Bone-Knell said.

Frank Wouters, the director of Masdar Power, said exploratory wells had found "pockets" of hot water in rock formations 2.5km beneath the Masdar City development site. Masdar was assessing plans to extract the water for use in a district cooling scheme.

The temperature of the deep subterranean water was about 95°C, which Mr Wouters said was too cool for a geothermal power generation project "but hot enough for cooling".

Masdar and its Icelandic partner, Reykjavik Geothermal, which drilled the wells, are appraising whether the water yield would be sufficient for a cooling project to be economical.

Results were expected in the second quarter next year, Mr Wouters said.

A bonus from the geothermal investigation is the collection of data on the hydrology of the region suggesting that hot-water pockets might be distributed beneath a wide swath of coastal Abu Dhabi. That could mean supplies of hot water for other district cooling projects.

Masdar is also studying plans to build a 500km pipeline network for carbon capture. Keristofer Seryani, the project's deputy managing director, said it was expected that 50km of the pipeline will be complete by 2014.

HEY MERCEDES, WHAT CAN YOU DO FOR ME?

Mercedes-Benz's MBUX digital voice assistant, Hey Mercedes, allows users to set up commands for:

• Navigation

• Calls

• In-car climate

• Ambient lighting

• Media controls

• Driver assistance

• General inquiries such as motor data, fuel consumption and next service schedule, and even funny questions

There's also a hidden feature: pressing and holding the voice command button on the steering wheel activates the voice assistant on a connected smartphone – Siri on Apple's iOS or Google Assistant on Android – enabling a user to command the car even without Apple CarPlay or Android Auto

KEY DATES IN AMAZON'S HISTORY

July 5, 1994: Jeff Bezos founds Cadabra Inc, which would later be renamed to Amazon.com, because his lawyer misheard the name as 'cadaver'. In its earliest days, the bookstore operated out of a rented garage in Bellevue, Washington

July 16, 1995: Amazon formally opens as an online bookseller. Fluid Concepts and Creative Analogies: Computer Models of the Fundamental Mechanisms of Thought becomes the first item sold on Amazon

1997: Amazon goes public at $18 a share, which has grown about 1,000 per cent at present. Its highest closing price was $197.85 on June 27, 2024

1998: Amazon acquires IMDb, its first major acquisition. It also starts selling CDs and DVDs

2000: Amazon Marketplace opens, allowing people to sell items on the website

2002: Amazon forms what would become Amazon Web Services, opening the Amazon.com platform to all developers. The cloud unit would follow in 2006

2003: Amazon turns in an annual profit of $75 million, the first time it ended a year in the black

2005: Amazon Prime is introduced, its first-ever subscription service that offered US customers free two-day shipping for $79 a year

2006: Amazon Unbox is unveiled, the company's video service that would later morph into Amazon Instant Video and, ultimately, Amazon Video

2007: Amazon's first hardware product, the Kindle e-reader, is introduced; the Fire TV and Fire Phone would come in 2014. Grocery service Amazon Fresh is also started

2009: Amazon introduces Amazon Basics, its in-house label for a variety of products

2010: The foundations for Amazon Studios were laid. Its first original streaming content debuted in 2013

2011: The Amazon Appstore for Google's Android is launched. It is still unavailable on Apple's iOS

2014: The Amazon Echo is launched, a speaker that acts as a personal digital assistant powered by Alexa

2017: Amazon acquires Whole Foods for $13.7 billion, its biggest acquisition

2018: Amazon's market cap briefly crosses the $1 trillion mark, making it, at the time, only the third company to achieve that milestone

Water waste

In the UAE’s arid climate, small shrubs, bushes and flower beds usually require about six litres of water per square metre, daily. That increases to 12 litres per square metre a day for small trees, and 300 litres for palm trees.

Horticulturists suggest the best time for watering is before 8am or after 6pm, when water won't be dried up by the sun.

A global report published by the Water Resources Institute in August, ranked the UAE 10th out of 164 nations where water supplies are most stretched.

The Emirates is the world’s third largest per capita water consumer after the US and Canada.

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Company name: Revibe
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Industry: Refurbished electronics
Funds raised so far: $10m
Investors: Flat6Labs, Resonance and various others

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Starring: Nawazuddin Siddiqui, Bidita Bag, Jatin Goswami

Three stars

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Investment stage: Series A
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UAE athletes heading to Paris 2024

Equestrian

Abdullah Humaid Al Muhairi, Abdullah Al Marri, Omar Al Marzooqi, Salem Al Suwaidi, and Ali Al Karbi (four to be selected).

Judo
Men: Narmandakh Bayanmunkh (66kg), Nugzari Tatalashvili (81kg), Aram Grigorian (90kg), Dzhafar Kostoev (100kg), Magomedomar Magomedomarov (+100kg); women's Khorloodoi Bishrelt (52kg).

Cycling
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Swimming

Men: Yousef Rashid Al Matroushi (100m freestyle); women: Maha Abdullah Al Shehi (200m freestyle).

Athletics

Maryam Mohammed Al Farsi (women's 100 metres).

Alita: Battle Angel

Director: Robert Rodriguez

Stars: Rosa Salazar, Christoph Waltz, Keean Johnson

Four stars

Results:

5pm: Handicap (PA) | Dh80,000 | 1,600 metres

Winner: Dasan Da, Saeed Al Mazrooei (jockey), Helal Al Alawi (trainer)

5.30pm: Maiden (PA) | Dh80,000 | 1,600m

Winner: AF Saabah, Tadhg O’Shea, Ernst Oertel

6pm: Handicap (PA) | Dh80,000 | 1,600m

Winner: Mukaram, Pat Cosgrave, Eric Lemartinel

6.30pm: Handicap (PA) | Dh80,000 | 2,200m

Winner: MH Tawag, Richard Mullen, Elise Jeanne

7pm: Wathba Stallions Cup Handicap (PA) | Dh70,000 | 1,400m

Winner: RB Inferno, Fabrice Veron, Ismail Mohammed

7.30pm: Handicap (TB) | Dh100,000 | 1,600m

Winner: Juthoor, Jim Crowley, Erwan Charpy

The years Ramadan fell in May

1987

1954

1921

1888

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  • High fever
  • Intense pain behind your eyes
  • Severe headache
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  • Choose cars with GCC specifications
  • Get a service history for cars less than five years old
  • Don’t go cheap on the inspection
  • Check for oil leaks
  • Do a Google search on the standard problems for your car model
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Dubai World Cup Carnival Card:

6.30pm: Handicap US$135,000 (Turf) 1,200m
7.05pm: Handicap $135,000 (Dirt) 1,200m​​​​​​​
7.40pm: Zabeel Turf Listed $175,000 (T) 2,000m​​​​​​​
8.15pm: Cape Verdi Group Two $250,000 (T) 1,600m​​​​​​​
8.50pm: Handicap $135,000 (D) 1,600m​​​​​​​
9.25pm: Handicap $175,000 (T) 1,600m

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  • Solo riders only, no passengers allowed
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Founder: Mo Ibrahim
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ICC men's cricketer of the year

2004 - Rahul Dravid (IND) ; 2005 - Jacques Kallis (SA) and Andrew Flintoff (ENG); 2006 - Ricky Ponting (AUS); 2007 - Ricky Ponting; 2008 - Shivnarine Chanderpaul (WI); 2009 - Mitchell Johnson (AUS); 2010 - Sachin Tendulkar (IND); 2011 - Jonathan Trott (ENG); 2012 - Kumar Sangakkara (SL); 2013 - Michael Clarke (AUS); 2014 - Mitchell Johnson; 2015 - Steve Smith (AUS); 2016 - Ravichandran Ashwin (IND); 2017 - Virat Kohli (IND); 2018 - Virat Kohli; 2019 - Ben Stokes (ENG); 2021 - Shaheen Afridi