ABU DHABI, UNITED ARAB EMIRATES. 13 MAY 2018. Waleed Al Shamsi, Co-Founder of Falcon For Solar Sun - a new factory for solar water heaters and the first of its kind in the GCC. (Photo: Antonie Robertson/The National) Journalist: Vesela Todorova . Section: National.
Waleed Al Shamsi, co-founder of Falcon For Solar Sun - a local-start up that produces solar water heaters from its premises in Mafraq Industrial Area. Antonie Robertson / The National

Abu Dhabi brothers produce home-grown solar water heaters

When it comes to environmentally friendly products, the UAE is better known as a consumer rather than producer. However, a young Abu Dhabi company is hoping to change this.

Falcon For Solar Sun is a local start-up about to begin production of solar water heaters from its custom-built premises in the Mafraq Industrial Area. The company was set up by two brothers, Mohammed and Waleed Al Shamsi, with the support of the Khalifa Fund for Enterprise Development.

Solar water heaters rely on the power of the sun, rather than conventional electricity, to warm up water. The technology has been around for decades and makes both environmental and commercial sense for the UAE. Authorities in both Abu Dhabi and Dubai have mandated the use of solar water heaters in new developments.

The Al Shamsi brothers hope that their product could satisfy a good chunk of this demand with a high-quality, local product.

“This is a German technology, made fully in the UAE with high quality and full warranty,” said Waleed Al Shamsi.

The German link is Sven Steinbach, a German engineer, who is the designer of the solar hot water system.

“This country really wants to go green and we are part of this,” said Mr Steinbach, who is also the company’s general manager.

Mr Steinbach met Waleed Al Shamsi in 2015. The same year, the Al Shamsi brothers approached the Khalifa Fund for Enterprise Development for assistance. The project was approved and Falcon For Solar Sun received a loan of almost Dh2 million. Besides the loan, extended at very favourable terms, the company also received consultancy advice from the fund.

“The budget was very high, without the Government support we could not have done it,” said Mr Al Shamsi.


Read more:

How making solar cells in the UAE could boost the renewable energy sector

The UAE is steadfast in its support and deployment of renewable energy solutions


As the project promoted sustainability and energy conservation, the decision to support Falcon For Solar Sun “came easy”, said a fund representative.

“We are optimistic about the company’s future and the potential of its solar water heater product, given the existing robust market demand, fuelled in part by the government’s sustainability and green policies,” said the representative.

In Abu Dhabi, the Estidama building programme has requirements for solar hot water systems, while in Dubai, such systems are mentioned in the emirate’s Green Building Code, the representative said.

“These building codes are mandating property developers to set a provision in their newly-built villas and accommodations that will allow the inclusion of solar water heaters,” the representative said. “They also promote the use of solar power and other renewable resources in structures.”

“Studies have shown that around 750,000 solar water heaters will be required in the UAE alone in the next five years to help meet its sustainable development targets.”

Already, there are many solar water heating systems available on the market. Mr Al Shamsi believes that what makes his company’s product special is the high quality. The heater has very high solar fraction, (the amount of solar energy versus conventional energy used to heat water) – 75 per cent. In addition, it is the only product on the UAE market, manufactured with stainless steel. This decision was made to ensure the product withstands the UAE’s harsh weather conditions and the fact that the country relies on desalinated water, which has a high amount of dissolved minerals.

The product will retail for about Dh4,500 and is more expensive than some on the market. However, the company offers a 10-year warranty, as opposed to only two, which is the norm for lower-quality heaters. Finally, as this is a local product the company offers the opportunity to provide maintenance, which could be a draw for developers who need to install hundreds of the devices.

The company’s next step is to convince consultants and large-scale developers to consider the product, said Mr Al Shamsi.

UAE currency: the story behind the money in your pockets
Company profile

Company name: Fasset
Started: 2019
Founders: Mohammad Raafi Hossain, Daniel Ahmed
Based: Dubai
Sector: FinTech
Initial investment: $2.45 million
Current number of staff: 86
Investment stage: Pre-series B
Investors: Investcorp, Liberty City Ventures, Fatima Gobi Ventures, Primal Capital, Wealthwell Ventures, FHS Capital, VN2 Capital, local family offices


Name: Haltia.ai
Started: 2023
Co-founders: Arto Bendiken and Talal Thabet
Based: Dubai, UAE
Industry: AI
Number of employees: 41
Funding: About $1.7 million
Investors: Self, family and friends

Company Profile

Name: Neo Mobility
Started: February 2023
Co-founders: Abhishek Shah and Anish Garg
Based: Dubai
Industry: Logistics
Funding: $10 million
Investors: Delta Corp, Pyse Sustainability Fund, angel investors

The specs

Engine: 1.8-litre 4-cyl turbo
Power: 190hp at 5,200rpm
Torque: 320Nm from 1,800-5,000rpm
Transmission: Seven-speed dual-clutch auto
Fuel consumption: 6.7L/100km
Price: From Dh111,195
On sale: Now

Coming soon

Torno Subito by Massimo Bottura

When the W Dubai – The Palm hotel opens at the end of this year, one of the highlights will be Massimo Bottura’s new restaurant, Torno Subito, which promises “to take guests on a journey back to 1960s Italy”. It is the three Michelinstarred chef’s first venture in Dubai and should be every bit as ambitious as you would expect from the man whose restaurant in Italy, Osteria Francescana, was crowned number one in this year’s list of the World’s 50 Best Restaurants.

Akira Back Dubai

Another exciting opening at the W Dubai – The Palm hotel is South Korean chef Akira Back’s new restaurant, which will continue to showcase some of the finest Asian food in the world. Back, whose Seoul restaurant, Dosa, won a Michelin star last year, describes his menu as,  “an innovative Japanese cuisine prepared with a Korean accent”.

Dinner by Heston Blumenthal

The highly experimental chef, whose dishes are as much about spectacle as taste, opens his first restaurant in Dubai next year. Housed at The Royal Atlantis Resort & Residences, Dinner by Heston Blumenthal will feature contemporary twists on recipes that date back to the 1300s, including goats’ milk cheesecake. Always remember with a Blumenthal dish: nothing is quite as it seems. 

Where can I submit a sample?

Volunteers can now submit DNA samples at a number of centres across Abu Dhabi. The programme is open to all ages.

Collection centres in Abu Dhabi include:

  • Abu Dhabi National Exhibition Centre (ADNEC)
  • Biogenix Labs in Masdar City
  • Al Towayya in Al Ain
  • NMC Royal Hospital in Khalifa City
  • Bareen International Hospital
  • NMC Specialty Hospital, Al Ain
  • NMC Royal Medical Centre - Abu Dhabi
  • NMC Royal Women’s Hospital.

Feb 05 Arsenal 0-0 Sunderland

Feb 12 Manchester City 1-0 Arsenal

Feb 15 Middlesbrough 3-0 Arsenal

Feb 19 Arsenal 2-3 West Ham

Feb 26 Middlesbrough 4-1 Arsenal (FA Cup)

Mar 01 Everton 2-1 Arsenal

Mar 05  Arsenal 1-4 ipswich

March 08 Arsenal 1-2 West Brom

Mar 12 QPR 2-1 Arsenal

Mar 23 Stoke 1-1 Arsenal

Apr 02  Arsenal 3-0 Leicester

Indoor cricket in a nutshell

Indoor Cricket World Cup – Sep 16-20, Insportz, Dubai

16 Indoor cricket matches are 16 overs per side

8 There are eight players per team

9 There have been nine Indoor Cricket World Cups for men. Australia have won every one.

5 Five runs are deducted from the score when a wickets falls

4 Batsmen bat in pairs, facing four overs per partnership

Scoring In indoor cricket, runs are scored by way of both physical and bonus runs. Physical runs are scored by both batsmen completing a run from one crease to the other. Bonus runs are scored when the ball hits a net in different zones, but only when at least one physical run is score.


A Front net, behind the striker and wicketkeeper: 0 runs

B Side nets, between the striker and halfway down the pitch: 1 run

C Side nets between halfway and the bowlers end: 2 runs

D Back net: 4 runs on the bounce, 6 runs on the full

Key features of new policy

Pupils to learn coding and other vocational skills from Grade 6

Exams to test critical thinking and application of knowledge

A new National Assessment Centre, PARAKH (Performance, Assessment, Review and Analysis for Holistic Development) will form the standard for schools

Schools to implement online system to encouraging transparency and accountability


2.15pm: Maiden (PA) Dh40,000 1,700m; Winner: AF Arrab, Antonio Fresu (jockey), Ernst Oertel (trainer).

2.45pm: Maiden (PA) Dh40,000 1,700m; Winner: AF Mahaleel, Antonio Fresu, Ernst Oertel.

3.15pm: Sheikh Ahmed bin Rashid Al Maktoum handicap (TB) Dh200,000 2,000m; Winner: Dolmen, Richard Mullen, Satish Seemar.

3.45pm: Handicap (PA) Dh40,000 1,200m; Winner: Amang Alawda, Sandro Paiva, Bakhit Al Ketbi.

4.15pm: The Crown Prince of Sharjah Cup Prestige (PA) Dh200,000 1,200m; Winner: AF Alwajel, Tadhg O’Shea, Ernst Oertel.

4.45pm: Handicap (PA) Dh40,000 2,000m; Winner: Al Jazi, Jesus Rosales, Eric Lemartinel.


Company: Eco Way
Started: December 2023
Founder: Ivan Kroshnyi
Based: Dubai, UAE
Industry: Electric vehicles
Investors: Bootstrapped with undisclosed funding. Looking to raise funds from outside


Elena Rybakina (Kazakhstan)
Ons Jabeur (Tunisia)
Maria Sakkari (Greece)
Barbora Krejčíková (Czech Republic)
Beatriz Haddad Maia (Brazil)
Jeļena Ostapenko (Latvia)
Liudmila Samsonova
Daria Kasatkina 
Veronika Kudermetova 
Caroline Garcia (France) 
Magda Linette (Poland) 
Sorana Cîrstea (Romania) 
Anastasia Potapova 
Anhelina Kalinina (Ukraine)  
Jasmine Paolini (Italy) 
Emma Navarro (USA) 
Lesia Tsurenko (Ukraine)
Naomi Osaka (Japan) - wildcard
Emma Raducanu (Great Britain) - wildcard

Spider-Man: No Way Home

Director: Jon Watts

Stars: Tom Holland, Zendaya, Jacob Batalon 


Last 10 NBA champions

2017: Golden State bt Cleveland 4-1
2016: Cleveland bt Golden State 4-3
2015: Golden State bt Cleveland 4-2
2014: San Antonio bt Miami 4-1
2013: Miami bt San Antonio 4-3
2012: Miami bt Oklahoma City 4-1
2011: Dallas bt Miami 4-2
2010: Los Angeles Lakers bt Boston 4-3
2009: Los Angeles Lakers bt Orlando 4-1
2008: Boston bt Los Angeles Lakers 4-2


Name: DarDoc
Based: Abu Dhabi
Founders: Samer Masri, Keswin Suresh
Sector: HealthTech
Total funding: $800,000
Investors: Flat6Labs, angel investors + Incubated by Hub71, Abu Dhabi's Department of Health
Number of employees: 10


Company name: Klipit

Started: 2022

Founders: Venkat Reddy, Mohammed Al Bulooki, Bilal Merchant, Asif Ahmed, Ovais Merchant

Based: Dubai, UAE

Industry: Digital receipts, finance, blockchain

Funding: $4 million

Investors: Privately/self-funded

Company Profile

Company name: Hoopla
Date started: March 2023
Founder: Jacqueline Perrottet
Based: Dubai
Number of staff: 10
Investment stage: Pre-seed
Investment required: $500,000


Stage three:

1. Stefan Bissegger (SUI) EF Education-EasyPost, in 9-43

2. Filippo Ganna (ITA) Ineos Grenadiers, at 7s

3. Tom Dumoulin (NED) Jumbo-Visma, at 14s

4. Tadej Pogacar (SLO) UAE-Team Emirates, at 18s

5. Joao Almeida (POR) UAE-Team Emirates, at 22s

6. Mikkel Bjerg (DEN) UAE-Team Emirates, at 24s

General Classification:

1. Stefan Bissegger (SUI) EF Education-EasyPost, in 9-13-02

2. Filippo Ganna (ITA) Ineos Grenadiers, at 7s

3. Jasper Philipsen (BEL) Alpecin Fenix, at 12s

4. Tom Dumoulin (NED) Jumbo-Visma, at 14s

5. Tadej Pogacar (SLO) UAE-Team Emirates, at 18s

6. Joao Almeida (POR) UAE-Team Emirates, at 22s


Company: Justmop.com

Date started: December 2015

Founders: Kerem Kuyucu and Cagatay Ozcan

Sector: Technology and home services

Based: Jumeirah Lake Towers, Dubai

Size: 55 employees and 100,000 cleaning requests a month

Funding:  The company’s investors include Collective Spark, Faith Capital Holding, Oak Capital, VentureFriends, and 500 Startups. 

The years Ramadan fell in May





Most Read
Top Videos