Vice president Mohammed Bin Rashid launches the " Sheikh Mohammed Bin Rashid Al Maktoum Solar Park " which will cost AED 12 billion

WAM *** Local Caption ***  023994dd-7801-4900-b729-0e8fb4666c96.jpg
Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid attends the launch event of the solar park yesterday.

Dh12bn solar plant for Dubai

DUBAI // The emirate is planning a multi-billion-dirham solar energy park to reduce its dependence on fossil fuels and decrease its carbon footprint, officials announced yesterday.

The Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum solar park will be built in phases over the next two decades, aiming to reach a capacity output of 1,000 megawatts (MW) by 2030.

The launch event in Dubai yesterday was attended by Sheikh Mohammed, the Vice President and Ruler of Dubai, after whom the park has been named.

The facility will be located in Seih Al Dahal, 30 kilometres southeast of Dubai and will take up approximately 48 square kilometres of space.

"We have a plan to diversify the energy [sector] in Dubai and to increase solar power to 1 per cent by 2020 and 5 per cent by 2030," said Saeed Al Tayer, the vice chairman of the Supreme Council of Energy.

Dubai produces 4.5MW of solar power in private, small-scale systems. These systems use photovoltaic (PV) technology, which converts sunlight into electricity.

The new solar park will utilise solar PV as well as another technology known as concentrated solar power, in which sunlight is reflected from large rows of mirrors on to a smaller area where the sun's heat is collected and then used to produce energy.

The details of how the emirate hopes to increase its output from 4.5MW to 1,000MW, and exactly who would foot the Dh12 billion construction bill for the facility, have yet to be announced.

"We are going to award a contract to an international consultant where they will submit a road map of how to get there," said Mr Al Tayer, who is also the managing director and chief executive of the Dubai Electricity and Water Authority (Dewa).

The consultant will advise on how to connect the new solar capacity to the electricity grid and on how to encourage investment.

"From an economic point of view, solar energy needs a contribution," said Nejib Zaafrani, the Secretary General and chief executive of the Supreme Council of Energy.

Ways to encourage investment in solar projects could include establishing preferential tariffs or providing compensation to renewable-energy producers. The introduction of such measures, also known as feed-in-tariffs, has been instrumental in establishing Germany and Spain among the world's leading countries in clean energy.

Mr Al Tayer and Mr Zaafrani said feed-in-tariffs were being considered as one option, but the matter needed further study.

The project will begin with the establishment of a 10MW solar plant. This facility will use PV technology and will feed electricity to the grid. Work has already started on the project, which should cost about Dh120 million.

Consultants have already been selected, and a tender to construct the facility should be out in summer this year. The project is expected to be operational at the end of 2013.

"The first 10MW ... is financed 100 per cent by the Supreme Council of Energy in Dubai," said Mr Zaafrani. "For future projects, to reach one gigawatt, we are working on many fronts."

While solar energy plants have the advantage of not releasing greenhouse gases - and are thus touted as eco-friendly alternatives to plants that burn fossil fuels - they are more expensive to build.

The good news is, because of advances in technology and an increase in use, prices have been falling. Mr Al Tayer said that in 2004, it cost 120 fils to produce a kilowatt of electricity using solar technology, but that the cost is now 70 fils.

"We hope that in future we will witness more decreases in price," he said.

Sami Khoreibi, the chief executive of Enviromena Power Systems, an Abu Dhabi company that builds solar photovoltaic systems, said the launch of the project was a step in the right direction.

"It is fantastic. It is another market place for sustainable energy in the Middle East," he said. "We will be very interested in the timing of these projects."

Turning waste into fuel

Average amount of biofuel produced at DIC factory every month: Approximately 106,000 litres

Amount of biofuel produced from 1 litre of used cooking oil: 920ml (92%)

Time required for one full cycle of production from used cooking oil to biofuel: One day

Energy requirements for one cycle of production from 1,000 litres of used cooking oil:
▪ Electricity - 1.1904 units
▪ Water- 31 litres
▪ Diesel – 26.275 litres

Brief scores:

Barcelona 3

Pique 38', Messi 51 (pen), Suarez 82'

Rayo Vallecano 1

De Tomas Gomez 24'


Kolkata Knight Riders 169-7 (20 ovs)
Rajasthan Royals 144-4 (20 ovs)

Kolkata win by 25 runs

Next match

Sunrisers Hyderabad v Kolkata Knight Riders, Friday, 5.30pm

Inside Out 2

Director: Kelsey Mann

Starring: Amy Poehler, Maya Hawke, Ayo Edebiri

Rating: 4.5/5

if you go

The flights

Etihad flies direct from Abu Dhabi to San Francisco from Dh5,760 return including taxes.

The car

Etihad Guest members get a 10 per cent worldwide discount when booking with Hertz, as well as earning miles on their rentals (more at A week's car hire costs from Dh1,500 including taxes.

The hotels

Along the route, Motel 6 ( offers good value and comfort, with rooms from $55 (Dh202) per night including taxes. In Portland, the Jupiter Hotel ( has rooms from $165 (Dh606) per night including taxes. The Society Hotel has rooms from $130 (Dh478) per night including taxes.

More info

To keep up with constant developments in Portland, visit

Our legal consultant

Name: Dr Hassan Mohsen Elhais

Position: legal consultant with Al Rowaad Advocates and Legal Consultants.

The Africa Institute 101

Housed on the same site as the original Africa Hall, which first hosted an Arab-African Symposium in 1976, the newly renovated building will be home to a think tank and postgraduate studies hub (it will offer master’s and PhD programmes). The centre will focus on both the historical and contemporary links between Africa and the Gulf, and will serve as a meeting place for conferences, symposia, lectures, film screenings, plays, musical performances and more. In fact, today it is hosting a symposium – 5-plus-1: Rethinking Abstraction that will look at the six decades of Frank Bowling’s career, as well as those of his contemporaries that invested social, cultural and personal meaning into abstraction. 

Apple Mac through the years

1984 - Apple unveiled the Macintosh on January 24
1985 - Steve Jobs departed from Apple and established NeXT
1986 - Apple introduced the Macintosh Plus, featuring enhanced memory
1987 - Apple launched the Macintosh II, equipped with colour capabilities
1989 - The widely acclaimed Macintosh SE/30 made its debut
1994 - Apple presented the Power Macintosh
1996 - The Macintosh System Software OS underwent a rebranding as Mac OS
2001 - Apple introduced Mac OS X, marrying Unix stability with a user-friendly interface
2006 - Apple adopted Intel processors in MacBook Pro laptops
2008 - Apple introduced the MacBook Air, a lightweight laptop
2012 - Apple launched the MacBook Pro with a retina display
2016 - The Mac operating system underwent rebranding as macOS
2020 - Apple introduced the M1 chip for Macs, combining high performance and energy efficiency
2022 - The M2 chip was announced
2023 -The M3 line-up of chip was announced to improve performance and add new capabilities for Mac.


Company name: Revibe
Started: 2022
Founders: Hamza Iraqui and Abdessamad Ben Zakour
Based: UAE
Industry: Refurbished electronics
Funds raised so far: $10m
Investors: Flat6Labs, Resonance and various others


Director: Nikhil Nagesh Bhat

Starring: Lakshya, Tanya Maniktala, Ashish Vidyarthi, Harsh Chhaya, Raghav Juyal

Rating: 4.5/5

The burning issue

The internal combustion engine is facing a watershed moment – major manufacturer Volvo is to stop producing petroleum-powered vehicles by 2021 and countries in Europe, including the UK, have vowed to ban their sale before 2040. The National takes a look at the story of one of the most successful technologies of the last 100 years and how it has impacted life in the UAE.

Part three: an affection for classic cars lives on

Read part two: how climate change drove the race for an alternative 

Read part one: how cars came to the UAE

The specs

Engine: 2.3-litre 4cyl turbo
Power: 299hp at 5,500rpm
Torque: 420Nm at 2,750rpm
Transmission: 10-speed auto
Fuel consumption: 12.4L/100km
On sale: Now
Price: From Dh157,395 (XLS); Dh199,395 (Limited)

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

Know before you go
  • Jebel Akhdar is a two-hour drive from Muscat airport or a six-hour drive from Dubai. It’s impossible to visit by car unless you have a 4x4. Phone ahead to the hotel to arrange a transfer.
  • If you’re driving, make sure your insurance covers Oman.
  • By air: Budget airlines Air Arabia, Flydubai and SalamAir offer direct routes to Muscat from the UAE.
  • Tourists from the Emirates (UAE nationals not included) must apply for an Omani visa online before arrival at The process typically takes several days.
  • Flash floods are probable due to the terrain and a lack of drainage. Always check the weather before venturing into any canyons or other remote areas and identify a plan of escape that includes high ground, shelter and parking where your car won’t be overtaken by sudden downpours.


Our legal consultant

Name: Dr Hassan Mohsen Elhais

Position: legal consultant with Al Rowaad Advocates and Legal Consultants.


Scotland 59 (Tries: Hastings (2), G Horne (3), Turner, Seymour, Barclay, Kinghorn, McInally; Cons: Hastings 8)

Russia 0

UAE athletes heading to Paris 2024

Abdullah Humaid Al Muhairi, Abdullah Al Marri, Omar Al Marzooqi, Salem Al Suwaidi, and Ali Al Karbi (four to be selected).
Men: Narmandakh Bayanmunkh (66kg), Nugzari Tatalashvili (81kg), Aram Grigorian (90kg), Dzhafar Kostoev (100kg), Magomedomar Magomedomarov (+100kg); women's Khorloodoi Bishrelt (52kg).

Safia Al Sayegh (women's road race).

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

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

Director: Nag Ashwin

Starring: Prabhas, Saswata Chatterjee, Deepika Padukone, Amitabh Bachchan, Shobhana

Rating: ★★★★

Alita: Battle Angel

Director: Robert Rodriguez

Stars: Rosa Salazar, Christoph Waltz, Keean Johnson

Four stars

The specs

Engine: 3.5-litre twin-turbo V6

Power: 380hp at 5,800rpm

Torque: 530Nm at 1,300-4,500rpm

Transmission: Eight-speed auto

Price: From Dh299,000 ($81,415)

On sale: Now

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