Masdar City completion pushed back, but total cost falls

Final completion of the $22bn Masdar CIty carbon neutral development has been delayed by up to nine years, though the project could cost up 15 per cent less to build.

United Arab Emirates- Abu Dhabi - January 6, 2010:

NATIONAL: A solar tower will provide much of the energy for Masdar City in Abu Dhabi on Wednesday, January 6, 2010. Work is slated to be completed around April 2010 though students won't be able to inhabit the university space until the beginning of the next school semester in the fall. Amy Leang/The National
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Final completion of Masdar City, the carbon neutral development at the edge of the capital, has been put back by up to nine years, although its total cost could fall by up to 15 per cent, the chief executive of the project said today.

Masdar, which is wholly-owned by the Abu Dhabi Government, released the results of a 10-month review of the project, which was prompted by the changing property market, evolving technologies and construction lessons the company has learned over the past three years.

"The vision as a whole remains intact," said Sultan al Jaber, the chief executive of Masdar. "No scale-back, no scale-down," he added.

Masdar is now looking to complete the first phase of the project, which includes the Masdar Institute and the company's headquarters, by 2015, he said. Mr al Jaber said the review was not based solely on cost considerations, adding that the falling price of building materials and renewable technologies had cut the estimated US$22 billion (Dh 80.77bn) price-tag of the project by 10 to 15 per cent.

The city as a whole was originally intended to be completed by 2016 but that date has now been pushed back to between 2020 and 2025. Six buildings of the Masdar Institute, which are powered by solar panels, opened to students last month and classes have begun.