Masdar City is a flagship project of Abu Dhabi and is the first planned sustainable city in the world. It aims to be a commercially viable development with the lowest environmental impact. The master plan of the mixed-use community includes residential areas, parks, neighbourhood amenities, plazas and employment-generating land uses. The area is already home to the International Renewable Energy Agency (IRENA), among many other global companies.
Masdar City is built by Masdar, a subsidiary of the Mubadala Development Company, while the majority of seed capital (AED 55B (USD 15B)) comes from the Government of Abu Dhabi. The construction of Masdar City started in 2008 with the projected completion by 2030. In 2021, it was named the most sustainable city in the world by Cityscape Intelligence as the urban development focuses on making the environment greener and cleaner with the following features:
Primarily, Masdar City was planned to be a car-free, zero-carbon and sustainable city. However, due to certain challenges during the initial construction, it has been decided to make it just low-carbon. The main goal of the upcoming project is to promote sustainable living through the real-world solutions in mobility, reduction of waste as well as energy and water efficiency.
The walkable environment of Masdar City provides an array of cleantech transit options. These include:
Masdar City is conveniently situated in the south of Abu Dhabi, in close proximity to Abu Dhabi International Airport. Meanwhile, the urban development of Khalifa City and the leisure zone of Yas Island can be reached within 20 minutes. Homebuyers will be keen to learn that the central part of Abu Dhabi is also easily accessible within a maximum of 30 minutes. Masdar City boasts great connectivity with the Abu Dhabi Al Shahama Road, providing an easy commute to/from Dubai, which is slightly over 1 hour away. The master plan of Masdar City also includes construction of the Metro and the Light Rail Transit to pass through the development.
The most sustainable mall in Abu Dhabi, My City Center Masdar, is located in the heart of Masdar City. The mall is anchored by the Carrefour hypermarket while offering various other retail and F&B spots which include Al Jaber Optical, Cinnabon and The Coffee Club.
Masdar City is built with the capacity to accommodate over 50,000 residents. Homebuyers and tenants are able to choose from a range of apartments, duplexes and townhouses with various layouts and sizes.
Leonardo Residence is situated in the very center of Masdar City, in close proximity to the Masdar Institute and the IRENA HQ and was completed in 2019. The 6-storey building features a collection of studios and 1, 2 and 3-bedroom apartments with an area ranging from 388 to 2,195 sq. ft. with a total of 175 residential units. . Homeowners have full access to swimming pools, a playground and a world-class gym. The starting price for a 1-bedroom apartment of 775 sq. ft. amounts to AED 800,000 (USD 218,000). As stated by Bayut & Dubizzle, Leonardo Residence was the most popular residence with buyers in Masdar City in H1 2021.
Oasis Residence is a 9-storey building offering 612 premium apartments. The development provides an opportunity to choose from an elegant collection of 1, 2 and 3-bedroom apartments, 2-bedroom duplexes and 2 and 3-bedroom townhouses. The living area of residential units ranges from 409 to 2,278 sq. ft. Completed in 2019, Oasis Residence includes barbecue areas, a swimming pool, a fully-equipped gym and a playground. Among residential amenities, there are store rooms, 24-hour security and maintenance services as well as basement parking. The starting price for a 1-bedroom apartment of 543 sq. ft. is AED 525,000 (USD 143,000), while a 2-bedroom duplex of 1,064 sq. ft. costs a minimum of AED 650,000 (USD 177,000). Two bedroom townhouses of 1,074 sq. ft. can be purchased for AED 1,540,000 (USD 420,000).
Since Masdar City was launched in 2008, it has managed to become a model for sustainable living and a hub for the development of world-class innovative projects. Companies based in Masdar City benefit from its exclusive ecosystem of R&D, technology, education, corporates and tech start-ups.
Due to the fact that Masdar City is an economic free zone, it already houses over 900 businesses from multinationals and SMEs to locally-based start-ups. Apart from IRENA, other businesses residing in Masdar City are the UAE Space Agency, Honeywell, Siemens and Tabreed. There is also a leading HealthTech company based in Masdar City; G42 Healthcare which is known for launching one of the world’s biggest COVID-19 testing and diagnostics laboratories. In addition to this, G42 Healthcare has established the Omics Center of Excellence; the biggest and most advanced Omics facility in terms of computational capacity, automation and technology coverage. Masdar City offers business 100% of the following:
Furthermore, there is One-Stop Shop providing a number of support services to residents of the upcoming sustainable development:
Investors in Masdar City have an opportunity to follow the lead of the previously mentioned-companies and create similar dedicated buildings as well as bespoke offices of their own. The office spaces and services are to be found in the new Accelerator Building and the existing Incubator Building designed to meet the highest standards of sustainability. An office space of 1,303 sq. ft. in Masdar City can be rented for AED 255,000 (USD 70,000) per annum
It is worth noting that Masdar City was the top choice for end-users and investors looking for affordable apartments for sale in Abu Dhabi in H1 2021, according to Bayut & Dubizzle. Buyers are attracted by its close proximity to Abu Dhabi International Airport and the development’s ample array of facilities. Masdar City is home to Takamul Academy, providing personal and skills development programmes, as well as the Ryan International School following the CBSE curriculum and Mohammed bin Zayed University of Artificial Intelligence; the world’s first university dedicated to artificial intelligence. Furthermore, GEMS Education is planned to be constructed there as well, which will follow the British curriculum and will be able to host 2,500 students. As of 2021, Masdar City offers the best ROI for affordable apartments in Abu Dhabi at 8.8%. Meanwhile, the annual rental price for a 1BR apartment of 1,100 sq. ft. is AED 50,000 (USD 13,600) per annum.
Currently, there are 2 residential projects under construction in Masdar City – The Gate and Al Mahra Residence.
The Gate, due for completion in Q2 2022, features 463 luxury residences for sale and to rent. These include studios, 1, 2 and 3-bedroom apartments of 387-2,195 sq. ft. The residential units are sold fully-furnished and offer a full set of kitchen appliances. The Gate offers a wide range of universal amenities such as a swimming pool, children’s zone, landscaped areas, bocce play area and a running track as well as other facilities. One can purchase a 1-bedroom apartment of 613 sq. ft. for AED 521,000 (USD 142,000).
Al Mahra Residence consists of 2 medium-rise buildings with 300 fully-equipped residential units of 477 – 2,106 sq. ft. Homebuyers can choose from a range of studios and 1, 2, 3-bedroom apartments. Moreover, there are also 1, 2 and 3-bedroom duplexes available for sale and to rent. The premium residences will offer terraces and private gardens overlooking the community swimming pool and the boulevards of Masdar City. The starting price for a 1-bedroom apartment of 520 sq. ft. is AED 430,000 (USD 117,000). Meanwhile, a 1-bedroom duplex of 932 sq. ft. can be acquired for AED 970,000 (USD 264,000). The estimated completion date is Q4 2022.
To bolster a sustainable lifestyle, Masdar City features a range of world-class recreational facilities for the local community and its residents. Residents will benefit from pedestrian-friendly paths which are perfect for active living and walking, among other world-class communal amenities.
Central Park is set to reflect the 4 principles of Estidama – environmental, economic, cultural and social. Similar to other developments in Masdar City, it is built with the highest sustainability system to minimize water and energy consumption, carbon emissions and operational waste. The main landmark of the park is a fog harvesting tower, collecting humidity as an irrigation system. Children will enjoy a storytelling stage in the Central Park, edible maze areas, climbers and green walls with vegetables and herbs. Other amenities include lawn areas, landscaped gardens, playground areas and F&B outlets.
Masdar Park also offers a number of world-class facilities such as a music wall, art installations showcasing sustainability and a children’s playground. Visitors can interact with The Tree of Light which is made from recycled building materials and changes its colour on touch. Moreover, it is possible to charge digital devices and mobile phones at the solar-powered benches in Masdar Park. Besides a picnic area, the development features F&B outlets in solar-powered recycled shipping containers. For outdoor exercise, there is a Al Mamsha trail which is more than 18,000 ft long and offers the latest exercise equipment, which is perfect for walking, biking, fitness sessions and running.
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