Masdar was established in 2006 by the Mubadala Development Company (owned by the Abu Dhabi Government). The company is organized into 5 business units – Masdar Capital, Masdar Special Projects, Masdar Clean Energy, Masdar City & Masdar Free zone. The independent research arm that connects these is called the Masdar Institute. Masdar operations are spread across clean energy development, clean technology investment, consultancy, sustainable urban development, Masdar City Free Zone and Research & Development. Even though oil revenue is the biggest contributor to Abu Dhabi’s GDP, the Masdar project represents the vision of the Abu Dhabi government which clearly focuses on a sustainable future.
Masdar City is an ambitious integrated mixed-use sustainable city-within-a-city. It aims to reduce its carbon footprint by making use of clean energy sources and reducing energy and water consumption. The community is set to include commercial and residential properties, leisure avenues, retail complexes, a hotel and schools. Presently, there are a number of cafes, restaurants, bank branches and retail outlets in Masdar City and many more that will be coming up soon. Its commercial tenants include big companies like Siemens, General Electric and Mitsubishi. The Headquarter of IRENA (International Renewable Energy Agency) is also located in Masdar City. The community is expected to house over 40,000 residents and 50,000 commuters upon completion.
Recently, in April 2015, Masdar commenced the construction of the first residential complex within Masdar City. The complex will feature over 500 one-bedroom and two-bedroom apartments. The residential units will be built with sustainable materials and future residents will have access to retail outlets, a gym and pedestrian walkways. These apartments will form the first phase of residential development in Masdar City. Masdar City will also feature a serviced apartment development called Chic Residence. Construction has already begun on this development. Masdar City features a harmonious blend of modern technology & energy efficiency with traditional Arabic architecture.
Masdar City houses the Masdar Institute of Science & Technology which opened in September 2009. Today the Masdar Institute has over 500 students from 66 countries and over 90 faculty members from 30 different nationalities. The Institute currently offers 9 MSc programs and a PhD program. The innovative Wind Tower is an iconic landmark in the Masdar Institute which has been designed to bring cooler winds down to the ground level. Within the premises, all personal travel takes place via electrical PRT (Personal Rapid Transit) vehicles. The Institute campus has over 300 residential apartments for students and faculty members.