Creating a Sustainable Economy

A most ambitious development is taking shape next to Abu Dhabi airport: Masdar City, the world’s first carbon-neutral, zero-waste city powered entirely by renewable energy. Nope, it’s not the latest Hollywood fantasy but a real US$22 billion project to be completed by 2016. The firm of British starchitect Lord Norman Foster is providing the blueprint for what will essentially be a living laboratory for around 50,000 people. Some of the world’s brightest minds have gathered here to find new, clean and sustainable ways to build the cities of the future.

Masdar City is open to the public and can be explored on foot or using one of the podlike, driverless PRT (Personal Rapid Transit) vehicles. For a thorough background, download the free Exploring Masdar City booklet and a map from

Abu Dhabi's Foreign Labour

The large presence of foreign nationals in the region came about after the discovery of oil. Expatriates were brought in to help develop local industries and provide skills and knowledge in creating a modern infrastructure. Western expats were originally invited to contribute specialist know-how, while those from India, Pakistan and Bangladesh supplied most of the manual labour. Filipinos joined the region's health care services and professionals from Syria, Jordan, Iraq and Egypt played an important role in education.