When it comes to the best Abu Dhabi tourist places, Masdar City is a big name in the UAE. It’s going to be a city within a city, being constructed 17 kilometers (11 mi) east-south-east of the city of Abu Dhabi. For foreigners, it’s a must-visit place.
You will see commercial buildings as well as residential apartments and homes. There are cafes, restaurants, and parks for entertainment and recreational activities.
And one of the noteworthy things about Masdar is it is a zero-waste city that runs on solar energy and other renewable energy, emerging as one of a kind low-carbon urban community in the UAE.
If you are interested in exploring this city more, this article will be your best guide. Keep reading to find out how you can make the most of your visit and what to expect there.
Masdar gives you European vibes as it is very friendly to pedestrians and cyclists. From some distance, you may mistake the city for a cube. Terracotta walls decorated with arabesque patterns give it a unique look.
As you move on the streets, you will feel a significant difference in the temperature. Much different from the merciless Arab desserts, these streets feel a lot cooler. Generally, the city’s temperature remains around 10°C to 15°C lower than the surrounding deserts.
This temperature difference is due to the unique construction of Masdar. It features a 45-meter high wind tower that sucks air from the sky and pushes it through the city’s streets. Also, Masdar is constructed slightly above sea levels to create a cooling effect.
The architects purposely clustered the buildings together to shield the city from the sun, you won’t feel the sun’s heat while walking on its streets.
So if you are a foreigner coming from a cold region, you will feel a lot more comfortable there. It may not be as cool as Europe but it’s way more pleasant than Dubai, Abu Dhabi, and other cities in the UAE.
Another highlight of Masdar City is its modern transport system. The locals and tourists travel via public mass transit and personal rapid transit. There are roads and railways that connect you to other locations outside the city.
There are no motor vehicles allowed within the premises of the city. The idea behind this ban is to keep the city cool and free from pollution. When you reach the gates of the city, you have to leave your car outside and use public transport.
To boost sustainability and a carbon-free environment, Masdar uses a mix of electrical vehicles and other clean-energy vehicles for transit inside the city. The authorities are planning to further improve the transportation system inside the city without changing the laws but by leveraging modern technology.
Masdar Institute of Science and Technology
Masdar is one of the best free places to visit in Abu Dhabi if you are interested in science and technology. As one of a kind university in the UAE, the Masdar Institute of Science & Technology is a graduate-level university where students research on environment and energy.
The students of this university are tasked to find ways for creating environmental sustainability and clean technology. Located in the center of the city, this institution was Masdar City’s first ever building.
When you walk into the university, the traditional architectural elements communicate Masdar’s future goals such as energy sustainability and a cleaner environment.
Back in 2013, around 2000 applicants from the UAE and outside went through the admission test and only 336 students were selected. Around 42% of the total students are locals and 35% of them are female. The core parts of the institute’s research are energy efficiency, smart grids, water consumption, environmental engineering, and electronics.
Due to Masdar’s heavy investment in research and development, the institute’s personal building uses 51% less electricity and 54% less potable water than traditional buildings in the UAE.
Another interesting place to visit in Masdar City is the Siemen’s office, a German multinational conglomerate corporation and one of the leading industrial manufacturing companies in Europe.
If you are an aspiring engineer or have any interest in the healthcare and energy sector, a visit to Siemens’ regional headquarter will be a lifetime experience for you. Hundreds of staff members work there in various departments.
Siemens’ office to is designed to use 45 percent less energy and 50 percent less water than typical office buildings. In 2012 this building won the award for the best office building at the MIPIM Architectural Review Future Projects Awards.
This unique space is built around the idea of a “box within a box”. With a highly insulated airtight inner facade and a shading system on the exterior, it feels comfy and cool from the inside.
There’s an intelligent mechanism behind the construction of this building that allows daylight into the center of the building, reducing the need for artificial lighting inside.
A visit to this building will be a great learning experience for anyone. You will explore the possibilities of clean technology and sustainability, which can’t be seen anywhere else in the world but only in Masdar City.
Looking for a bit of buzz in Masdar City or the usual city-like hustle and bustle? Visit the Incubator Building, it houses several start-ups, corporate offices, small and medium-sized enterprises, and regional offices for multinationals.
Some of the most notable tenants of this building are General Electric, Mitsubishi, Schneider Electric, the Global Green Growth Institute, and Alpin Limited.
This building also houses the General Electric Ecomagination Centre which offers training on energy and water efficiency.
There are no charges for going inside, so feel free to explore and learn from its state-of-the-art architecture.
Sporting Facilities & Outdoor Gym
For the residents and the visitors, there are sporting facilities and an outdoor gym featuring modern equipment. You will find a basketball court and football pitch adjacent to Masdar Park. Also, there’s a 5.6 km long biking and cycling track.
All in all, Masdar City has everything one can dream of. And best of all, every technology is efficient and environment friendly.
The Best Places for Dinner & Lunch in Masdar?
There are numerous dining facilities inside the city:
- Burro Blanco
- Caribou Coffee
- Dolci & Capricci
- Café di Roma
- Rozalina Restaurant and Sweets
- Spinneys Cafeteria
- Sumo Sushi & Bento
How Do You Visit Masdar City?
Masdar is an ideal tourist spot in Abu Dhabi for people of all ages. To travel to the main Masdar City, you park your car outside the city. And from there, a shuttle service will take you to the Masdar City podium. Buses usually drop off the visitors at the Siemens HQ. From there, you will be on your own and have the freedom to visit any building.