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Abu Dhabi

Thomas Heatherwick has designed a 'sunken oasis' public park for Abu Dhabi (image: Heather...

UK designer and architect Thomas Heatherwick has been commissioned to design a new public park in Abu Dhabi. The Al Fayah park will cover 125,000 sq m and has been described by Heatherwick as, "part architecture, part landscape, part cultural destination." Its design is a response to the desert landscape.  Read More

The Salicornia is one species of halophyte that is a promising feedstock for biofuel produ...

Whenever the topic of plant-derived biofuels is raised, the issue of turning valuable arable land over to the task of growing feedstock is generally not far behind. A discovery by the Sustainable Bioenergy Research Consortium (SRBC) that desert plants fed by seawater can produce biofuel more efficiently than other well-known feedstocks could help alleviate such concerns.  Read More

Ten GoSleep pods have been installed at Abu Dhabi International Airport to give weary trav...

If you’re a claustrophobic insomniac, the GoSleep sleeping pods probably won’t be of much interest to you, but for international travelers fighting with jet lag and tight schedules, being able to rent a private place to kip for an hour can be godsend. Abu Dhabi Airports Company (ADAC) announced last week that it has installed ten of the Finnish-designed GoSleep pods at Abu Dhabi International Airport to provide passengers with individual sleeping quarters while waiting for flights.  Read More

The Aedas-designed Al Bahr Towers (Image: Aedas)

Glass-skinned steel-frame skyscrapers have many advantages. They're relatively quick, inexpensive and easy to build and require comparatively few materials. But they pose problems; heat not least among them. Buildings with fully glazed facades are essentially greenhouses, so when the sun comes out, they can get uncomfortably hot. The problem that is more acute in hot climates like that of the United Arab Emirates, where, despite this fact, the appetite for glassy high-rise continues to be voracious. For its design of Al Bahr Towers in Abu Dhabi, Aedas has developed a unique intelligent skin, inspired by the traditional Arabic mashrabiya, that it claims reduces interior heat gains caused by sunlight by around 50 percent.  Read More

Eolewater's WMS1000 wind-driven water-harvesting system uses on-board cooling units to chi...

We've all seen ice cold glasses and bottles dripping with condensation after cooling water vapor in the air, and though grabbing water out of thin air is not new, it took French inventor and Eolewater founder Marc Parent's umpteenth emptying of his air conditioner's condensate to envision harvesting atmospheric moisture on a commercial scale using wind turbines. After years of designs and prototypes, his proof-of-concept device, essentially a wind-powered refrigeration/condensation/filtration unit, was put in operation in the dry desert air of Abu Dhabi last October where it's been reliably extracting 130-200 gal (approx. 500-800L) of clean, fresh water a day ever since.  Read More

Etihad Towers in Abu Dhabi

There was a time when every day seemed to herald the opening of a new hotel in the United Arab Emirates, each one pushing the envelope of acceptable taste further and further in an orgy of cartoon rococo gold mouldings (real gold) and marble for miles. Developer Jumeirah was responsible for its fair share of crimes against design. That time is over it seems as Jumeirah opens its latest hotel in the Etihad Towers in Abu Dhabi - Dubai's more sensible, and richer, uncle. The stunning modern towers enclose an interior that is a sophisticated and dare one say, fashionable, Euro-Arabic fusion.  Read More

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