Dubai hopes to be one of the top ten most sustainable cities in the world by 2020 and no doubt this will become a reality as we all know that we’re living in one of the most innovative cities in the world. For now though, there’s a new place you can live that covers 46 hectares of land that’s aiming to be Dubai’s first completely self-sustainable area. This place is Sustainable City and here we’ll answer all those burning questions about what it’s like to live there…
Villas and facilities
There are 500 villas grouped into 5 clusters, connected to a farm. Each cluster is named after a different species of date palm – Lulu, Berhi, Hilali, Jabri and Khalas and it will be home to 2,700 residents when The Sustainable City is fully occupied.
The whole community is well thought through with villas having LED lights, paint and glass that deflect the sun and heat, and they are designed to have very few windows (if any) that have direct sunlight. The gardens are lawned if you require it.
Each cluster has its own park, and with no cars allowed to drive around once you’re inside, there’s plenty of space for your children to play outside and ride their bikes.
The kitchens and laundry room are fully fitted with Siemens and Smeg appliances which are not only reputable brands but they’re all energy efficient too.
The facilities inside include a tennis and basketball court, a 5-a-side football pitch, a running track that’s 6km long, a 4km cycle path, an equestrian centre with a 4km horse trail and stables and bio domes with fresh herbs (which they’ll deliver free to your door). There’s a huge swimming pool in the central courtyard, garden allotments to grow your own veg, outdoor gym stations dotted about, a nursery, electric golf buggy concierge services as well as many golf buggies around for residents to use.
Whilst everything isn’t open yet, a Zoom Supermarket, hair salon, tutoring centre and pet shop amongst other are, and the centre they are housed in called The Plaza is billed as being the future “hub of the community.” Like many other developments in Dubai, there will be the usual range of shops, dry cleaners and restaurants etc all walkable from your home and nestled into 15,000 metres of space.
TSC management arranges many community activities from power walking to boot camp, movie nights and Easter egg hunts and it’s got a great community feel!
British mum Kate Holbrook said “We chose TSC mainly because it doesn’t allow cars into the community. It creates a safe place for our children to have the run of the place. We also love the solar panels that are on every roof and car park. We create solar energy that feeds into the DEWA grid and that’s taken off our energy bill each month and our hot water is heated by solar as well.”
It’s located on Um Suqueim Road in Dubailand, next door to Arabian Ranches 2 and just across the road from Mudon and Akoya, and a short drive from Al Barsha and Downtown Dubai (approximately 20 minutes away).
The borders of The Sustainable City are a 10m high buffer zone, with 2,500 trees being planted to be able to purify the air coming in to the area. Inside there will be a further 10,000 trees and the city produces 10 Mega Watts of solar power!
Here are a few interesting facts – Sustainable City generates power from 40,000 solar panels throughout the complex. There are the two lakes of recycled water connected by a stream to irrigate all the greenery and there’s a green farm running through the centre, with 11 bio dome green houses with a total capacity of over 3,000 square metres for urban farming. The goal of the farm is to grow as many fruits and vegetables as possible to help sustain the whole community.
The highlight of the development is the Diamond Innovation Centre. It’s said to be “the brain” of Sustainable City and the centre is the first positive energy building in the region. If you are unsure what this means, then prepare to be surprised! Over a 50 year lifespan, the building itself will produce 140% of its own energy requirements – offsetting the emissions produced during construction, operation and decommissioning of the whole project!
Renting and Buying
Sotheby’s Gulf are the agents that does both the rentals and sales. They’re located on site and will take potential residents wanting to take a look on a tour. It’s very easy to come to the TSC sales office and choose which rental property you prefer, directly from them. Prices for renting typically range from 200K AED per year for a 3 bedroom villa to 300K AED for a 4 bed garden villa per year and the rent can be paid in four cheques (phew!) with a standard three month cancellation clause.
If you’re thinking of buying there, sales prices for villas typically range from about 3.36 million AED to 5.4 million AED but there are studio, one and two bed apartments as well.
This is taken care of on site as well as residents being able to use an app called ‘My Building’ which makes it easy to log requests to get things fixed. There’s also zero net maintenance fees meaning you’ll only pay for parts if they’re out of guarantee.
Hot on the lips of every British Mum is that all important question of bills….TSC claim that residents can have up to 50% lower energy bills than the rest of Dubai. The service charge for a 3 bedroom villa is 950 AED per month. Each villa has their solar roof panels, a water recycling system and features that ensure homes remain as energy efficient as possible. You have to be connected to DEWA but your solar energy gets “sold” to DEWA so it’s credited back to your account. Kate told us that her electric bill since moving in had been really low, and her water charge had been just 40 AED – and we’re loving the sound of that!
One of the questions that Sustainable City residents are asked time and time again is how does it work not parking your car at your villa? British mum Kate responds “It’s fine. Where we are it’s a very close walk to our cars that are under cover and the upside is that the lack of cars in the community, make it safe (and also quiet) and it creates a resort-like environment where people walk in the evenings and children can play all over the community.”
Features yet to come
As if that’s not enough, there’s lots in store in time for The Sustainable City residents! There’s going to be the world’s first fully solar powered hotel in the world – Hotel Indigo, (part of the Intercontinental group). It will be a building totally powered by 100% solar energy and all waste and waste water produced by the hotel will be recycled – amazing.
There will also be a Country Club (think lazy weekends at the Clubhouse) that incorporates a world class wellness centre that takes a holistic approach to healing. It will comprise of two main facilities: a rehabilitation centre and a 430 square metre sports complex including a gym.
In time, there will be a school modelled around sustainability too. The school aims to instil a love of learning, an appreciation of ‘green living’, and at the same time develop well rounded, globally minded problem solvers. Sounds good to us! For more info or to arrange a viewing, you can email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Although this development has been built to be completely self-sustainable, it’s important for all of us living in Dubai to follow the examples that have been set. We can add so our bit and live as ‘green’ as possible. Amruta Kshemkalyani, a mum who is an advocate for green living in Dubai, shared her tips on how you and your family can do your part for the environment here and you can read more here