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Cidade verde emerge do deserto (MASDAR CITY)

Postado por: raquel em 01/fev/2009 | Sem Comentários

About 10 miles along the motorway out of Abu Dhabi, Khaled Awad was trying his best to get visitors excited about a patch of scrubland. “This will be the city of the future,” he said, gesturing toward the shrubs and dirt. “Zero-carbon and run on totally renewable energy, it will be one of the first and biggest eco-clusters in the world.”

It takes some imagination. But Awad, head of development at Masdar City, insists that in a few years this plot of desert will be transformed into the most technologically advanced, environmentally friendly city in the world. Designed by the famed British architect Lord Foster, the 6.5 square kilometre “city of the future” will be suspended on stilts 20 ft above the ground, increasing air circulation and reducing the heat transferred from the hot desert floor.

It will be split into three decks that separate transport from residential and public spaces and cars won’t be allowed anywhere. “With the design, we wanted to shock the public, to get them thinking about the possibilities of what a city can be,” said Awad.

On the lower deck residents will be ferried round the city by thousands of Personal Rapid Transport Pods, which look like space-age buggies for four people. They are controlled by touch screens and guided by sensors in the ground.

About 20 ft above will be the main pedestrianised street level, where businesses, shops and homes will be located. It will be vehicle-free except for Segway personal transporters and bicycles. Overhead, a light railway will run through the heart of the town and connect to Abu Dhabi City.

Transport will be one of the biggest differences between this city and traditional ones. Gerard Evenden, senior partner at Foster + Partners, said: “The difficulty with driverless vehicles is the interface with humans. You can’t control humans. By layering the city, we can make the transport system super-efficient and the street level a much better experience. There will be no car pollution, it will be safer and have more open spaces. Nobody has attempted anything like this.”

Water will be drawn from dew and a solar-powered desalination plant. Most of the electricity for the 50,000 residents will be generated by solar panels on every roof and hung over the narrow alleys where they will double as sun shades to keep the temperature low and reduce the need for air conditioning.

Non-organic waste will be recycled. Organic waste will be converted into fuel for power plants. Dirty water will be processed and used to irrigate green spaces. Overall, Masdar City will need about a quarter of the energy of a normal city of comparable size. It will produce no waste, emit no carbon dioxide, and the project will be completed by 2016.

That’s the plan anyway. Today, all that can be seen from the viewing platform are a few tractors and a pair of cranes in the distance, working on the first component of the city, the Masdar Institute of Science and Technology, a university that will specialise in renewable-energy technology.

In total, the city will cost $22 billion. Sultan Al Jaber, chief executive of Masdar, Abu Dhabi’s renewable-energy company, has called it the “heart” of the initiative he is leading to convert the emirate, one of the world’s most profligate energy-using petro states, into a model of green technology.

Of the $15 billion that Masdar, the company, has to invest, $4.5 billion has been set aside to get the city off the ground. Awad hopes to raise the rest from partners and future tenants of what he says will be a “living laboratory” for a non-fossil-fuel-based existence.

“The problem with the renewable-energy industry is that it is too fragmented,” said Al Jaber. “This is where the idea for Masdar City came from. We said, Let’s bring it all together within the same boundaries, like the Silicon Valley model.”

Making this a reality will be difficult. In the best of times coming up with the extra $18 billion for a science project of such monumental scale would not be easy. Trying to do it in the middle of the worst financial crisis since the Great Depression and a precipitous devaluation of Abu Dhabi’s primary resource will be even more challenging. The oil price has dropped about 70% since its peak last summer.

Al Jaber brushed off such concerns. “We are looking beyond the downturn,” he said. “Nothing has been delayed, nothing has been postponed. We are in this for the long term.”

Part of the city’s running costs will by covered by the UN’s Clean Development Mechanism, the controversial scheme under which companies can earn carbon credits by funding low-carbon schemes in the developing world. Awad expects collect up to 1m credits each year that he could sell on the open market. At today’s prices, that would mean an extra $15m a year.

The “eco-city” idea isn’t new. China has begun work on one in Tianjin. In Britain, up to 10 “eco-towns” have been proposed, but these are a universe away from the ambitions of Masdar. Al Jaber told a US congressional hearing last summer that, “the city will be the blueprint for the cities of the future”.

It is a central part of the pledge the emirate made last month to increase the energy it generates from renewable resources from virtually nothing today to 7% by 2020. Some big names have already taken the plunge. GE has signed up as the first tenant, and MIT is a sponsor of the university.

It won’t be as green as it seems. Food will have to be imported. The rail system to Abu Dhabi City will not be enough for the expected traffic, so Masdar City will be ringed by large car parks for those who want to drive there.

Development experts also point out that cities simply don’t appear but grow organically. What seems to work on the drawing board may fare less well in the real world. Indeed, not far from Abu Dhabi’s future is its present: a jumble of half-built skyscrapers, traffic jams and pollution.

Would it not be better to plough $22 billion into improving a city where people are already living and working?

“Cities over the past 50 years have been models for abusing technology. We want to change that,” said Awad. “If we make a success of the city, it won’t any longer be, ‘Why Masdar City?’. It will be: ‘Look at what Masdar City has done, now why not China? Why not India?”

Melhorando a qualidade do servico nos taxis de Dubai

Postado por: raquel em 29/jan/2009 | Sem Comentários

After years of public complaints about Dubai’s taxi service and its drivers, city roads officials are giving passengers a means to get their unhappy experiences off their chest.

The Roads and Transport Authority (RTA) has launched a new public survey in taxi cabs via electronic devices that are strapped to the headrests of the front seats. A taxi driver who declined to be identified, told XPRESS that the electronic survey machine in his vehicle was installed in recent days and had been in constant use by passengers.

“Everyone is using it,” the driver said. “This is good because people can complain this way instead of yelling at the drivers.”

The survey asks five questions and respondents seated in the rear of the taxi can select from options ranging from “totally satisfied” to “totally dissatisfied”.

With the touch of the screen and a beep, each question is recorded and tracked by survey firm CFS Middle East, contracted by RTA to compile data and submit a report on customer satisfaction.

Electronic responses are “fed back daily to the CFS secure data point” and “consolidated from all locations and the analysis begins”.

When enough data is compiled in early stages, the RTA will be provided with an opportunity where “trends are identified more quickly and appropriate action can be taken in a timely fashion – further reducing costs”.

Dubai Shopping Festival (15Jan-15Fev, 2009)

Postado por: raquel em 28/jan/2009 | Sem Comentários

DO….Buy, Compre!! Com promocoes enlouquecedoras (de ate 75%) por toda a cidade, esta sendo quase impossivel resisitir e NAO comprar! Ate mesmo as melhores marcas do mundo, tais como:Loro Piana, YSL, Gucci, Jimmy Choo, Bottega Veneta, Emilio Pucci, Chloe, Shanghai Tang, Sax 5th Avenue, Dior, Ermenegildo Zegna, Armani, etc…. estao ofereceno o mesmo tipo de desconto!!! Deus meu, to enlouquecendo!

Al Ain Aerobatic Show (28-31Jan, 2009)

Postado por: raquel em 28/jan/2009 | Sem Comentários

O evento mais arrepiante do planeta, com incriveis aeronaves!!! Ocorrera em Al Ain, uma pequena cidade ha 1 hora de distancia de Dubai. Vale a pena uma visita com a sua familia!

Dubai Food Festival (1-14Fevereiro, 2009)

Postado por: raquel em 28/jan/2009 | Sem Comentários

Prepare “sua boca” para duas semanas de espetaculo gastronomico, pois este evento trara as melhores comidas de toda e qualquer parte do mundo, com mostras dos chefes-celebridades cozinhando ao vivo e a cores, bazares de comidas e shows!

Dubai Desert Classic

Postado por: raquel em 28/jan/2009 | Sem Comentários

Este tradicional Campeonato de Golf (PGA), que acontece anualmente no Emirates Golf Club, ja esta rolando desde o dia 26 deJaneiro ate o dia 2 de Fevereiro….O Premio? $ 3.6 milhoes!!!Isso nao eh MUITO, se considerarmos o moemnto de crise economica mundial??! So mesmo em Dubai!

Monorail no The Palm

Postado por: raquel em 25/jan/2009 | Sem Comentários

O Monorail do The Palm, o 1º do Oriente Medio, ja foi devidamente testado e estara aberto ao publico a partir de abril de 2009. A jornada que sera da Estacao no tronco do The Palm para o Aquaventure (Atlantis) tem a distancia de 5.45km e levou somente 8 minutos.(Veja Album Acontecimentos)

Neve no Emirados Arabes Unidos!

Postado por: raquel em 25/jan/2009 | Sem Comentários

Na noite de ontem, num emirado bem pertinho de Dubai, chamado Ras Al Khaimah (aprox. 1 hora daqui), na regiao de Jebel Jais, a temperatura chegou a -3ºC!!!…e tudo amanheceu coberto de neve, alias com 10cm de neve! Da para acreditar? Isso, com certeza devido ao tal “Global Warming” !(vaje album Acontecimentos)

Inverno no Oriente Medio

Postado por: raquel em 24/jan/2009 | Sem Comentários

Ha quem pense que nao tem inverno por aqui, que passamos calor o ano todo…mas isso nao eh verdade! (infelizmente!)
No momento, 2a. quinzena de janeiro estamos tendo MUITA chuva e temperaturaturas de 12C pela manha e noite, e durante o dia em torno de 23C, bem mais agradavel!

Water travel to reduce Dubai’s road congestion – RTA

Postado por: raquel em 20/jan/2009 | Sem Comentários

WATER TRAVEL: The waterways of Dubai will offer an alternative travel route, said the RTA on Tuesday. Getty Images).Dubai’s marine transportation industry will help reduce road congestion once several related projects are completed, the Roads & Transport Authority (RTA) claimed on Tuesday.

The claims comes in the wake of several new projects lauched last year inlcuidng Ferry Dubai and water taxi projects.

The former involves establishing four ferry stations around Dubai, while the taxi initiative is expected to cut road traffic by carrying passengers along emirate’s water canals and creeks.

Mohammed Obaid Al Mulla, CEO of RTA Marine Agency, said the schemes were introduced following a study of Dubai’s water transport links.

“The achievements realised were an outcome of feasible and constructive proposals to restructure marine mass transit lines at the operational level,” he said.

“This covered four key aspects; namely the volume of demand, length of the route and trip time, navigational features, and operational features; which includes the cost of purchase, operation and maintenance of various boat types.”

Motorised abras (small, Arabic boats), whic hwillform part of the water taxi scheme, would be able to carry a maximum of 20 people, while manual ones would have room for five passengers, the RTA said.

When finished, the project will have 27 stations in various locations along Dubai Creek, Dubai Marina and the coast.

The Ferry Dubai scheme will have four pick up points – Gold Souk Station, Ghubaiba Station, City Center Station and Union Square Station.

Meanwhile, a $1.6m Marine Security and Safety Services Project, also introduced last year, will reduce the risks of travelling by water.

The project covers towing and tugging boats, refueling, battery check ups and emergency repairs.

As part of the scheme, RTA Marine Agency will provide seafarers maritime support services and educational programmes.

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