Abu Dhabi: New Recycling Plants, Food Imports to Spike, New Urbanist Capital District

Slow news week with Eid Al-Adha, but the biggest event was trade magazine Construction Week’s annual conference, this year’s topic was “Building Sustainability in the Middle East.” (Construction Week)

Raw material at Plastic recycling plant at Al Ain Compost plant. / Image via The National.

Abu Dhabi’s population is expected to triple in 20 years — “from 977,000 residents in 2008 to 1.2 million in 2013, 1.73 million in 2020 and 2.58 million in 2030.” That’s going to put an enormous strain on resources, especially water. One of the emirate’s largest developers, Aldar Properties, said that it’s trying to find ways to re-use greywater (domestic wastewater) and blackwater (sewage and industrial water). (Construction Week) The emirate’s first plastics and tires recycling plant recently opened, too. (The National)

Food is another challenge — the GCC imports an incredibly high 90 percent of its food, with the UAE having only 0.8 percent of its land for agriculture. The country’s food imports are predicted to increase 133 percent by 2020. (Abu Dhabi Week)

Substantial growth in food industry highlighted at SIAL Middle East as research shows UAE food imports rising 133 percent to $8.4 billion by 2020. / Image via ADW.

Construction projects are moving along — the city’s Capital District should lead the way in sustainable and new urbanist neighborhoods. (Construction Week) And Saadiyat Island’s luxury JZMK-designed gated community villas (are those necessary in crime-free Abu Dhabi?) are slated to be handed over from TDIC by the end of 2012. (Construction Week) Meanwhile, Eshraq and Khatib and Alami are turning a profit on Al Reem island projects. (Construction Week)

Elsewhere in the region…

Populous' John Barrow wants to use wind towers to create fan-like air inside the stadium. / Image via Stadia Magazine.

Frost and Sullivan predicts construction boom in Qatar over next 20 years. (Construction Week) Populous, who’s slated to build air conditioned stadia for Qatar’s 2022 World Cup, now wonders if they be cooled with traditional wind towers? (Stadia Magazine)

Mecca, Saudi Arabia, is hosting a tent city of 3 million pilgrims for Hajj. (Atlantic Cities) … One writer loves Tehran, the “complicated” capital of Iran. (Atlantic Cities) … Match your skyscraper with its window washers. (Atlantic Cities)

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Abu Dhabi: Curbing landfill waste and dumping, Dubai’s 2020 Master Plan, New Cruise Ship Terminal

With the grim news that the GCC is very polluted (Construction Week) due to oil drilling and construction, it’s perhaps no surprise that the UAE is looking to drastically reduce its waste and improve sustainability.

There have been 23 cases of illegal dumping in past three months. / Image via Construction Week.

The country hopes to divert 90 percent of its waste in six years , and has cut down on illegal dumping by smartly placing GPS tags on dump trucks. (Construction Week)

Despite there being $185 billion in GCC road projects, mass transit investment does seem to be catching on, spurred by Dubai’s metro and plans to expand it for their 2020 Master Plan. (Construction Week) By 2020, Dubai’s population is expected to grow from 2 million to 3 million. (DSC [PDF])

Why so much focus on transit? Perhaps because Abu Dhabi’s Urban Planning Council apparently has a large staff from transit-friendly cities of Seattle and Vancouver. (Vancouver Sun) Cairo could learn from this, as the city’s streets are at quadruple capacity. (World Architecture News)

Abu Dhabi's new cruise ship terminal. / Image via Abu Dhabi Week.

Elsewhere in the region…
Abu Dhabi is getting a new cruise ship terminal. (ADW)

Doha, Qatar’s $1.4 billion Festival City — for the 2022 World Cup — is starting construction. (Construction Week). The city is also getting a new port, slated for 2016.

Oman quietly is improving its infrastructure — ports, roads, rail and hospitals…with more resorts likely coming. (Construction Week)