PR whiz Maryanne Haggas of The Comms Club takes us inside her neighbourhood at the Sustainable City, Dubai’s first Net Zero Energy city and the ‘Happiest Community in Dubai’, according to the 2018 Gulf Real Estate Awards.
“i’ve lived in a couple of places in dubai, and the Sustainable City is by far my favourite – it’s definitely worth the drive. When you live in dubai, you aren’t hugely sustainable, but i do feel so much better now that i’m living here.
they make it easier to live a more gentle life. We have five different bins in our house to go out to the waste chutes, and they take recycling very seriously here. all the houses have solar panels on the roof, which the development maintains, and we’ve noticed a massive reduction in our power bills as a result.
there are ‘biodome’ greenhouses dotted throughout the city, growing organic fruits and vegetables, and each home gets eight tokens a month to swap for produce. it really varies from week to week in terms of what you can get, but the most common things we collect are herbs, spinach and other leafy greens. i have heard rumours of strawberries, but you must have to be in the know to get them, as they’re always snapped up by the time i arrive!
We also have beehives to produce our own honey, and plenty of animals including goats and donkeys, which feed on the household waste. the water from baths and showers is reused to water plants, and there’s a lot of greenery around the villas and communal spaces in the middle of the compounds. even at the height of summer, everything’s lovely and green, so you don’t get a sense that it’s all dehydrated like the rest of dubai.
the whole compound is very family-friendly – you’re never more than a three-minute walk from a play area, and it’s a car-free zone so kids are always playing in the streets. it’s a myth that you have to walk a long distance to your front door – it’s not a big deal at all. in the middle of each cluster is a parking zone topped with solar panels, and then it’s just a short walk from there. and when you do need to get around, there are electric buggies and bicycles to use.
the city hosts a lot of community events – during the cooler months, they run cinema nights, family picnics, complimentary fitness classes and yoga sessions, and we now also have the bi-monthly origin Markets. the Zoom Supermarket stocks a lot of local produce, and they have a big bin there filled with reusable cotton bags, which you can borrow to take your shopping home in. We have a Spill the beans coffee shop, which is very eco-friendly in the way it operates, as well as thai, Mexican and seafood restaurants. and there’s also a salon, pharmacy, spa and tailor, so we have access to everything we need, really.”
THEY MAKE IT EASIER TO LIVE A MORE GENTLE LIFE IN DUBAI