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.”


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