The designs of some of the participating teams in the first and second Solar Decathlon Middle East (SDME) will be used to construct sustainable research centres and laboratories in several regions of the UAE.
The SDME was held under the patronage of H.H. Sheikh Hamdan bin Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Crown Prince of Dubai and Chairman of the Executive Council, and organised by Dubai Electricity and Water Authority (DEWA) as part of a partnership between the Dubai Supreme Council of Energy and DEWA with the US Department of Energy.
The first (2018) and second (2021) SDMEs were held for the first time in the Middle East and Africa at the Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum Solar Park, the largest single-site solar park in the world.
“We are pleased to see the positive impact of the competition in Dubai and its support for the Dubai 2040 Urban Masterplan launched by His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai, which outlines an integrated roadmap for urban development based on sustainable development to make Dubai the world’s best place to live. At DEWA, we are working on launching and incubating initiatives, programmes and competitions that consolidate the UAE and Dubai’s position as a hub for creativity and innovation as well as an incubator for innovators to develop innovative solutions that fight climate change and engage youth in sustainable development,” said Saeed Mohammed Al Tayer, Vice Chairman of the Dubai Supreme Council of Energy, and MD & CEO of DEWA.
Among the teams who are implementing their homes in different Emirates in the UAE are the BaityKool team from the University of Bordeaux, France, Amity University in the UAE; An-Najah National University in Palestine; Team Aqua Green from Ajman University; Team Desert Rose from Wollongong (UOW) Australia; Sharjah Team from the University of Sharjah; and Esteem from Heriot-Watt University in the UK and Heriot-Watt in Dubai.
Professor Tim McCarthy, Director, Sustainable Buildings Research Centre, University of Wollongong, Australia; Dr. Naglaa Mahmoud, Assistant Professor, Faculty of Engineering (Architecture) at Ajman University; and Dr. Philippe Lagiere, Assistant Professor Université de Bordeaux, highlighted the importance of the opportunity offered by the SDME to test the projects of the participants in reality and using special programmes for the first time. This has enabled them to improve their designs, better understand their strengths and weaknesses, and strengthen the experiences of all team members and their communication skills.
The competition was the largest and most competitive and challenging competition among international universities, with total prizes exceeding AED 20 million.