UAE has an inspirational story as far as its development growth is concerned. However, it’s rousing quality does not limit here, according to the Green Building Council, UAE has been ranked among the top 10 countries that hold LEED certifications in the world. Apart from that, Dubai has achieved the 3rd place in the list of cities from around the world, having the highest number of buildings with green certifications. 

Based on a report “Sustainability and Wellness in Dubai” by Core Savills, it is said that UAE has over 550 projects that are LEED-certified following London with 2,600 and New York with 900 buildings. 

Let’s have a look at 10 of UAE’s most sustainable buildings.

1. Lattice-Domed Parliament Building, Abu Dhabi, UAE

Designed by Ehrlich Architecture, this building incorporates a passive solar approach in planning. Along with that, the façade of the dome is designed to create a microclimate that will increase the energy efficiency of the project. The parliament was envisioned to have sustainability as the core of the design to be able to achieve five pearl rating by Estidama.   

Aerial View of Lattice-Domed Parliament ©
Front View of Lattice-Domed Parliament ©
Human Eye View of Lattice-Domed Parliament ©

2. The Sustainable City, Dubai, UAE

Situated on Al Qudra Road and running over 46 hectares of land, this city is a huge mixed-use community embracing several sustainable concepts. Most innovative are the 11 bio-dome greenhouses located at the spine of the community, having more than 3,000 square meters of urban farming capacity. From zero-mileage food (vertical farming) to irrigation of the greenhouse and the central spine garden done with recycled greywater to having solar solution by a large number of solar panels to including some buildings with net-zero energy consumption too, many more sustainable methods are adopted to build this city into the sustainable city of Dubai.

Aerial View of the Sustainable City ©
Aerial View of the Biodome Greenhouses ©
Sustainable School for the Sustainable City ©

3. Pacific Controls Headquarters Building, Dubai, UAE

The project located in Techno Park, Dubai, became the first building to receive a LEED platinum rating in the UAE and was also at the 16th position in the world. And to achieve this certification, the building included measures for soil erosion, solar-thermal conditioning for fresh air needs, water efficiency measures, solar photovoltaic for lighting, and materials of high recycling content.    

View of the Pacific Controls Headquarters ©

4. Sheikh Khalifa Medical City, Abu Dhabi, UAE

A two-pearl rating from Estidama, this project is designed to shelter three hospitals under one single roof spreading across 3,00,000 square meters. Sheikh Khalifa Medical City used high-efficiency methods and regional concepts to work well with the extensive climate of Abu Dhabi. In addition to that, solar collectors at the roof, fabric scrim shading the main garden level, and smart climate strategy have been incorporated to make this project as sustainable as possible.

Aerial View of the Sheikh Khalifa Medical City ©
Human Eye View of the Sheikh Khalifa Medical City ©
Internal Green View of the Sheikh Khalifa Medical City ©
The green level within the floors ©

5. Siemens Headquarters, Abu Dhabi, UAE

Being considered as one of the benchmarks for sustainable projects in the Middle East, the Siemens Middle East Headquarters comprises traditional design elements, along with parametric analysis to serve a form that is compact and efficient that decreases embodied carbon and utilizes fewer materials. This project achieved Abu Dhabi’s one of the first LEED platinum ratings, bringing a sustainable design for the same price per square meter as any usual headquarter of the Middle East.

Human Eye View of Siemens Headquarters ©
Front Elevation of Siemens Headquarters ©
Heat and Ventilation sketch of Siemens Headquarters ©
Façade of Siemens Headquarters ©

6. The Irena building, Masdar, UAE

The International Renewable Energy Agency headquarters in Abu Dhabi received a four-pearl rating by Estidama. Cutting down the energy needs by almost 40% by introducing solar panels on the roof of about 1,000 square meters along with this, the sustainable aspect has been achieved in water usage as well by reducing it to half of the quantity of water used by other buildings in Abu Dhabi.

Front Elevation of the Irena Building ©
Internal View of the Irena Building ©
Aerial View of the Irena Building ©

7. Midfield Terminal, Abu Dhabi International Airport

An expansion to the Abu Dhabi Airport, Midfield Terminal, has been designed to consume as little energy as possible. Adding to this is the high-performance double glazing façade that keeps the heat from the sun out and incorporates smart lighting, ventilation, and air conditioning methods. Furthermore, the list continues with an indoor park using recycled water, construction being carried out with recycled material, and lowering the carbon footprint. This terminal has been awarded an Estidama three-pearl design rating, becoming the largest structure to succeed in getting environmental certification in the world.  

Aerial View of the Midfield Terminal ©
Rooftop of the Midfield Terminal ©
Aerial View of the Midfield Terminal ©

8. Twin Al Bahr Towers, Abu Dhabi

Standing 145 meters tall, these twin towers have been certified with LEED silver rating in the UAE and are also one of the first certifications in the country. Resembling parasols, the exterior façade is the most intriguing part of the building, and the shades in the form of umbrellas are inspired by lattice screens that keep the heat out while letting the light in. These umbrellas work on a system of opening and shutting off with the sunrise and sunset respectively. Moreover, this façade design reduces heat transfer by half and decreases carbon dioxide emission by 1,750 tons a year.

Night View of the Al Bahr Towers ©
Façade design of the Al Bahr Towers ©
Façade design of the Al Bahr Towers ©
Internal View of the Al Bahr Towers ©
Human eye View of the Al Bahr Towers ©

9. Masdar City, UAE

Being known as the first zero-carbon, a zero-emissions city in the world, is set to complete in 2025. The city will include solar energy-smart buildings housing 40,000 people. Furthermore, wind towers are introduced that will pull cool air passing through the city into the vertical tubes that will be connected to the ground level. Many other sustainable concepts have been taken into practice to build this large sustainable smart city. 


10. Aldar Market, Abu Dhabi

Aldar Market, an old market of the Middle East, was given a sustainable makeover by Foster & Partners. From adding ecologically oriented shops to designing roof gardens, a lot more sustainable approaches have been taken in use. Adding to this are the roof panels that are designed to slide over to enclose the space so that the internal environment can be controlled better during the day. And interesting is the landscaping of the site that continues the green aspect in the makeover of the market.

Internal View of the Aldar Market ©
Front View of the Aldar Market ©
Internal View of the Aldar Market ©
Sectional Elevation of the Aldar Market ©
Sectional Elevation of the Aldar Market ©



When Tanya was little, she’d spend hours, weaving stories. Not much has changed since then, except the imagination changed to reality. When she is not writing, you’ll find her engrossed in reading books, Mandala, dancing, or some DIY project. If not here, then she must be in the kitchen, munching.