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Thu 7 Oct 2010 10:39 AM

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First residents move into Masdar City

Nearly 200 students have taken up residence in the $22bn city in Abu Dhabi

First residents move into Masdar City
Masdar City is the world’s only city to be powered by renewable energy

The first residents at Masdar City, the world’s only city to be powered by renewable energy, have moved in.

Nearly 200 students at the Masdar Institute of Science and Technology have taken up residence in the $22bn city in Abu Dhabi, the president of the environmental technology research-focused institute told AFP.

“The total number of our students is about 170-175,” Dr Fred Moavenzadeh, president of Masdar Institute of Science and Technology, told the newswire. “Of that, 100 of them, roughly, are here ... living on the campus.”

Abu Dhabi, which holds around 9 percent of the world’s proven oil reserves and almost 5 percent of the world’s natural gas, established Masdar to develop sustainable and clean energy. The city is 100 percent owned by the Abu Dhabi government through the Mubadala Development Company.

Once complete Masdar City - which means “source” in Arabic - will cover six sq km and house 40,000 residents and 1,500 businesses. No cars will be allowed inside the city perimeters.

Moavenzadeh said the city will eventually be “a test-bed for technology” on which the institute is conducting research. Masdar’s students will be expected to spend no more than 50 percent of their time in class, instead devoting themselves to research, he said.

All students, 20-25 percent of which are Emirati, are currently on scholarships. The institute offers various master’s degrees and introduced a doctoral programme this year.

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