The people of Dubai are beginning to realize the enormous potential of their solar endowment, and are also targeting demand-side reductions in energy consumption to reduce their dependence on fossil fuels.

Dubai’s Integrated Energy Strategy (DIES) aims to reduce energy and water consumption as well as significantly increase the city’s renewable energy generation. It is the first strategy of its kind in the Gulf region. On the demand side, Dubai wants to see a 30% reduction in water and electricity consumption by 2030, and has developed a number of incentives and regulations designed to encourage flexible consumption activity and energy efficiency improvements.

75% clean energy generation target for 2050.

Cities100 – 2017

On the supply side, the city aims to have more than 1,000 MW of solar power installed by 2019, which will include an 800-MW solar farm: the Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum Solar Park. When the 25-year contracts were awarded in 2015, this solar plant broke global records for the lowest cost per unit of energy. Once completed, it will cover 77 km2 – an area roughly the size of Copenhagen – making it the world’s largest solar plant on a single plot. It will also contain state-of-the-art R&D and energy innovation centers.

The challenge

The United Arab Emirates’ gross domestic electricity consumption has more than doubled over the past ten years and is forecast to surge over the next five years as population and GDP grow. Ensuring that growth begins to decouple from emissions is crucial to ensuring a sustainable future.


Economic The demand-side strategy has yielded an estimated $1.5 billion from 2011-2015 in energy and water savings.

Environmental Five million tons of CO2 are estimated to have been saved through energy and water saving activities since the start of the demand-side strategy in 2011.

Social The R&D center and innovation hub situated in the Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum Solar Park will create economic and academic opportunities in the field of clean energy for the city and Gulf region.

About Dubai

Dubai is the largest and most populous city in the United Arab Emirates (UAE). Dubai is a global city and business hub of the Middle East. It is also a major transport hub for passengers and cargo. Dubai’s oil revenue helped accelerate the early development of the city, but its reserves are limited and production levels are low: today, less than 5% of the emirate’s revenue comes from oil. Dubai has recently attracted world attention through many innovative large construction projects and sports events. The city has become iconic for its skyscrapers and high-rise buildings, in particular the world’s tallest building, the Burj Khalifa.

Global Goals addressed