At the Solar Decathlon in the United Arab Emirates, students create ‘cool’ houses powered by the sun.


At the Solar Decathlon, which began on Tuesday, students from 12 colleges around the world are competing for top honors in designing a sustainable future for future generations.

At the Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum Solar Park, eight teams designed and built eco-friendly, energy-efficient, sustainable, solar-powered residences suitable to the region’s environment as part of the competition, which runs until November 25.

“Dubai is the first city to host the first and second biggest and most competitive competitions for international universities in the Middle East,” said Saeed Mohammed Al Tayer, vice-chairman of the Dubai Supreme Council of Energy and managing director and CEO of Dubai Electricity and Water Authority (Dewa).

“This supports its commitment to sustainability, its pioneering role in shaping the future, its relentless support to efforts to combat climate change, and its role as an incubator for creativity and innovation, especially among young people.”

Al Tayer told Khaleej Times exclusively that these inventions will be a part of future generations’ lives, and that such creative structures are already being built in Dubai. “There are over 9,000 such buildings in Dubai, including high-rise towers, but it comes with a lot of challenges.” The competition, which is being held in conjunction with Expo 2020 Dubai, falls during the UAE’s 50th anniversary year. In 2018, the first iteration was held. Al Tayer claimed that all of the homes were built by students utilizing cutting-edge technology, and he praised them for combining technology with sustainability.

“It’s a pleasure to see students unleash their creativity in green initiatives. I have liked all the houses here and the best will be selected based on the detailing,” he said. The Solar Decathlon Middle East (SDME) is a collegiate competition in which students are challenged to design, construct, and run solar-powered houses.

It inspires young people to create inventive solutions to combat global warming and secure a brighter, more sustainable future for future generations. Such houses, according to Moza Al Hammadi, a final-year civil engineering student at Khalifa University, may represent the future. “This house is incredibly sustainable,” she stated of the home designed by her team. It contains 40 solar panels that generate its own electricity, as well as underground water to meet domestic needs. The power source in the house can also be used to charge an electric vehicle.”

The house, which was built by 50 students, includes a fountain, two bathrooms, a kitchen, dining room, living room, and a large bedroom with a balcony.

Moza remarked, “The house is a comprehensive bundle of sustainable living.”


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