Future Proofing Abu Dhabi’s Economy: The Masdar Project

Case Details Case Introduction 1 Case Introduction 2 Case Excerpts


This case is about the economic diversification initiatives of Abu Dhabi, the largest of the seven emirates of the United Arab Emirates (UAE), and its efforts to transform itself from an oil-based economy into a knowledge-based one and a leader in renewable energy. Abu Dhabi was set to diversify its economy in a bid to reduce its dependence on hydrocarbons and emerge as a green and clean economy focusing on renewable energy.

Thus in 2006, the Government of Abu Dhabi through its public joint stock company, the Mubadala Development Company, launched the Masdar initiative to establish a new economic sector in Abu Dhabi – one that would diversify the economy and establish the emirate as a knowledge hub. In addition to economic diversification, the UAE believed that sustainability could also help the country in reducing pollution and environmental risk, and in providing a better quality of environment for its residents.

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The case is structured to achieve the following teaching objectives:

  • Understand the need for Abu Dhabi to future proof its economy by diversifying through the Masdar project.
  • Understand how Abu Dhabi aimed to make the UAE a world leader in the provision of renewable energy.
  • Analyze how Abu Dhabi aimed to transform itself into a knowledge-based economy through the Masdar Institute of Science and Technology.

Background Note
Masdar City
Masdar Clean Energy
Masdar Carbon Management Unit
Masdar Institute Of Science And Technology
The Progress
Looking Ahead


United Arab Emirates, Abu Dhabi, Masdar, Sustainability, Knowledge economy, Economic diversification, Abu Dhabi Future Energy Company, Mubadala Development Company, Carbon footprint, Renewable energy, Abu Dhabi Economic Vision 2030, Sustainable development, Solar Photovoltaic (PV) panels, Masdar Clean Energy, Masdar Carbon, Masdar Institute of Science and Technology, Greenwashing, Public relations, Green economy, Wastewater, Waste management, Materials Recycling Center, Shams 1, concentrated solar power, Kyoto protocol, carbon capture and storage, Light Rail Transit, Personal Rapid Transit

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