Nearly a month ago (wow, time really flies!) I posted about the Masdar Street Festival, held in occasion of the Abu Dhabi Sustainability Week.
We had never been before so we were curious to find out how it was. Well, I do hope you managed to pop by, because it was actually very good.
The place was buzzing with people, live music, plenty of food stalls and art&craft stalls, and lots of interesting info about eco-friendly technology.
Here are my personal highlights of the day.
The life-sized wind tower and solar panel walking around were really cute and fun, a good idea for the kids, who loved them. (I did too!)
The live music was great, as a kick-ass band rocked it out on the big stage near one of the entrances: the lead singer literally turned heads with his amazing voice.
Singer-songwriter Abbo was sitting in the ‘secret garden’, a romantic green setting full of little tables, benches and cushions, just next to the library (and to a handy selection of ice cream carts and food stalls!), serenading us all with his beautiful tunes
Many stalls were selling gourmet food, both to eat straight away or to bring home. From delicious dates to organic bread, from the eco-themed cupcakes by Hey Sugar to pop corn and ice cream, from pizza to Lebanese food, there was something for everyone.
The restaurants inside Masdar city were also open, and obviously super-busy. We ate sushi and it was just delicious!
There were many activities for children, such as planting a flower and decorate the vase to bring it home, build a windmill, dancing with the clowns and so much more. You could even try to light a light-bulb with a bicycle if you wanted!
The lovely stalls of sustainable arts and crafts sold everything from fair-trade furniture to beautiful panama hats.
My favourite stall belonged to Bhawna Sehra and her hand-poured candles made out of natural Palm wax. (Official website – Facebook) With so many amazing scents, I could not resist and I had to buy one!
You could choose herbal perfumes (such as basil or rosemary), floral scents (such as palmarosa, lavender and neroli), minty ones (and that is the one I chose!), cedarwood, lemon, orange and much more.
I did not know that, but apparently palm wax creates amazing and unique crystalline patterns upon cooling and it is also the most eco-friendly wax available: palms enhance bio-diversity, soil fertility, use very little water, are GMO free (not genetically modified) and pest resistant. Palm wax production is clean and uses no harmful solvents, and it is 100% natural and vegan. Also, in a country where there are so many palms around, it is really amazing to be able to bring a bit of the local nature inside our home! I love my new candle!
Even if we were not allowed to ride in the robot-cars on the way in (there were too many people so we had to take a shuttle bus), we managed to end the day riding them back to the car park, which was fun.
It has been a lovely day out and we already look forward to next year!
The Abu Dhabi Sustainability Week (ADSW) is the largest gathering on sustainability held in the Middle East, and this year will run between the 18th and the 25th of January. (More info on their official website).
One of the highlights of the week-long gatherings will be the Festival at Masdar City, which is free and open to all.
Masdar city is not far from the Al Raha, Yas or Saadiyat areas (10-15 minutes by car) and it is one of the most sustainable communities in the world, and – since our recent visit – one of our favourite places in Abu Dhabi.
I say only one word: robot-cars. OK, that’s two words, but still: robot cars! (blog post to follow).
From 11am to 9pm, on the 24th and 25th of January, Masdar City will be hosting a street festival featuring various zones, each with a custom theme and offering a variety of activities, aimed at inspiring more sustainable habits.
The traffic-free city (every road is a pedestrian road!) will be bustling with eco stores selling organic produce, a variety of workshops for children and teenagers, food stalls, music and entertainment for all ages, and exhibitors showcasing home solutions for sustainable living.
Interactive activities for children will include flower planting, windmill building, eco-craft workshop, a ‘little inventor’ competition, and even a secret garden. A children book-swap will also take place, to encourage reading and recycling.
There will be dedicated areas where to safely recycle batteries and electrical goods, as well as experts at hand to give tips to reduce energy consumption (and energy bills).
We have never been before, but it does sound fun! I want to build a windmill!! (And, of course, ride again in a robot-car!)
During ADSW, apparently, aside of the ones for the media, tours of Masdar city will be available to general public throughout the day on the 20th, 21st, and 22nd of January. (source)
Topics of discussion scheduled for this year’s ADSW include water, renewable energy and ecowaste.
Most of the events are open only to government officials, students, trade sector professionals or media, but some can be attended by the general public, previous registration. (The complete list of events can be found here and here).
During the Sustainability Week, Abu Dhabi will host several summits and conferences, such as the 7th World Future Energy Summit (WFES) a trade show featuring areas such as the Sustainable Living Expo (SLE), which includes a real-sized home and a model hotel suite showcasing water and energy efficient products; the 2nd International Water Summit (IWS), a platform aiming to promote water sustainability in arid regions, and the 1st EcoWASTE exhibition, held at the Abu Dhabi National Exhibition Centre, a place where new projects and cutting-edge new technologies will be presented.
We have only one planet, so it is great to have a chance to find out more about how to make it last. See you at Masdar City!