For the 2010 competition teams were able to choose from the following three sites in the United Arab Emirates.
Dubai, Adjacent to Ras Al Khor Wildlife Sanctuary
Located at the end of Dubai Creek at the edge of the Ras Al Khor Wildlife Sanctuary, the existing site is a mixture of white sand and loose soil with a number of native desert plants. No part of the site boundary includes any of the wetlands area and the site is approximately the location of a future visitor center for the park.
To the east of the site is a large development, The Lagoons, which is under construction. The site runs parallel to the highly trafficked RT. 44 highway from which a row of trees forms a light buffer. The site offers beautiful views into the Wildlife Sanctuary and to the long skyline of Dubai’s financial district beyond.
Abu Dhabi, Between Yas and Saadiyat Islands
Located on a stretch of waterfront off the road that connects Yas Island to Saadiyat Island, the site is mostly devoid of vegetation and consists of white sandy soil.
The area of water directly off the shore of the site has been included in the plot limits to allow the design teams an opportunity to interact with the water through the design although this is certainly not a requirement. If the design does extend into the water, care should be taken to respect the natural existing condition of the shoreline and aquatic ecosystems.
Abu Dhabi, Airport Road Near Masdar City
This site is directly across the street from the southeast border of the Masdar City site. While the site is defined on all sides by roads, there is a very effective landscaping buffer along the perimeter of the site. When standing on the site the surrounding roads, which are not highly trafficked, are not very noticeable.
The vegetation on the site is native desert low-lying shrubs and a few crops of medium size trees the locations of which are visible in the satellite images.
Masdar City is an ambitious master plan project for Abu Dhabi which is in its very early stages of construction. Upon its completion, 40,000 people will live and work in the city that will run on 100% clean renewable energy and produce zero carbon emissions.