Estidama means 'sustainability' in Arabic and is the
sustainability initiative of the emirate of Abu Dhabi.
By definition, Estidama means working to assure living and human
systems can continue to thrive in Abu Dhabi for generations to
come, by addressing the unique environmental, cultural, social and
economic needs of the Middle East today.
The foundation for Estidama was created in 2007 in the form of
Plan Abu Dhabi 2030 which aimed to define how a contemporary,
sustainable Arab Capital should look and how it could live. Since
then two other significant areas have been applied in the form of
Plan Al Ain 2030 and Plan Al Gharbia 2030.
Now, the principles of Estidama can be found or referenced in
many government initiatives such as :
- Urban Streets Design Manual (Abu Dhabi Urban Planning
- Coastal Development Guidelines (Abu Dhabi Urban Planning
- Abu Dhabi Development Code (Abu Dhabi Urban Planning
- Community Facility Guidelines (Abu Dhabi Urban Planning
- Sustainable Urban Design Principles (Abu Dhabi Urban Planning
The Pearl Rating System is a key component of Estidama that
deals specifically with the built environment and its performance
in relation to economic, environmental, cultural and social
A Pearl represents the Pearl Rating System levels. So 1 Pearl is
the entry level and 5 Pearls is the highest level of
In May 2010, announcement was made of the Executive Council's
approval of the Pearl Rating System for Estidama.
New Communities As of June 2010, all new
development applications for communities are mandated to satisfy
all required credits to achieve a minimum 1 Pearl level of
New Buildings Starting September 2010, all new
privately initiated applications for new buildings will be required
to achieve a minimum of 1 Pearl compliance. Government-led projects
(including schools, mosques and government buildings) will be
required to achieve a minimum of 2 Pearls.
New Villas Starting September 2010, new villas
will also be required to achieve a minimum of 1 Pearl
The Pearl Rating System has been introduced to address the need
for a regionally relevant system to drive sustainable development
that is economically, environmentally, culturally and socially
relevant and to align with other important government initiatives
in Abu Dhabi Emirate.
- Lower operating costs.
- Make healthier places to live, work, study and play.
- Improved productivity, retail sales and student
- Marketability and higher reputation of building.
- Development differentiation in the marketplace.
- Recognition from Leadership of Abu Dhabi.
You will receive a plaque at the end of construction.
Recognition will also be gained through the Pearl development list
on the UPC website.
- The PRS is the only system specifically developed for Abu
Dhabi's unique economy, environment, culture and society.
- The PRS requires an Integrated Development Process to
demonstrate collaborative decision making is undertaken at key
- The Pearl Operational Rating is based on performance
accountability. This certifies and rewards projects that operate
optimally and efficiently.
- The PRS is the only sustainability rating system in the world
that is a government initiative which will streamline
- The PRS integrates with other Abu Dhabi regulatory codes and
initiatives, for example the building and development codes.
No. Projects will be required to undertake a Pearl Rating System
The UPC has awarded design ratings to over 40 developments
ranging from 1 to 5 Pearls.
No. However, renewable technologies will 'contribute' towards
optional credit points in the energy section of the Pearl Rating
Yes, for those projects that wish to publicize their pearl
achievements, a list will be generated online along with a summary
of how the project achieved its sustainable goals.
Feedback is welcomed in order to assist the future development
of the Pearl Rating System. Comments, suggestions and queries
should be sent via the Contact Us section of the Estidama
Any available Positions are listed on the UPC website.
You will need to ensure that, at design stage submission for
communities and building projects, a Pearl Qualified Professional
(PQP) is a member of the team specifically responsible for guiding
the project in relation to the Pearl Rating System. A specialist
consultant is not needed if one of the team members is a PQP and
acts as such. This individual could be a member of the development
team (for example your engineer, architect, project manager
For villas, a Pearl Villa Rating System (PVRS) Professional is
required. A PVRS Professional has successfully completed the
Applying the PVRS Course.
PRS = Pearl Rating System (encompassing each of
the three items below)
PCRS = Pearl Community Rating System
PBRS = Pearl Building Rating System
PVRS = Pearl Villa Rating System
PQP = Pearl Qualified Professional