Abu Dhabi-UAE: 14 November, 2011 –Masdar, Abu Dhabi’s multi-faceted renewable energy company, has drawn praise from Her Majesty Queen Noor of Jordan during her visit to Masdar City on November 14.
Her Majesty Queen Noor complimented Masdar for its pioneering efforts and national long-term dedication to developing and implementing renewable energy solutions to answer growing energy demands.
Her Majesty Queen Noor said: “Sustainable development lies at the heart of supporting our upcoming generations. What Abu Dhabi is doing through Masdar and the Masdar Institute of Science and Technology is not only admirable but a testament to what true and clear vision can achieve in such a short period of time.”
While touring the Masdar Institute of Science and Technology, Her Majesty commended Abu Dhabi’s clear drive to nurture the necessary human capital to meet the future energy challenges.
Her Majesty Queen Noor visit to Abu Dhabi is part of the 31st International Arab Children’s Congress that opened on November 13 under the patronage of Sheikha Fatima Bint Mubarak, Supreme Chairperson of the Family Development Foundation, and Chairwoman of the Supreme Council for Motherhood and Childhood, in the presence of Her Majesty Queen Noor.
Her Majesty was accompanied by her son, His Royal Highness Prince Hamzah Ibn Al Hussein, and her daughter, Her Royal Highness Princes Raiyah bint Al Hussein of Jordan. The royal family was hosted in Abu Dhabi by Dr. Maitha Al Shamsi, UAE Minister of State.
The event, held in collaboration with the King Hussein Foundation’s (KHF) National Centre for Culture and Arts and the Family Development Foundation (FDF) in Abu Dhabi, concludes on November 20, 2011.
His Royal Highness Prince Hamzah said: “As the Head of the Jordan Royal Advisory Committee on the Energy Sector, visiting Masdar is of great relevance.
“Jordan, much like the United Arab Emirates, believes in adopting a more balanced energy mix. The royal vision for the energy sector expressed by His Majesty King Abdullah Bin Al Hussein focuses on the need to increase use of alternative energy sources including wind and solar energy. The work that Masdar is conducting towards catalyzing the industry in the region is vital. I have heard much about the initiative but witnessing its progress first-hand is a great learning experience.”
Jordan’s energy strategy seeks to increase dependence on local energy sources to 25 per cent in 2015 and to 39 per cent in 2020.
Welcoming the delegation on their visit, Dr Sultan Al Jaber, Chief Executive Officer of Masdar, said: “We were delighted to welcome Her Majesty Queen Noor and her family to Masdar.
“Her Majesty has been an active international supporter for renewable energy and sustainability. Her work in the field of promoting grassroot education is exemplary and truly inspiring. During her visit, we were able to showcase much of work at Masdar and the important steps we have achieved in just over five years.
“This was only made possible through the wise vision of our leaders. It is their foresight that has led to the creation of the highly strategic Masdar initiative, with a mandate to make Abu Dhabi a pre-eminent source of knowledge, development and implementation in the field of advanced energy and has allowed our progress at Masdar to contribute to the economic diversification and human capital development the Emirate that will help meet the future energy challenges.
“The success of the 31st International Arab Children’s Congress, which has allowed us to welcome Her Majesty Queen Noor to Masdar and to the UAE, is testament to the outstanding leadership and unwavering commitment of Sheikha Fatima Bint Mubarak to the cause of women’s empowerment, gender equality and the welfare of the community at large, as well as her pioneering role in the empowerment of Emirati women for political participation.”
A trustee of the Aspen Institute and an avid environmentalist, Her Majesty Queen Noor has earned numerous awards including the United Nations Environment Programme Global 500 Award for her activism in environmental protection, promoting awareness, and in initiating community action for the preservation of Jordan’s natural heritage.
Following a presentation on Masdar’s progress, through both its international and local projects, Her Majesty was led by Dr. Al Jaber to the personal rapid transit (PRT) pod cars where she was given a brief on the cutting edge PRT technology and a live demonstration of the vehicle into the Masdar Institute of Science and Technology.
After a signing of the electronic guestbook, Her Majesty Queen Noor was given a tour of the state-of-the-art laboratories where Masdar Institute Mechanical Engineering students explained the Robotic project. Her Majesty Queen Noor was also briefed on the Institute’s Waste Energy project and the cutting edge technologies of the labs that are designed to support the educational and research needs of the Microsystems Engineering Master’s program.
Following the lab visits, Her Majesty and her accompanying delegation were led to the main courtyard of the Institute where she was briefed on the commercial facilities and the Masdar Institute wind tower, which is aimed at tempering the climate of the courtyard of the Institute. The construction and engineering of the Wind Tower was inspired by traditional Arab design.
Her Majesty visited the Masdar Institute Knowledge Center, where she was briefed on student demographics and the facilities available to them at Institute.
Her Majesty Queen Nour addressed the students gathered at the Knowledge Center and said: “It is heartening to see such commitment from tomorrow’s leaders getting trained to address the planet’s biggest challenges of energy security and sustainable development. The world, and indeed Abu Dhabi, is looking to you to come up with solutions and present us a cleaner, greener future than what is available today.”
Queen Noor’s work in Jordan and the Arab world has focused on national and regional human security issues in the areas of education, conservation, sustainable development, human rights and cross-cultural understanding. Through the Noor Al Hussein Foundation, which she chairs, Her Majesty works on poverty eradication and sustainable development, women’s empowerment, microfinance, health, environmental conservation, and arts as a medium for social development and cross-cultural exchange.
Chairing Jordan’s National Commission in 1990, Queen Noor was instrumental in the development of Jordan’s National Environment Strategy- the region’s first, which was adopted by the government in 1991. Jordan’s Environment Law, which was subsequently approved by parliament in July 1995, has set standards for water use and quality, specifications to measure and control air pollution, and conditions for the establishment and operation of wild and aquatic nature reserves. It has imposed stringent fines on vessels polluting the marine environment, and ensured that factories and vehicles reduce their emissions within a limit set by the environmental council.
Queen Noor has also been honored with the Healing the Planet Award from Physicians for Social Responsibility and the Global Environmental Citizen Award from Harvard Medical School’s Center for Health and the Global Environment.