Cooling services for new island off the coast of Abu Dhabi

Veolia's expertise in cooling network technology will help to significantly reduce the environmental impact of Saadiyat Island, a premium new urban development project off the coast of Abu Dhabi.


Abu Dhabi, the capital of the United Arab Emirates, is a fast-expanding city. 500 meters off the Abu Dhabi coast, the island of Saadiyat (meaning “happiness”) covers an area of more than 2,700 hectares. Headed by the Tourism Development and Investment Company (TDIC), the development aims to eventually provide accommodation for 160,000 people. The island will house a hotel complex, luxury marina, museums (including the Louvre and Guggenheim), concert halls, theatres, restaurants, shopping malls and two golf courses. Cooling is a cornerstone of the project's success.


TDIC was looking for a specialist company able to provide cooling solutions for all buildings on the island (through the construction and management of cooling plants and distribution networks) while ensuring a safe, reliable service in tune with the environment. Veolia and its partner Arcapita won the 29-year concession contract to develop the project and manage three cooling plants along with the cooling network serving buildings in the new urban zone.

The first cooling plant was delivered in November 2013. With a capacity of 10,000 metric tons of refrigeration, the plant now provides air-conditioning for St. Regis Saadiyat Island Resort and the Park Hyatt Abu Dhabi Hotel.

TDIC’s objective in the cooling element of Saadiyat’s infrastructure was to develop a strategy that will provide cost-effective, efficient cooling services across the 1.6 million square-meter built up area, while managing the issues of water conservation and environmental output.
Andrew Seymour
Director of Infrastructure, TDIC


Key Figures

3 cooling plants

1.6 million square meters of homes

 3 cooling plants providing a combined capacity of 50,500 metric tons of refrigeration 

Customer benefits

  • Optimal plant scaling in line with spatial considerations
  • The highest standards in energy performance to qualify for environmental certification (LEED)
  • Use of recycled water as a cooling source


  • Cooling production: design, construction, financing, operation and maintenance of the three cooling plants
  • Cooling networks: operation and maintenance of the three cooling networks built by TDIC