Trends and Markets: The Dubai District-Cooling Boom

The United Arab Emirates has the potential to become the world's largest district-cooling market: demand is estimated at 10 million tonnes of refrigeration (36 360 MW) in the next 10 years. The construction boom in Dubai has triggered particularly high demand for cooling and the current cooling capacity is already estimated between 1 and 1.5 million tonnes of refrigeration. Tabreed is the leading district cooling service provider, but other players are also present. Carrier, for example, is claimed to be negotiating USD 250 million contracts at any given moment, despite the company not being a major player in the area. Several impressive projects give a clearer idea of the present developments in the sector: the Emirates District Cooling Company LLC (Emicool) is working on the Dubai Investments Park. It includes half a dozen real estate developments, one of which is the Palisades project, the Middle East's largest privately funded mixed-use real estate development, and several other projects involving 250 000 tonnes of refrigeration. Trans Gulf Electro-Mechanical has obtained a AED(Dh) 220 million contract (almost USD 60 million) to provide district cooling to the Dubai Healthcare City, the world's first healthcare free zone. Phase 1 is to include cooling capacity of 24 000 refrigeration tonnes. As part of it, nearly 680 cement trucks laid a 5000 m3 concrete foundation in 36 hours: Dubai is definitely the scene of lightning development and cooling on a grand scale!