Dubai: The 15 smart and sustainable ‘houses of the future today’ built on the Mohammad Bin Rashid Solar Park have been attracting large number of visitors since the exhibition began last week.

The houses are currently on display for the Solar Decathlon Middle East (SDME), organised by Dubai Electricity and Water Authority (Dewa) under the patronage of Shaikh Hamdan Bin Mohammad Bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Crown Prince of Dubai and Chairman of the Executive Council of Dubai.

The competition, which runs until November 29, presents creative ideas and innovative solutions for smart and sustainable homes from 15 teams representing 700 students from 28 universities around the world.

During the final stage of the competition, the houses will be assessed in 10 contests specifically on architecture, engineering and construction, energy management, energy efficiency, comfort conditions, house functioning, sustainable transportation, sustainability, communications, and innovation.

The competition is part of a partnership between Dubai Supreme Council of Energy, Dewa, and the US Department of Energy. Dubai is hosting the first two SDME competitions, which is organised for the first time in the Middle East and Africa, with prizes totalling Dh20 million for the first and second SDME.

“At Dewa, we believe that the youth are the driving force for building a brighter future and the cornerstone of sustainable development. We are pleased to see this participation from international universities and the large number of students. This demonstrates their awareness of the importance of sustainability and their commitment to develop solutions that contribute to reducing carbon footprint, mitigating climate change, and promoting a more sustainable lifestyle,” Saeed Mohammad Al Tayer, managing director and CEO of Dewa, said.

The biggest number of visitors come from universities and schools, according to Dewa.

The public may visit the SDME site and get inspired by the innovative technologies used in the houses until November 29. Guests could also take part in the entertainment, competitions, and raffle draws being held on site.

Dewa is providing free shuttle buses for the public to visit the SDME site on Thursdays, Fridays and Saturdays. The buses start at 1pm from Dragon Mart 2 (GD entrance) and Dubai Festival City Mall (next to Ikea entrance) and return from the site at 4pm.

Houses are available for visits from 9am — 6pm on Thursdays, Fridays, and Saturdays, and 9am — 12pm on other days of the week. To pre-register to visit SDME, visit

Special awards at SDME include the Special Creative Solution Award for innovative solutions that can be developed commercially, the People’s Choice Award where visitors can vote for the best house, the Interior Design Award, and the Building-Integrated Photovoltaics Award.