Nestled amidst the tranquil foothills of Oman’s picturesque mountains in Muscat, overlooking the enchanting Sea of Oman, a new trailblazing futuristic city is taking shape.
The Sustainable City – Yiti (TSC – Yiti) is not only a pioneering future-ready city for Oman but is also the world’s first net zero emissions city, designed to meet the United Nations 2050 net zero goals. It is a beacon of innovation and sustainability, setting the highest standard for cities of the future.
In an era where the global spotlight is directed toward sustainability, TSC – Yiti has already woven essential aspects of this mission into its fabric. The city champions sustainable practices such as food production, renewable energy generation, efficient water and waste recycling, and eco-friendly transportation options. These remarkable features collectively contribute to reducing the per capita emissions of its residents by an impressive 75 per cent, setting a noteworthy precedent for the rest of the world. Construction work on the billion-dollar project, being developed by the Sustainable Development Investment Company (SDIC), and a collaboration between Diamond Developers and the Oman Tourism Development Company (Omran Group), is now under way with the infrastructure of the entire city currently at a 65 per cent completion rate.
“The Sustainable City – Yiti embodies our commitment to Oman’s sustainability objectives and our full alignment with the country’s vision of delivering an emission-neutral city that provides a green, energy-efficient, and people-centric environment for its residents,” Salah Habib, CEO of SEE Developers (a sister company of Diamond Developers) tells Gulf Construction. “At the heart of TSC – Yiti lies its commitment to the three core pillars of sustainability: social, environmental, and economic. These pillars serve as the guiding principles, ensuring that every decision made from masterplanning through to operations is in harmony with the broader vision of a net zero emissions future.”
Poised to accommodate 10,000 people, TSC – Yiti is a live-work-thrive community where residents will have access to everything they need within the community, including a school, nursery, healthcare facilities, commercial outlets, and recreational spaces reducing the need to leave the sustainable city’s perimeter and further minimising emissions. Situated between pristine beaches and majestic mountains, its picturesque location also allows residents to relish the natural splendour of its environs whilst enjoying contemporary amenities.
The expansive community including 300 villas, 1,225 apartments, and 132 luxury serviced apartments is designed with recreation, health and wellness at heart. Residents can enjoy hiking trails, equestrian tracks and cycling paths as well as make the most of indoor and outdoor sporting facilities including watersports and team sports.
Even non-residents will be able to experience sustainable living because TSC – Yiti has placed a strong emphasis on hospitality with a four-star hotel and a five-star resort as part of the city’s layout.
A bustling central plaza with a mall and several restaurants overlooking the beach and a seaside promenade will further attract visitors to the city, according to Diamond Developers.
TSC – Yiti’s masterplan draws on the proven track record of The Sustainable City brand developed by Diamond Developers, which is already well established in Dubai, and utilises a proof-of-concept DNA under six categories: food, energy, water, products, mobility and waste, to reduce the negative impact upon the environment.
The meticulously designed city fosters a community spirit and enhances the quality of life for its residents. It is an inclusive and integrated community with recreational facilities for all ages, a range of health clinics, and also a large autism rehabilitation and educational centre.
SUSTAINABILITY IN DESIGN
The city boasts a verdant spine, punctuated with biodomes and community gardens that not only offer recreational spaces but play a pivotal role in making the city a productive landscape for residents who wish to grow their own food.
Vertical farming inside biodomes is also used to grow herbs, fruits and vegetables while there will also be small-scale dairy farming on site. Once operational, TSC – Yiti aims to provide 80 per cent of the residents’ food requirements.
In terms of energy, demand is managed first through passive design where the L-shaped villas have inward-facing windows to maximise indirect natural light and minimise solar radiation. Villas are also separated by landscaped 6-m-wide sikkas (roads) that maximise shading so that the energy-efficient structures are nestled within lush green spaces, creating a city that breathes and thrives, says Diamond Developers.
Harnessing the power of the sun, strategically-placed solar panels across rooftops and parking areas contribute in a large way towards the city’s reliance on 100 per cent renewable energy. Biogas – a process of turning organic waste into energy – is also used, turning up to three tons of waste every day into energy and enabling the journey towards the goal of net-zero emissions, according to Diamond Developers.
Another cornerstone of TSC – Yiti’s sustainability initiatives is its groundbreaking 100 per cent water recycling system, the developer adds. This innovative approach ensures that every drop of water is optimally utilised, conserving this vital resource. The water features along the green spine use recycled water, which comes from the wash basins, washing machines and showers in the community and is treated on site. This treated water is used to fill the pond, irrigate the landscape and also hydrate the cooling pads, which keep the biodomes cool.
In addition, in-home sorting of waste is encouraged and is continued at a city level through recycling systems and waste stream management. By ensuring that resources are continually reused and recycled, TSC – Yiti will divert 100 per cent of waste from landfill, setting a benchmark for sustainable living around the world, Diamond Developers points out.
With a carefully planned network of walking and cycle tracks, residents can traverse the entire city without needing to cross a road and TSC – Yiti’s car-free philosophy promotes safety and well-being. A fleet of electric buggies allow residents to share their commutes using clean mobility, contributing to both social and environmental benefits.
TSC – Yiti also has its sights set on becoming a hub of economic activity with a thriving hospitality sector, drawing global visitors and bolstering local businesses.
Eng. Ammar Sulaiman Al Kharusi, Head of Development at Omran Group, says: “We are delighted to play our part in strengthening the economy of Oman, from the tourism sector to SMEs and the huge number of employment opportunities through this exciting project. Ours is a truly sustainable development in every sense of the word and by driving in-country value across the board, we are further contributing to the growth and prosperity of the Sultanate.”
EDUCATION & COLLABORATION
The transfer of knowledge – from an individual to an institutional level – plays a key role in sustainable development that encourages a community to grow. As such, TSC – Yiti is a hub for knowledge-sharing, fostering a culture of continuous learning and collaboration. Through various initiatives, the city aims to empower its residents with the knowledge and tools to build a sustainable future.
According to Diamond Developers, the collaborative ethos of TSC – Yiti is its driving force. By bringing together a diverse group of experts, residents and partners, the city fosters a sense of community and shared purpose. This approach ensures that TSC – Yiti is not just a place to live but an active ecosystem where ideas are exchanged, innovations are born, and sustainable practices are championed.
Together, residents and experts work hand in hand, turning TSC – Yiti into a living laboratory for sustainable urban living. Through workshops, seminars, and community events, the city promotes a culture of collaboration, ensuring that the city remains at the forefront of sustainable urban development.
BEACON FOR THE WORLD
TSC – Yiti is the largest project to date under The Sustainable City brand developed by SEE Holding (the parent company of Diamond Developers).
Salah Habib, CEO of SEE Developers, says: “TSC – Yiti represents a realisation of our extensive sustainability knowledge in the built environment, which we have accrued over the past 20 years within the divisions of our holding group.
“An integral part of our mission to spearhead the path towards 2050 targets is to empower partners to reach net zero emissions more quickly and more efficiently. TSC – Yiti is a clear example of that vision, operating on the ground as a future-ready and live-work-thrive city which simultaneously unlocks economic value within the country and acts as a beacon to inspire others around the world.”