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Solar Decathlon Middle East

On June 17, 2015, the Dubai Supreme Council of Energy, Dubai Electricity and Water Authority (DEWA), and the U.S. Department of Energy signed an agreement to collaborate on the development of Solar Decathlon Middle East, a competition to integrate unique local and regional characteristics.

This competition took place under the patronage of His Highness Sheikh Hamdan bin Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Crown Prince of Dubai and chairman of the Dubai Executive Council, and was organized by DEWA in Dubai at the Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum Solar Park. SDME consisted of 10 contests similar to those in previous editions of the competition, customized to challenge student teams to adapt their designs to the heat, dust and high humidity of the Middle East.

Middle East Climate

The SDME embraced the goal of developing and promoting ideas, capacities and technologies that can be implemented for the benefit of the inhabitants of the Middle East region. Competition submissions responded to the cultural, climatic and social contexts. Proposals focused on addressing issues and needs for sustainable living in this region, where high temperatures, high humidity and dust affect daily lives during most of the year.

Solar Decathlon Middle East was held in Dubai, United Arab Emirates. For more information, see the Solar Decathlon Middle East website.


These teams competed in the 2021 event:

  • Team KU: Khalifa University
  • Team TAWAZUN: Manipal Academy of Higher Education Dubai Campus
  • Team HARMONY: The British University in Dubai
  • Team Sharjah: University of Sharjah
  • Team Desert Phoenix: University of Louisville, American University in Dubai, American University in Sharjah, Higher Colleges of Technology
  • Team ESTEEM: Heriot Watt University
  • Team SCUTxCSCEC: South China University of Technology

See the event results.


The following teams were selected to compete in Solar Decathlon Middle East 2018, with Virginia Tech taking the top prize:

  • Ajman University of Science and Technology (United Arab Emirates)
  • American University in Dubai (United Arab Emirates)
  • American University of Ras AlKhaimah (United Arab Emirates)
  • Dhofar University (Oman)
  • Eindhoven University of Technology (Netherlands)
  • Heriot-Watt University Dubai (United Arab Emirates)
  • Gabriele D'Annunzio University of Chieti-Pescara; University of Pisa; Second University of Naples; University of Sassari (Italy)
  • Islamic Science University of Malaysia; University of Technology – Malaysia (Malaysia)
  • Ion Mincu University of Architecture and Urbanism; Technical University of Civil Engineering, Bucharest; Birla Institute of Technology and Science, Pilani in Dubai; Polytechnic University of Bucharest (Romania-United Arab Emirates)
  • National Chiao Tung University (Taiwan)
  • National University of Sciences and Technology (Pakistan)
  • New York University Abu Dhabi (United Arab Emirates)
  • Qatar University (Qatar)
  • Sapienza University of Rome (Italy)
  • University of Wollongong (Australia)
  • The Petroleum Institute; Zayed University (United Arab Emirates)
  • University of Sharjah; University of Ferrara (United Arab Emirates-Italy)
  • University of Bordeaux; Amity University; An-Najah National University; Arts & Métiers Paris Tech; Bordeaux School of Architecture (France-United Arab Emirates-Palestine)
  • Virginia Tech (United States)
  • King Saud University (Kingdom of Saudi Arabia)
  • The University of Jordan (Jordan)
  • University of Belgrade (Serbia)