One reason why I have been completely silent this month is because I just wrapped up another Abu Dhabi Sustainability Week (ADSW). This is my fourth time I’ve been affiliated with this massive event, the largest sustainability-themed conference in the Middle East. Twice I’ve been here as media; and this year, I have had a small part working with this conference, working within Masdar.

As anyone would know who works in this space, planning for and then launching such an event is along and exhausting process. But I also have to emphasize that it is highly rewarding. ADSW is not only about panels and exhibits focused on clean energy and sustainable technologies; the week also includes a full slate of side events, including the youth-focused Student Exclusive; the Global Energy Forum hosted by the Atlantic Council for the first time this year; and the Festival at Masdar City.

The Festival is a nice way to wrap up the United Arab Emirates’ most important sustainability event. After a full week of networking, panel sessions and speeches, ADSW wraps up with a fun weekend of activities to which the general public is invited.

For two days, kids of all ages (and all kids at heart) can enjoy a wide range of games and activities that embed lessons about clean energy, water recycling and clean technology in general. A massive stage showcases a bevy of entertainers who also include sustainability messages while the regale the crowds.

The best part, however, is enjoying the Festival once the sun sets. This time of year is already lovely in Abu Dhabi, as the temperatures are mild – similar to Palm Springs half a world away. But the weather becomes even more comfortable once the sun sets, and Masdar City’s buildings are bathed in a full spectrum of colorful light. Seeing all this spectacular architecture, now illuminated in gorgeous hues, makes it even hard for me to leave. It’s the best way to bookend an exhilarating and fast-paced week.

Image credits: Leon Kaye


Entertainment continues late at night


The wind tower is part of a greenhouse exhibit


Kids of all ages come after sundown

About The Author

Leon Kaye

Leon Kaye is the founder and editor of Based in California, he specializes in social media consulting and strategic communications. A journalist and writer since 2009, his work has appeared on Triple Pundit , The Guardian's Sustainable Business site and has appeared on Inhabitat and Earth911. His focus is making the business case for sustainability and corporate social responsibility. Areas of interest include the <a Middle East, sustainable development in The Balkans, Brazil and Korea. He was a new media journalism fellow at the International Reporting Project, for which he covered child survival in India during February 2013. Contact him at You can also reach out via Twitter (Leon Kaye) and Instagram (GreenGoPost). Since 2013, he has spent much of his time in Abu Dhabi, UAE, working with Masdar, the emirate's renewable energy company. He lives in Fresno, California.