Research & Development


Diamond Developers is committed to spreading the knowledge and research required to make sustainability more accessible across the world.


Diamond Developers is proud to promote the transferal of knowledge through our knowledge arm SEE Institute. SEE Institute share our skills and expertise to support businesses, communities and the wider world in their goal to operate sustainably. And in doing so, they strive to bring growth and betterment to the region and the world.


SEE Institute is the research and development arm of Diamond Developers which promotes low carbon living and accelerates climate action through professional training, public education, events and special projects.

As the first fully sustainable development of its kind in the world, The Sustainable City has become a platform for performance monitoring, testing, and knowledge sharing. The benefits of a living lab became apparent which lead to the integration of an innovation center in The Sustainable City masterplan.

The Innovation Center will become a superhighway for information related to sustainability and the built environment. The center will examine social, environmental, and economic sustainability and delve into issues and options that impact sustainability.

Research & Development

Research and development is essential to achieving the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals and the Paris Agreement. SEE Institute manages a range of cutting-edge research programs which focus on sustainability and the built environment.

Sustainability Research & Training Program (SRTP)

On February 10, 2014, Diamond Developers, United Arab Emirates and the Regents of the University of California, Davis Campus, entered into a 5-year Master Collaboration Agreement.

The agreement was ceremonially re-signed in Dubai on March 26, 2014. On April 15, 2018, the agreement was granted an extension through February 9, 2020.

The SRTP released three calls for proposals, all focused on various aspects of sustainability.

The first (2014) focused on technical aspects of sustainability; the second (2015) on social aspects of sustainability; and the third (2016), on the integration of both.

The following Universities from the Middle East participate in the SRTP:

Living Lab

Under the Living Lab program, SEE Institute manages several, on-going pilot projects. Working in collaboration with industry partners, The Sustainable City has become a destination for many emerging technologies and practices. These projects, whether related to food, energy, water, mobility or waste can have a profound impact upon the way we design future cities or retrofit existing cities.



Supporting a commitment towards clean mobility solutions, SEE Institute has deployed and tested the first autonomous shuttle in a residential community in the UAE. In collaboration with Dubai’s Road and Transport Authority (RTA), this pilot project is on going and will produce valuable data on end-user perception and acceptance of autonomous transportation.



In an exciting move to increase the variety of fresh fruits and vegetables on offer at The Sustainable City, SEE Institute has partnered with Agricool to deploy a state of the art of a vertical farming Cooltainer, to produce strawberries under a controlled environment. Powered by renewable energy from The Sustainable City, the strawberries will be grown using zero pesticides, zero GMO’s and will require zero transport, from farm to table.



Further enhancing the renewable energy capabilities of The Sustainable City, SEE Institute has partnered with ENGIE and Heliatek to deploy and test organic thin film technologies in the city, which will complement conventional solar PV. This pilot project produces live data which feeds into the city’s sustainability dashboard; allowing the SEE Nexus Institute to monitor and optimise performance, drive improvements and savings.



In support of The Sustainable City’s urban farm success story, SEE Institute has deployed The Farm Bot. A mechanical arm which prepares and manages a plot from seeding to watering. This is first and foremost educational, by demonstrating how robotics and mechanization can support small scale urban farming systems.



Learning from the successes and challenges of the PV solar installations in The Sustainable City, SEE Institute are currently using 100% biodiesel (B100) to power construction machinery in Phase 2 of the development. Made from used cooking oil, B100 has a much lower carbon footprint than conventional diesel and also reduces air pollutants.

Solar Decathlon 2018

  • Diamond Developers has partnered with Heriot-Watt University for the Middle East Solar Decathlon 2018. Organized by DEWA, this international competition was hosted at the Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum Solar Park in Dubai (November 14-29, 2018).

  • SEE Institute is lending technical support to the group of students leading the design and construction effort. Called ORA (O= Organic, R= Resilient, A= Adaptable), the 100 m2 house will deploy smart and efficient technologies to showcase what the future may bring. Solar Decathlon is a collegiate competition of 10 contests that challenge students to design and build solar-powered houses.

Greenhouse Gas Inventory

  • In commitment to the 2 degrees of the Paris Agreement, SEE Institute produced the first greenhouse gas (GHG) inventory for The Sustainable City. Prepared in accordance with The Global Protocol for Community-Scale Greenhouse Gas Emission Inventories guidelines, and independently verified by Dubai Carbon Centre of Excellence, this inventory covers the period from January 1 to December 31, 2017.

  • During this period, villa occupancy increased steadily, and commercial activities expanded. The emissions captured in this inventory include grid electricity consumption, fuel combustion, waste water treatment, refrigerant leakage, water consumption, intra-city transport, urea application, solid waste disposal, and enteric emissions. The inventory also includes emissions from electricity and fuel consumption at the under-construction Phase 2 of The Sustainable City. The total emissions from The Sustainable City during 2017 were 8,761 tonnes of Carbon Dioxide equivalent (tCO2e). To read more, CLICK HERE.

  • The inventory has produced a set of policy recommendations that would reduce the carbon footprint of communities. These recommendations pertain to renewable energy, transportation, waste management, and data access.

Professional Training

SEE Institute offer a range of training programs, either face-to-face, blended or online. Each training program aligns with the development model and scope of The Sustainable City with environment as the main focus.

The goal of each training program is to build sustainability related knowledge and skills that are directly relevant to the workplace of the course participant.

A typical course consists of a total of 20 learning hours, including one or two seminars in our facility in The Sustainable City.

SEE Institute also co-host a growing number of courses with training and education partners including Solar Energy International (SEI), and Rochester Institute of Technology (RIT). These training programs are hosted on Canvas, a cloud-based Learning Management System. Certificates of completion (for courses with assignments) or participations are issued by SEE Institute. The Institute is licensed by Dubai’s Knowledge and Human Development Authority and the Dubai Department of Economic Development.

A typical course includes the following topics:

  • Overview of sustainability (social, environmental, and economic) and climate change

  • Relevance of sustainability and climate change to the workplace of the course participant

  • Definition of strategies and actions that the participant can implement at work to promote sustainable practices in the organization.

Our flagship courses include:

  • 101 Sustainability and the Built Environment (General)

  • 101.1 Sustainability in Education

  • 101.2 Sustainability in the Office

  • 101.3 Sustainability in the Community

  • 101.4 Sustainability for Journalists and Media Professionals

  • 201 Sustainability and the Built Environment

  • 201 Urban Farming

Future courses will include:

  • 201 Energy Management

  • 201 Waste Management

  • 201 Promoting a Culture of Sustainability

Schools Program

SEE Institute is hosting The Sustainable City’s SEEd program. Sustainability and Environmental Education (SEEd) aims to promote an understanding of environmental sustainability through education. The goal is o inspire students so they, in turn, become stewards of the environment.

Educators of students from nursery through to university are able to choose from a number of activities and experiences including guided tours and hands-on workshops. These programs support students by inviting them to view real-life applications of the material they’ve learned in school.
For more information and booking:

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