"Caring for the environment is like caring for our children. It should not be a burden...but a labour of love"


The word Estidama means ‘sustainability’ in Arabic. Conceived to support the realization of Plan Abu Dhabi 2030, Estidama is initiated under the direction of Abu Dhabi Urban Planning Council (UPC) in collaboration with a number of government agencies who share the vision to transform Abu Dhabi into the sustainable Arab capital.

The doctrine of sustainable living in the Middle East is the guiding force behind Estidama.The primary objective of the program is to ensure sustainable design, operation and maintenance of all types of buildings and communities in the Emirate.


Estidama promotes a new mindset for the construction industry with a view to establish a distinctive framework for measuring sustainability performance beyond the usual planning and construction phases. Estidama is a holistic framework to assure that sustainability is continually addressed through four key pillars: environmental, economic, social and cultural.


ESTIDAMA establishes a clear vision for sustainability as the foundation of any new development. This commitment is a reflection of the values and ideals of an ever developing nation.


The Pearl Rating System is organized into seven categories that are fundamental to more sustainable development. These form the heart of the Pearl Rating System:


  • Integrated Development Process: Encouraging cross-disciplinary teamwork to deliver environmental and quality management throughout the life of the project.
  • Natural Systems: Conserving, preserving and restoring the region’s critical natural environments and habitats.
  • Livable Buildings: Improving the quality and connectivity of outdoor and indoor spaces.
  • Precious Water: Reducing water demand and encouraging efficient distribution and alternative water sources.
  • Resourceful Energy: Targeting energy conservation through passive design measures, reduced demand, energy efficiency and renewable sources.
  • Stewarding Materials: Ensuring consideration of the ‘whole-of-life’ cycle when selecting and specifying materials.
  • Innovating Practice: encouraging innovation in building design and construction to facilitate market and industry transformation.




The Pearl Rating System for Estidama aims to address the sustainability of a given development throughout its lifecycle from design through construction to operation. The PBRS is applicable to all building typologies, their sites and associated facilities, including hospitals, warehouses, industrial buildings, laboratories and hotels.




The aim of the Pearl Community Rating System (PCRS) is to promote the development of sustainable communities and improve quality of life. The PCRS encourages water, energy and waste minimization, local material use and aims to improve supply chains for sustainable and recycled materials and products. The PCRS is applicable to developments that are multiple plot subdivisions, with a vehicular network and community facilities or amenities.