The Abu Dhabi 2030 Vision Plan developed by the Urban Planning Commission has set a roadmap for Abu Dhabi for a sustainable future. ESTIDAMA covers multiple facets’ of the Emirate’s development, including urban design, environmental health and safety, building development, zoning and planning. The mission is to preserve the emirates’ cultural, economic, social and environmental resources for future generations, while improving the lives of the current citizens of Abu Dhabi.

Key to this plan is the ESTIDAMA Pearl Green Rating Systems. The Estidama Pearl Rating Systems provides design guidelines and detailed requirements for rating a project’s potential performance in relation to the four pillars of ESTIDAMA: Environmental, Economic, Social and Cultural.

These broad goals of ESTIDAMA are tied through a number of key performance indicators measuring energy use, water use, waste generation, carbon footprint, and biodiversity amongst others.

Pearl Rating Systems


The ESTIDAMA Pearl Rating Systems are in effect for:

  • Pearl Rating System for New Villas across the emirate, (PVRS)
  • Pearl Rating System for Buildings : New Commercial, Institutional, and Office Buildings across the Emirate. (PBRS)
  • Pearl Rating System for New Communities across the emirate (PCRS)

The PBRS will apply to general buildings, offices, retail, multi-residential buildings, schools and mixed use projects whereas the PCRS addresses developments supporting a minimum permanent residential population of 1,000 people. For developments designed to accommodate up to 30,000 people, the system asks for division into individual districts each requiring a separate application.

The Pearl Rating Systems are broken down by environmental category. For each category, there are mandatory and optional credits as well as weights with maximum credit points delivered to each. The system addresses seven categories:

  • Integrated Development Process
  • Natural Systems
  • Livable Communities and Buildings
  • Water
  • Energy
  • Materials
  • Innovating Practice

The Pearl Building Rating System awards five levels of certification based on the achievement of several prerequisites and