Sheikh Zayed Desert Learning Center (SZDLC), VAE

Al Ain
Design view of the SZDLC by

The Sheikh Zayed Desert Learning Centre is an integral part of the development of the Al Ain Wildlife Park & Resort. Located at the Al Ain Wildlife Park & Resort in the United Arab Emirates, the Centre will be an exhibition and exploration of the natural and cultural history of deserts. On 13,000 m² it houses exhibition floors, theatre, café and libraries and will host 1,600 visitors per hour.
The building is designed to reduce life cycle costs and environmental impact, and as a flagship sustainable building in the U.A.E. It is certified with LEED Premium for its sustainable design.


Total cooling demand of the building is 1.5 MWth, whereas the solar thermal driven cooling supplies the concrete core activation for cooling at a set point of 16°C. To meet the re-cooling requirements of the compression and absorption chillers, six closed-circuit cooling towers with adiabatic pre-cooling are installed. These cooling towers are designed to minimize water consumption while still having the ability to cool below the ambient dry-bulb temperature.





  • Design & engineering: S.O.L.I.D. GmbH, iC Consultants
  • Installation: S.O.L.I.D. GmbH; Züblin Abu Dhabi a subsidiary of Strabag Intern. GmbH
  • Owner: Al Ain Wildlife Park Resort
  • Commissioning: 2012


  • Cooling capacity: 352 kW / 100 tons LiBr
  • Collector: 1134 m² / 12,206 ft² gluatmugl HT,
  • Tilt: 25°
  • Heat storage tank: 2 x 13 m³ / 6,870 USgal
  • Cold water storage tank: 5 m³ / 1,320 USgal
  • Recooling tower: wet cooling tower shared with conventional cooling system
  • Expected Solar yield: 825 kWh/m²/year