The Solar Decathlon Middle East (SDME) is an international competition in which universities from all over the world meet to design, build and operate grid-connected, net-zero energy consumption houses. The houses use solar energy as the only energy source and are equipped with technologies to maximize energy efficiency. During the final phase of the competition teams assemble their houses, open to the general public, while being judged on the ten contests of the competition. The inaugural competition was held in the USA in 2002. Since then, the Solar Decathlon has expanded internationally to include four additional worldwide competitions: Solar Decathlon China, Solar Decathlon Europe, Solar Decathlon Latin America and Caribbean, and now Solar Decathlon Middle East.

Following upon the previous versions of the Solar Decathlon, the houses should adapt to the geographical specifics of the Middle East, taking into consideration the climate as well as the terrain. By the end of the two-year period, the 22 participating teams must be ready to present fully-functional prototypes of their designed houses. These should adhere to the rules of the organizers as well as to the building standards of the places where they were built including the ones in Dubai. The final stage of the competition will take place in November 2018 at the Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum Solar Park, Dubai, UAE, where the competing teams will present their final prototypes in front of the general public alongside a jury that will evaluate the various components of the house.


Design Vision, Flexible space, Integrated technologies, Energy efficiency, Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) readiness.

Energy Management

Energy self-sufficiency, Reduction & Management of energy consumption, Enhanced energy efficiency.

Engineering & Construction

Construct & Implement merit engineering system design, Highly functional house components.

Comfort Conditions

Comfort & control of Temperature, Humidity, Lighting, Interior air quality. Acoustic performance.

House Functioning

House functionality, Efficiency of appliances, Support a modern household’s average energy use, Innovative Solutions and Elements, Use of Electrical Vehicles.

Sustainable Transportation

Capability of charging an Electrical Vehicle, Drive an Electric Vehicle for a typical commute.


Innovative elements that increase value, Innovative elements that improve performance, Innovative elements that improve efficiency, Incorporate emergent, radical, and revolutionary solutions.


Overall positive environmental impact, Reduce negative environmental impact, Incorporate Water Conservation initiatives.

Energy Efficiency

Functional and efficient house design with systems and components that contribute to reducing energy consumption.


Creatively, effectively, and efficiently transmit Competition topics, Promote the vision and identity of the team and project.