A study of local climate zones in Abu Dhabi with Urban weather stations and numerical simulations

Prajowal Manandhar, Lindita Bande, Alexandros Tsoupos, Prashanth Reddy Marpu, Peter Armstrong

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

16 Citations (Scopus)


In many cities that have experienced rapid growth like Abu Dhabi, urban microclimate scenarios evolve rapidly as well and it is important to study the urban thermal dynamics continuously. The Local Climate Zone (LCZ) classification considers factors related to the physical properties like surface cover and surface structure of the city which allow to analyze urban heat flows. Abu Dhabi city is rapidly expanding and is characterized by highly heterogeneous types of built forms that comprise mainly of old mid-rise and modern high-rise buildings with varied degrees of vegetation cover in different parts of the city. The fact that it is a coastal city in a desert environment makes it quite unique. This paper presents an approach of studying urban heat flows in such heterogeneous setup. First, the city is classified into local climate zones using images acquired by Landsat Satellite. Numerical simulations are performed in the designated LCZs using a computational fluid dynamics software, Envi-met. The results of Envi-met are calibrated and validated using in-situ measurements across all four seasons. The calibrated models are then applied to study entire Abu Dhabi island across different seasons. The results indicate a clear presence of urban heat island (UHI) effect when averaged over the full day which is varying in different zones. The zones with high vegetation do not show large average UHI effect whereas the effect is significant in densely built zones. The study also validates previous observations on the inversion of UHI effect during the day and in terms of diurnal response.

Original languageEnglish
Article number156
JournalSustainability (Switzerland)
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - Jan 1 2020


  • LCZ
  • LST
  • UHI

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Geography, Planning and Development
  • Renewable Energy, Sustainability and the Environment
  • Environmental Science (miscellaneous)
  • Energy Engineering and Power Technology
  • Management, Monitoring, Policy and Law


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