Global sustainability experts share blueprint for future green development at 5th EmiratesGBC Congress in Dubai

EmiratesGBC Press Release

  • In-depth panel discussions and keynote speeches present a compelling overview of the advances made by the region in sustainable development and further opportunities
  • Under the theme, ‘UAE of the Future: Looking Backward as a Way Forward,’ the Congress presents actionable insights that contribute to developing sustainable built environments

Dubai, UAE; October 25, 2016: The fifth EmiratesGBC Congress, organised annually by the Emirates Green Building Council (EmiratesGBC), commenced today at Dusit Thani Hotel in Dubai with international experts in sustainable development for the built environment presenting actionable insights for strengthening energy and water use efficiency and cutting the ecological footprint of buildings.

Held under the patronage of the Ministry of Infrastructure Development, the two-day event opened with keynote addresses by Eng. Anwaar Al Shimmari, Director of Design, Ministry of Infrastructure Development; and Ahmed Bukhash, Director – Urban Planning, Dubai Creative Clusters Authority, who presented compelling sketches on the UAE’s experience in driving built environment sustainability and the future vision of Dubai to build a smart & sustainable city.

Saeed Al Abbar, Chairman of EmiratesGBC, welcomed the audience comprising experts from across the construction industry supply chain, as well as government departments, non-government organisations, financial institutions and the academia. Holley Chant, Executive Director – Corporate Sustainability at KEO, moderated the Congress.

Regarded as the region’s largest-of-its-kind brainstorming in promoting sustainable built environments, the fifth EmiratesGBC Congress is held under the theme ‘UAE of the Future: Looking Backward as a Way Forward.’ The theme and the discussions have been specially curated to reflect the achievements of the UAE in greening urban environments and how the nation – and the region – can achieve transformational growth through a clear focus on embracing innovative green building practices.

Saeed Al Abbar said: “The annual EmiratesGBC Congress brings together local and international experts in sustainable built environments to identify future trends and emerging challenges in our concerted efforts to create more sustainable urban environments. The remarkable participation of industry stakeholders at this year’s Congress is a strong demonstration of the keen interest of the UAE and the wider region in promoting sustainable buildings.

“We are inspired by the vision of His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, UAE Vice President and Prime Minister and Ruler of Dubai, to build smart and sustainable cities of the future. The leadership that UAE has achieved in green building practices served as a sounding board for the experts during the discussions at this year’s Congress.”

With its focus on both theoretical discussions and visual presentations to emphasise the new technologies that can be used in future ‘green’ planning for the region, the Congress discussed the opportunities and challenges from diverse industry perspectives – covering the financial, governance and material management aspects, among others.

A presentation on the ‘Buildings of the Future’ was addressed by Talik Chalabi, Partner, Chalabi Architect, who presented an overview of the Sheikh Zayed Desert Learning Center, and Matthew Utley, Associate Principal, Grimshaw Architects, who underlined the features of the Expo 2020 Dubai Sustainability Pavilion. With sustainability as a core theme of the global event, the insights offered served as a referral points for the audience in managing their projects for a greener future.

Fareed I. Bushehri, Regional Resource Efficiency Officer, UN Environment, West Asia Office, discussed ‘Sustainable Buildings, Resilient Cities from the Global Context,’ followed by a talk by Shaima Sharif Abu Baker Al Aydarous of the Ministry of Climate Change and Environment, on ‘UAE’s Transition to a Green Economy.’

A panel discussion on ‘Targets & Regulations of the Future’ was addressed by Fareed I. Bushehri, Regional Resource Efficiency Officer, UN Environment, West Asia Office; Faisal Ali Hassan Rashid, Director, Demand Side Management, Dubai Supreme Council of Energy; and Chris Wan, Head, Design Management, Masdar City. The session was moderated by Saeed Al Abbar.

Highlighting the innovations of the future was a presentation by Luciana Soledad Ledesma, Manager Innovation & Creativity, DEWA, which was followed by a discussion on ‘Transport of the Future’ by Huda Shaka, Associate – Planning, Arup; and Keith Miller, Director, ATKINS.

A session on ‘Materials of the Future’ was addressed by Hubert Thaler, General Manager, Fujairah Rockwool Factory; Eirini Matsouki, Associate – Sustainability & Energy, WSP | Parsons Brinckerhoff; Rania Haddad, Business Development Manager, Caparol; and Sumeet Parkar, Product Manager, Caparol.

The second day of the Congress will feature a guided tour of Al Fahidi Historic Neighbourhood (Bastakiya) in Bur Dubai, to put the spotlight on the architectural and cultural influence on the UAE’s built environment. It will be followed by a facilitated discussion on architecture heritage led by Scott Coombes, Director, AESG.

EmiratesGBC Congress 2016 is supported by Jotun Paints and Caparol Paints LLC as Platinum Sponsors and Multiplex as Silver Sponsor.

EmiratesGBC has developed a suite of activities, inclusive of networking events, technical workshops, focus days and facilitated training based around specific issues related to the built-environment that meet the needs of its members, of the UAE community, and the wider Middle East.