EGBC Chairman


EmiratesGBC Newsletter

A Letter from the Chairman …

EGBC Chairman









Dear Members and Industry Supporters,

May has been an exceptionally successful month for EmiratesGBC. Our Annual Awards and Gala Dinner held on May 13th honoured orgnizations in the region who have shown exceptional commitment to sustainability within the built environment. We were grateful for the attendance of our guest of honour, His Excellency Dr. Thani Ahmed Al-Zayoudi, UAE Permanent Representative to IRENA and Director of Energy and Climate Change at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, whose keynote address highlighted the importance of green building practices in the wider national and global context. Congratulations again to all of the winners!

I am also pleased to share that the Technical Guidelines for Retrofitting Existing Buildings has been endorsed by both the Ministry of Public Works and the Dubai Supreme Council of Energy. These partnerships play a crucial role in further positioning the Guidelines and EmiratesGBC as leading resource for energy efficiency and retrofitting knowledge in the UAE.

You will read more in this month’s newsletter about the success of our Green Hospitality in the UAE Seminar, our Making Existing Buildings More Efficient joint Focus Day with the Dubai Chamber of Commerce, as well as our active involvement in industry events such as FM Expo and the Smart Skyscrapers Summit.

As we move into June with the start of the Holy Month of Ramadan, I take this opportunity to wish all of our members the wider Green Building community Ramadan Kareem.

Best regards,

Saeed Al Abbar

EGBC News and Updates

2015 EGBC Awards Ceremony and Gala Dinner  – May 13th, 2015

GroupShotCongratulations again to all 2015 EmiratesGBC Awards winners and a warm thank you to all who attended the Awards Ceremony and Gala Dinner on May 13th!  The event was full of excitement when the following winners were awarded for their projects and products:


Green Commercial Building of the Year

  • IRENA Headquarters Building

Green Hotel of the Year

  • Sofitel Dubai The Palm Resort And Spa

Green School of the Year

  • American University of Sharjah –  Campus Service Center

Green Facility Management Organization of the Year

  • Imdaad LLC

Green Building Material / Product of the Year

  • Khansaheb Bionest (Organization name: Khansaheb)

Green Building System of the Year

  • Techno Park Geochem Office (Organization name: Smart Box Industries LLC)

Green Building Research of the Year

  • WSP l Parsons Brinckerhoff  (Research: “Outdoor Space Comfort”)

Training Initiative of the Year

  • The Carbon Ambassadors Programme (Organization name: Dubai Carbon)

Dr.Sadek Owainati Special Student Award

  • Muna Alnahdi, Rochester Institute of Technology – Dubai

AAN_6066During the Gala Dinner, we were also honoured by the presence of Dr Thani, UAE Permanent Representative to IRENA and Director of Energy and Climate Change at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, who served as Guest of Honor and whose keynote address showed strong support to the green building movement in the UAE.

The gala event was supported by the following sponsors: Platinum Sponsor – Jotun Paints; Silver Sponsors – BK Gulf, Brookfield Multiplex, and Caparol. It’s not too early to start thinking about your organization’s application for next year’s awards!

Green Hospitality Seminar in the UAE – May 3rd, 2015

Oimage2n May 3rd, with the support of Sheraton Dubai Mall of the Emirates, EmiratesGBC hosted a seminar on Green Hospitality in the UAE, addressing “Challenges, Trends & What the Future Holds”. Moderated by Amelie Zegmout of Legrand, Board Member and Champion of the EmiratesGBC Hospitality Program, two panel discussions of experts discussed the current trends of UAE tourism and the growing demand for eco-awareness in the properties and resorts. Fruitful exchanges with the seminar’s attendants highlighted the need to embed sustainability in the design phase to allow hotels to reach the highest water and energy performance. Guest behaviours as well as food waste were also mentioned as issues to tackle in the middle and long run.

As part of its Hospitality Program, EmiratesGBC will host another seminar in September. If you want to learn more or get involved in the Hospitality Program, email Marie in the EmiratesGBC office.

Dubai Chamber and EmiratesGBC Energy Efficiency Program Focus Day – May 26th, 2015

IMG_7020On May 26th, EmiratesGBC and Dubai Chamber of Commerce and Industry hosted an esteemed panel of energy efficiency experts, policy makers, and  building stakeholders, leading them through a discussion on the future trends in the retrofitting of existing buildings in the UAE. Following the formation of Etihad ESCO in 2013 and the issuance of an expanding regulatory framework by Dubai RSB in 2014, the UAE retrofit market has made sufficient headway with an increasing number of retrofit contracts coinciding with thegrowing body of accredited local energy service companies (ESCOs).

The Focus Day’s dialogue was revelatory, bringing to light tender agreements and Measurement & Verification (M&V) challenges. The panelists and audience were engaged in discussions on important aspects that inform successful retroft projects.   There was a resounding consensus from the panelists that Certified M&V Professionals (CMVPS) and an educated and dedicated preventive maintenance team are the most important resources needed to effectively close the loop for successful energy efficiency retrofit projects.

EmiratesGBC Technical Workshops 

photo 3May’s monthly Technical Workshop discussed the recent Dubai circular on green concrete which mandates the use of green materials for all new projects from April 1st, 2015. Beyond addressing the materials’ chemical components and specifications, the participants reaffirmed the need to work together along with the regulatory bodies and EmiratesGBC to green the construction industry further.

EmiratesGBC’s June Technical Workshop will align its topic with the Energy Efficiency Program on June 9th 2015 (8:30-10:30am) and will discuss strategies to retrofit commercial buildings in the UAE. This event is open to EmiratesGBC members only and the number of available seats is limited. If you wish to attend, please RSVP to

EmiratesGBC and Green Key present at the 2015 ATM

A2015-05-06 11.38.20s National Operator of Green Key in the United Arab Emirates, Emirates Green Building Council attended the Arabian Travel Market (ATM) which took place in Dubai on 4-7 May 2015. The ATM 2015 gave a stronger highlight to green hospitality by hosting  seminars dealing with the key topics of the hospitality sector such as waste, water and energy management, food waste, responsible tourism. Looking at the UAE/Middle East region alone, the interest for green certification and education is growing and catching up with the other regions in the world, and the potential for Green Key to position itself as a prime eco label is high.

During the week, Dubai’s Department of Tourism and Commerce Marketing (DTCM) awarded properties during the Green Tourism Awards which provide hotels with the room to showcase green best practices, equipments and awareness campaigns. Saeed Al Abbar, EmiratesGBC Chairman, also participated in a panel discussion to highlight the progresses made by the region and the opportunities that EmiratesGBC Hospitality Program can trigger.

Green Key on The Palm!

Fairmont The Palm. - Exterior It is with great pleasure that EmiratesGBC awarded Fairmont The Palm with the Green Key certification for the property’s brilliant efforts towards sustainable operations and green awareness and activities amongst staff and guests. This recognition is even more special as it is the first hotel of the FRHI Hotels and Resorts Group and also the first hotel on The Palm to be Green Key certified. Amongst many other achievements and since its opening in December 2012, the hotel has committed to energy-conservation and waste-minimization and implemented several environmental initiatives to reach ambitious targets. By monitoring its operations and energy consumption patterns for three months and implementing energy saving practices from 2013 to 2014, Fairmont The Palm was able for instance to achieve 30% hotel energy reduction without any further capital investment and a 10% hotel waste reduction by implementing a number of recycling programs in the hotel. To learn more about Green Key, contact or call 04-3468244.

EmiratesGBC Technical Guidelines for Retrofitting Existing Buildings to be Launched 

The EmiratesGBC Technical Guidelines for Retrofitting Existing Buildings is a comprehensive set of instructions intended to serve as a guide for UAE industry professionals, building owners, operators and end-users. The Technical Guidelines highlight how current processes, technologies, and local and regional standards can facilitate efficient retrofit projects in the UAE.
We are thrilled to be launching this important publication later this month.  Having already received a strong positive response from government and industry, we anticipate wide distribution and implementation of this essential set of guidelines.  The Technical Guidleines have  been endorsed by the Ministry of Public Works and the Dubai Supreme Council of Energy.

A big thank you to the sponsors who have committed their support:  BASF, Dubai Chamber of Commerce & Industry, Fujairah Rockwool Factory, Griffin Project Development Consultants, MAPEI, SMC Interiors, Wacker Chemicals, and WSP Middle East Ltd.

2015 Annual EGBC Congress

The 4th Annual EGBC Congress will be held on 20-21 October  2015 under the theme “How do Green Buildings Scale up?” The EGBC Congress will provide a platform to discuss the opportunities & challenges related to the role of cities & regions in catalyzing, facilitating & stimulating sustainable innovation, products, services, technologies & new business models. The Congress will focus on invited & refereed papers from academics, government bodies, consultants, entrepreneurs, technology providers, designers, and sustainability directors as well as other business functions.  The event program is under develoment and we would be happy to consider your input – please feel free to share with us any suggestions you have for session topics.

A big thank you to the 4th EGBC Annual Congress Sustainability Sponsor: BASF Construction Chemicals.   To learn more about sponsorship packages for the 2015 EGBC Congress, please click here or contact Hussam Eddin or call us on 04-3468244.

Sponsorship Opportunities for EmiratesGBC 2015 Events

EmiratesGBC has an exciting events calendar planned out for the remainder year. We would like to invite our corporate members and other contributors from the industry to extend support through sponsorship opportunities. From 2-hour Networking Events to half day Focus Days to building tours, these educational and informative events provide a platform for various stakeholders to share knowledge and contribute to positive change in the green building industry. Click here to view the 2015 EmiratesGBC events calendar.

A number of the upcoming events will closely support the objectives of the EmiratesGBC Energy Efficiency Program and Hospitality Program and will build important dialogue in these key sectors.  Please contact us if you are interested to sponsor an upcoming EmiratesGBC event or if you would like to suggest event topics.

EmiratesGBC Trainings

EmiratesGBC offers a series of professional training programs in partnership with British University in Dubai (BUiD).

A Certified Energy Manager training will be held on June 7-10 in Abu Dhabi.  The CEM qualification is aimed toward engineers and architects working in the areas of energy engineering or energy management.  For more information and to register for upcoming courses, please contact us.

We are pleased to announce a new LEED AP specialty training: Neighbourhood Design. For professionals participating in the planning, design and development of walkable neighborhoods and communities, this course helps participants understand and prepare for the LEED AP Neighborhood Development exam. Join us on June 11-12 for the two day LEED AP ND Exam Preparatory Course. For more information and to register for upcoming courses, please contact us.

EmiratesGBC Representation at Recent Events

Our Chairman, Saeed Al Abbar spoke on behalf of EmiratesGBC at the Smart Skyscrapers Summit, which took place on May 11-12th.  The 2-day event focused on building sustainable skyscrapers in Dubai and showcased innovative sustainable building technologies, design principles and solutions for high-rise green buildings from around the world.

IMG_6949From May 18-20, EmiratesGBC exhibited at FM EXPO. The exhibition brought together building owners, occupiers, FM companies, and suppliers alike, to help the FM industry generate new business and promote regional awareness. The FM Expo provided an opportunity for EmiratesGBC to further highlight our commitment to the entire green building industry supply chain.

Sarfraz Dairkee, our Board Secretary, participated in the Hospitality Panel at the 2015 Energy Efficiency & Energy Management. EmiratesGBC also exhibited at the full day event. The seminar explored the the energy efficiency and management challenges in retail and hospitality sectors in the context of Expo 2020.

EmiratesGBC supported the inaugural Eco-Smart Home Show, presented by Al Ain Distribution Company, in Al Ain from May 7-9th at the Al Ain Convention Center. The show successfully provided residents of Al Ain with advice on more sustainable lifestyle changes.

EmiratesGBC Supports Upcoming Industry Exhibitions & Conferences

The first global BACnet Roadshow, in celebration of the anniversary of ANSI standard and 10 year ISO standard, is coming to Abu Dhabi on June 2nd at the Paris-Sorbonne University on Reem Island, Abu Dhabi. The Roadshow communicates the sustainability and reliability of BACnet based building automation. Topics are the newest addenda to the standard, the newest integration of more functionalities, the global testing and certification system for BACnet devices and the latest BACnet application models and best practices. EmiratesGBC’s board secretary Sarfraz Dairkee will be delivering a talk during the conference and the Council will also be represented in the exhibition area. Registration can be made online here or at the registration desk on the day of the event if EmiratesGBC is referenced.

From deciding on how many rooms to build and conceptualising a hotel’s theme, to selecting the right suppliers and ensuring ROI on technology investment, the Hotelier Middle East: Sustainable Design & Operations Summit 2015  will focus on creating and operating the ‘hardware’ of a hotel. During the 3rd June summit, more than 100 Directors of Development, Design, Engineering, and Operations will come together to discuss how the planning, drafting, design, development and operation of hotels can drive savings through sustainability. Our very own Marie Westholm-Knebel, who runs the EmiratesGBC Hospitality Program, will present. Click here to register.

UK Trade & Investment and the British Embassy in Dubai are holding a seminar on the “Future of Green Buildings & Sustainability” on June 9th 2015 from 9:30am-12:30pm at Radisson Blu Hotel. to RSVP contact the organizers.

Do you have Case Studies to Share?

Discussions during technical workshops, networking events and other meetings with members and non-members highlight the need to make case studies on green building/green construction/green materials available to support share technical information and raise the case for “green” in the country and the region. To reinforce the resources available on our website’s Academy page, we are requesting corporate members to share their case studies, factsheets, and results with the EmiratesGBC office .

EGBC in the News

Emirates Green Building Council’s presence in trade magazines and national newspapers is continuously growing. Our media coverage in the month of May revolved around our three headlining events and our successful meeting with DEWA.

2015 EmiratesGBC Awards & Gala Dinner

Emirates Green Building Council had extensive press coverage along with many of the Award winners including the IRENA Headquarters, Smart Box, American University of Sharjah, and Imdaad.

Focus Day on Making Existing Buildings More Efficient

The Focus Day was recognized for the panel discussions highlighting best practices for retrofitting buildings to make them more energy-efficient. Saeed Al Abbar, EmiratesGBC’s Chairman, was interviewed at the event by City 7 TV news.

Green Hospitality in the UAE Seminar

The hospitality seminar held on May 3rd was featured by along with an overview of the EmiratesGBC Hospitality Program.

DEWA and Emirates Green Building Council discuss promoting green economy

Dubai Electricity and Water Authority (DEWA) and the Emirates Green Building Council have held a meeting at DEWA’s head office, to discuss strengthening cooperation in supporting a green economy in Dubai and the sustainable development of the Emirate. The meeting was in support of the Green Economy for Sustainable Development initiative, launched by HH Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai. Click here to read more.

Local News

UAE announces range of clean energy initiatives

The UAE has announced a wide range of initiatives to accelerate the development of clean energy at home and abroad. A number of domestic policy reforms will be implemented, including the tripling of renewable energy targets in Dubai, women’s empowerment in related fields and expansion of the annual US$4 million (Dh14.7m) Zayed Future Energy Prize.Click here to read more.

UAE champions sustainable energy at UN

The UAE on Wednesday announced a wide range of initiatives to accelerate deployment of clean energy at the UN Sustainable Energy for All (SE4A) Forum, notably in support of the UN goal to double the global share of renewable energy by 2030.Click here to read more.

Regional News

FM growth accelerates at 13 per cent in Saudi Arabia

Research released by CREDO and MEFMA, reveals that facilities management (FM) in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia represents 55% of the FM market in the GCC, and will be worth $29.1 billion by 2017. Click here to read more.

Qatar Green Building Council to launch guide on creating a healthy city

Qatar Green Building Council, is devising a guide ‘Doha: A Rough Guide to Healthy Cities’ on the importance of creating a healthy environment for its inhabitants. Due to be launched later this year, the guide will tackle the issue of the environmental health of urban areas which is becoming increasingly important to the world’s population as a majority of people are shifting towards inner cities. Click here to read more.

International News

Desperate for solutions, California looks Down Under for advice on surviving the drought

California has turned to the world’s driest inhabited continent for solutions to its longest and sharpest drought on record. Australia, the land poet Dorothea Mackellar dubbed “a sunburnt country,” suffered a torturous drought from the late 1990s through 2012. Now Californians are facing their own “Big Dry,” and looking Down Under to see how they coped. Click here to read more.

France Declares All New Rooftops Must Be Topped With Plants Or Solar Panels

A new law recently passed in France mandates that all new buildings that are built in commercial zones in France must be partially covered in either plants or solar panels. Click here to read more.