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UAE a pioneer in sustainable development, urban planning: CEO of Mirabaud Middle East Limited

UAE a pioneer in sustainable development, urban planning: CEO of Mirabaud Middle East Limited
27 Nov 2023 11:20

Samir Atitallah, CEO of Mirabaud (Middle East) Limited, part of the international Mirabaud banking group headquartered in Geneva, Switzerland, affirmed that the UAE had proven its leadership in sustainable development and urban planning through its well-founded strategies and effective measures.

In his statements to the Emirates News Agency (WAM), Atitallah said that the UAE's sustainable cities depends on the amount of energy they derive from renewable energy, the efficiency of their buildings, the sustainability of public and private transportation, their green spaces, waste management, and the level of water conservation.

The UAE is considered a leading model to be emulated by focusing on creating smart cities, Atitallah stressed, noting its recently launched report on the future of sustainable cities, "SDG11 City Insights Report", which reveals how to achieve the United Nations' Sustainable Development Goals for 2030. "This is in addition to its other efforts, such as hosting COP28 and declaring 2023 as the Year of Sustainability," he added.

The CEO of Mirabaud (Middle East) Limited highlighted the UAE's clean energy strategies, such as the Energy Strategy 2050, which aims to increase the share of clean energy in the total energy mix from 25 to 50 percent by 2050 and reduce carbon emissions from power generation by 70 percent, as well as the Dubai Clean Energy Strategy 2050, which aims to produce 75 percent of Dubai's energy needs from clean sources by 2050, and seeks to make Dubai a global hub for clean energy and the green economy.

Some of the UAE's clean energy initiatives include the Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum Solar Park, the world's largest single-site solar power plant with a production capacity of 5,000 megawatts by 2030, in addition to the Dubai Green Fund, which will provide loans to investors in the clean energy sector at reduced interest rates, he said.

Atitallah pointed out the electric car market in the UAE, which is expected to grow by 30 percent annually until 2028, according to an index by management consulting company Arthur D. Little.

"To meet the demand for electric vehicles and encourage their use, the EV Green Charger initiative, launched by Dubai Electricity and Water Authority (DEWA), has increased the number of electric vehicle charging points in Dubai to 620."

As for public transportation, he explained, the Roads and Transport Authority (RTA) in Dubai has also implemented major sustainability initiatives to reduce the carbon footprint of public transportation in the city to reach net-zero emissions by 2050. The strategy aims to reduce 10 million tonnes of carbon emissions, including converting the RTA's entire fleet of public buses, taxis, and school buses from fuel-powered to clean fuel by 2050.

The UAE Water Security Strategy 2036 aims to halve the average individual water consumption, Atitallah said. "The new Dubai Integrated Waste Management Strategy 2021-2041, on the other hand, seeks to implement long-term waste management projects over the next 20 years, including constructing a $1.1 billion facility that would burn waste to generate energy."

He added that the UAE Ministry of Energy and Infrastructure is working to implement a sustainable procurement policy that aims to identify the social, economic, and environmental impacts of procurement throughout all stages of the project lifecycle, considering suppliers' ability to operate sustainably across the supply chain.

Green spaces and energy-efficient buildings are essential elements of sustainability, Atitallah said. "According to Architecture 2030, these environments generate 40 percent of the world's annual carbon dioxide emissions. Therefore, the Dubai Smart City Plan 2040 aims to address this issue at the city level, and to develop plans to reduce the carbon footprint of buildings by 30 percent by 2030. The plan also seeks to increase green spaces and expand beaches by 400 percent and convert 60 percent of Dubai into nature reserves by 2040," he added.

Atitallah emphasised that sustainable urban planning yields long-term benefits, adding that transitioning into a sustainable city is a broad undertaking that requires an effective strategy for multiple stakeholders, large investments, and new financing models to attract the required institutional and private capital support.

Mirabaud Asset Management recently launched a private equity strategy to finance sustainable urban transformation opportunities across France and the Eurozone up to 10 percent. It has leveraged its expertise in real estate financing to address one of the biggest urban challenges of this century," the CEO of Mirabaud (Middle East) Limited concluded.

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