Dubai – leading the way on climate change

Home to the world’s largest single site solar park, a commitment to achieve net zero emissions by 2050 and host to next year’s COP28, Dubai is investing heavily in sustainability

“We are committed to seizing the opportunity to cement our leadership on climate change within our region… to drive development, growth and new jobs as we pivot our economy and nation to net zero. With an investment of over AED600 billion (approx. £120bn) in renewable energy, our vision for a clean future is clear”

HH Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai

Dubai World Trade Centre (DWTC) is championing sustainability

The DWTC is championing a range of resource and energy optimisation measures including the extensive installation of solar panels on its roof and a drive to reduce energy use with LED lights and electric vehicles along with water-saving taps and optimising waste management through organic composting and working with the Dubai Food Bank.

Net Zero by 2050

Dubai reduced its carbon emissions by 21 per cent in 2021 as part of the UAE Net Zero by 2050 strategic initiative, a national drive to achieve net-zero emissions by 2050.

The Mohammed Bin Rashid Al Maktoum Solar Park plays an important part by producing clean energy. The largest single-site solar park globally, developments are ongoing to provide the world’s largest global thermal storage capacity. In collaboration with Expo 2020 Dubai and Siemens Energy, the Green Hydrogen project is another first in the region.

Pioneering initiatives

Alongside these large infrastructure projects, other pioneering initiatives across the city include desert conservation reserves, eco-hotels and sustainable restaurateurs, cultural pursuits and eco-tourism attractions to promote environmental conservation and sustainability across the tourism ecosystem. The Dubai Can Initiative aims to turn the tide on plastic and inspire mass action to reduce the use of single-use plastic bottles and includes drinking water fountains placed across the city.

Meanwhile, Dubai's Department of Economy and Tourism (DET) is committed to contributing to the broader clean energy and sustainable development targets that Dubai has set out to achieve. Its wider Dubai Sustainable Tourism initiative was established to directly address the tourism sector’s sustainability through the following four pillars: programmes, education, standards and awards.

Cop28 at Expo City Dubai

Taking place at the new Dubai Exhibition Centre in Expo City Dubai next year, the 28th United Nations Climate Change Conference of the Parties (COP28) is expected to welcome more than 45,000 participants daily, including heads of state, government officials, academics and experts, representing a vital moment as the world seeks to maximise progress since the Paris Agreement.

Says Steen Jakobsen, associate vice president, Dubai Business Events: “The UAE’s hosting of COP28 will be an important step in the country’s sustainability journey, and the fact that it will take place at Expo City Dubai further underlines the legacy of Expo 2020 Dubai, which had sustainability as one of its key sub-themes. As with any major event the city hosts, Dubai will provide the ideal platform for bringing together experts and leaders from around the world for critical discussions.”

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