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Dubai LEEDing the way among MENA cities is a testament to the UAE’s green credentials

GBCI MD says recognition is of the UAE’s significant contribution to the global Green Building movement

| | May 31, 2019 | 12:41 pm
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Dubai, UAE 30 May 2019: Dubai receiving the first LEED for Cities Platinum certification in the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) region is a testament to the UAE’s significant role in the global movement towards Green Buildings, said P Gopala Krishnan, Managing Director, APAC and Middle East, GBCI. “We have close to 2,000 participating projects from the UAE, spanning some 600 million square feet,” he said. “I think the momentum for green in the UAE has been driven by the government. In other parts of the world you will generally see private players pushing it along with the government, but here the government is taking the initiative.”

Gopalakrishnan added that in the UAE, prominence is also given to the health and wellbeing of building occupants. “While energy and water savings are important, I think now the world is turning around to the fact that health and wellbeing are very critical,” he said. “It can be an employee of an office. It can be a home owner of a residence. It can be children in schools. For everybody, how the building impacts the health and wellbeing is now taking centre stage, and in LEED that’s one of the primary pillars. [There is] a lot of synergy, and that’s something where I think UAE is taking certain stage.”

Gopalakrishnan said that another important aspect where the UAE, and Dubai in particular, is leading is in education. “We see a lot of interest from college students as well as working professionals here,” he said. “They are joining our LEED education programme and becoming LEED professionals. Either they can become a LEED consultant or when they work in an organisation that education is helping them in the journey.”

Gopalakrishnan said that he believes the green momentum in the UAE will echo throughout the GCC region, especially in Saudi Arabia, which has taken sustainability as a core theme in public sector initiatives, as articulated in Saudi Vision 2030. “Saudi Arabia, today, is seeing a lot of new construction, and all construction projects are [adhering] to green norms,” he said. “Whether it is from the government or in the private sector – green is becoming a central theme.”

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