Stay tuned for our future eco-tour of Dubai, but in the meantime let’s take a look at some green goings-on in Dubai. Because we’ve been pleasantly surprised to discover that very interesting things are happening over there.
For starters, the Dubai government recently issued a requirement that all buildings in the emirate be constructed with environmentally friendly “green building” standards beginning in January 2008. What does “green building” mean?
It means the design, construction, operation, and maintenance of a building are altered in order to increase energy efficiency and reduce consumption of resources. These goals are obviously beneficial towards both the environment and the people using the buildings, and it is very impressive that the Dubai government has taken on this challenge. And this initiative makes Dubai the first city in the Middle East to implement green construction standards, so kudos are in order.
Upon recently discovering that the average citizen of the UAE has the largest ecological footprint in the world (based upon a study called Ecological Footprints of Nations executed by the Earth Council) – larger than the eco footprints of Americans, Chinese, or Indians – UAE leaders stood up and took notice. They launched an Ecological Footprint (Al Basma Al Beeiya) national initiative in order to more fully understand and deal with the country’s green challenges. Among the measures that the initiative has already proposed is a measure to significantly reduce water consumption in the UAE over the next five years.
Another green UAE initiative is taking their environmentalism online. Cyber Gear, one of the largest web development companies in the Middle East, recently launched a Go Green website with practical green living advice and green news. When asked what the goal of the new green website was, Sharad Agarwal (CEO of Cyber Gear) responded that “the main objective of the site is to increase the awareness of environmental issues that effect the future of the planet. If every ‘netizen’ implements a few basic do’s and don’ts, such as reducing consumption, reusing products and recycling trash, we will all end up contributing in a large measure to saving the natural resources at our disposal. Thinking green leads to acting green – taking corrective action to make environmental responsibility a reality.”
More green happenings in the Middle East:
Green News From the Arab Blogosphere
Voices From the Green Egyptian Blogosphere
Dubai’s Wind Powered Rotating Skyscraper Is Building In Motion