The United Arab Emirates (UAE) economic capital, Dubai, has reaffirmed its committment to sustainable energy and the environment as it pushes forward on massive growth projects. Dubai’s ruler and UAE’s Vice-President and Prime Minister Mohamed bin Rashid al-Maktoum said that as the city continues to develop, the environment and clean energy prospects remain at the top of the city’s agenda. In the preface to “The Business Year: Dubai 2012” al-Maktoum again confirmed his desire to see economic growth be in line with sustainable environmental practices and the promotion of clean energy.
He pointed to neighbor Abu Dhabi, UAE’s capital, as a prime example of how this can be achieved (see our recent post on the Shams 1 solar power plant). He noted that the solar energy projects underway across the UAE can be a sign that Dubai and the Gulf country can change the status quo in order to better the environment, energy consumption and maintain solid economic progress.
“Tomorrow may bear for us developments that cannot be predicted, but reflecting on the broad outlines of reality we can identify and detect the opportunities and challenges to come. Hence, there is a heavy responsibility we should not relent to bear,” he said.
While much of his discussion centered on trade and the “knowledge-driven economy” as vital to sustainable development, the city’s recent action on green economic initiatives were not missed.
“Our Green Economy Initiative announced his year invokes our commitment to diversify energy sources and preserve the environment, while bolstering our competitive status to become a leading centre for the export and re-export of green products and technologies,” he said.
Dubai, as a leader in the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) believes that alternative and clean energy resources can be a main focal point for development and economic progress.
One Saudi consultant for Riyadh’s solar energy consortium told Green Prophet, on condition of anonymity, “there’s simply a lot of money to be made in the green economy and leaders are really beginning to see this.”
Over all, the GCC is looking to continue that effort by spending some $252 billion over the next five years to increase energy production.
Among the projects on tap are new power production plants, distribution systems and supply grids
Maktoum himself has been a major proponent of clean energy, pushing a pilot project aimed at making public transportation in the country more eco-friendly. Announced in July this year, it hopes to develop bio-diesel for buses in the country as well as a national railway plan, a car pooling project, pedestrian bridges and a bicycle race course.
The buses will not only run on a bio-diesel engine, they will be equipped with solar-powered LED lighting system and will also run on recycled tires.
Not bad for a city that is known as the Las Vegas of the Middle East and eats up massive amounts of energy. Going green, analysts and the city’s leaders agree, is a must for the city to continue to survive at its current consumption levels.
“Dubai continues to seize the economic, cultural and scientific opportunities cherished by the future, indicating that it forges new connections to sustain growth across this decade and the ones that follow,” added al-Maktoum.