Green growth in the UAE; a growing oasis of sustainable development

Green growth in the UAE! The world is trying to move towards sustainable living. But what are sustainability and sustainable living? Is it a talk on making the environment green? Or is it about creating equity among society? There are 17 major goals set by the United Nations for sustainable development under the name of Sustainable Development Goals. These goals are designed to be achieved by 2030. They are expected to eradicate the root causes of unstable development.

Green growth in the UAE

Every country has adopted these SDGs and planned policies to develop sustainable living conditions in their respective countries. Similarly, UAE is also developing strategies to cater to these goals. Although UAE is not facing all the problems set to resolve in SDGs but is strategizing to play a part in the attainment of these goals.

Experts are talking about sustainability since the 2000s. Fortunately, UAE has forecasted it then and is working to bring it under the sustained countries in the world. It has been working hard to register itself as a leader in global sustainability.

The UAE government is efficiently committed to sustainable development. As a result, sustainability has huge importance in UAE’s Vision 2021. The agenda follows to improve the situation by providing clean energy, water preserving strategies, keeping the environment healthy by going green, sustainable infrastructure, improving the quality of life for its citizens and many more.

What is Sustainability?

Sustainability is about reducing our part in damaging the Earth as well as playing a major role in making it sustainable not only for ourselves but for others as well. Moreover, we must improve our social and environmental outcomes.


Source: SDGs by UN

The 17 goals set by the UN are all under consideration for UAE, but it is all for different reasons. UAE is already working on some sustainability goals that are:

  • UAE is working to generate a long-term efficient government system.
  • Establishing an excellent quality of education system.
  • Creating a productive and competitive economy that encompasses all public and private companies.
  • Creating an ethical and tolerant society.

UAE is also working on some pressing matters like:

UAE is responsible for the generation of high-end solid and e-waste by its industrial sector. But this production of waste leads to Sulphur dioxide and Nitrogen emissions. So, to overcome this issue “Enviroserve” has started a large waste recycling facility named “Recycling Hub”. It is one of the largest projects showing the UAE’s policy toward sustainability.

High energy production for cooling. Besides, the extreme weather conditions of the land are leading to excessive use of electrical energy in all sectors to bring down temperature indoors.

UAE is responsible for high emissions of carbon that are leading to challenging environmental conditions in Dubai. Subsequently, the government is converging with international climate change negotiators to overcome this issue. Furthermore, it is working to increase the use of renewable energy resources and lessen the use of resources that are responsible for carbon emissions.

UAE is also responsible for high fuel consumption as there is a lack in the use of public transport and people prefer private cars to travel. This fuel consumption is leading to greenhouse gas emissions. As a consequence, this led UAE to the list of global contributors to creating the Greenhouse effect.

UAE is facing serious water scarcity issues. It will not be wrong to say that MENA is the most scarce in water resources globally. Similarly, there is a significant water shortage in the irrigation and agriculture sector. Groundwater is drying up. The alternatives are desalinated water or recycled water but it is another serious issue in itself. The government has developed a water security strategy. It aims to reduce water consumption and increase water and electricity networks till 2036.

UAE has been successful in achieving some major SDG goals. Proper and long-term planning by the government has made the UAE top the list in some categories which are:

UAE does not face any hunger challenges. 

No one lives below the poverty defined by World Bank which is $1.25. Financial aid is provided to Orphans to maintain house expenses. However, UAE is contributing to zero hunger externally. It is making policies to aid the hunger-stricken communities in other regions of the world.

UAE scores 93% in establishing peaceful, just, and strong institutions. 

It is working to make the country the most secure and safe place to live in.

UAE is participating in all platforms under goal 17 to achieve a sustainable environment.

 UAE ranked as the world’s largest donor to Official Development Assistance to under-developed countries in the year 2018. Similarly, the Ministry of Foreign affairs is also mobilizing resources for Women’s Empowerment.

UAE is working to reduce social inequality. 

It is making policies to aid vulnerable sectors of society. Moreover, it is progressing in providing good health facilities to the public. It has also created a sustainable infrastructure. Cities and communities have been made sustainable for the general public.

Expectations from EXPO 2021

UAE has created the “Connecting minds, Creating the future” agenda for expo 2020. The COVID situation though has its impact on this as well. The Expo is supposed to be held in October 2021 if the situation improves.

Expo has three pavilions representing themes i.e., Opportunity, Mobility, and Sustainability. The sustainability pavilion is the centre of the green agenda. It will give visitors an understanding of how our little daily life habits can affect the environment in a good or a bad way. It will display technologies that aim to reduce climate damage. For example, energy trees, or installing a solar panel canopy on an area of 10000 meters to generate solar energy.

Sustainability is a major theme in all sections of the Expo. It will cover all the goals of the UN. It is planned to install live programs and technologies like plastic waste currency to make people aware.

Strategies of Government

The government is adopting some strategies to improve the situation.

  • Initiating shared responsibilities among private and government sectors. This is to increase an all-in performance in attaining sustainability.
  • It is creating targeted sustainability processes. The government has allocated stakeholders to supervise the progress.
  • It is working to collect the data on indicators on daily basis to fill the gaps.
  • Building infrastructures keep in view the green environment agenda and lessens emissions of greenhouse gases.
  • Introducing cutting-edge technology to reduce waste generation, water scarcity, and carbon emission from the industrial sector.
  • The government is launching awareness programs and campaigns to aware its employees in public and private sector institutions.
  • It is also collaborating with international negotiators to overcome climate-related challenges.

It is the responsibility of all to work on sustainable development goals. These goals are set for our development and to secure our living standards. UAE is working with excellence to achieve some of the goals. But it is working even harder to attain all the goals and set an example of leading a sustained society in the world.

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One Comment

  1. Anayat Ullah Khan

    Please bring more content we miss muniba’s content. She writes very well informed content.

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