17 JAN 2017

High level discussions on energy collaboration between UAE

  • Saudi delegation led by Energy Minister His Excellency Khalid Al-Falih
  • VIP guests participated in bilateral talks aimed at expanding energy knowledge-sharing during Abu Dhabi Sustainability Week 2017
  • His Excellency Khalid Al-Falih says Saudi Arabia will collaborate with UAE and leverage on their experience in optimizing potential of renewable energy in driving mutual sustainable development agenda

Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates; January 14, 2017 – A delegation of senior government and business leaders from the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia was yesterday given a tour of Masdar City, before taking part in high-level discussions aimed at supporting knowledge transfer and collaboration on energy programmes.

The delegation was led by His Excellency Khalid A. Al-Falih, Minister of Energy, Industry & Mineral Resources of Saudi Arabia and Chairman of Saudi Aramco.

The visit was a part of Abu Dhabi Sustainability Week, the Middle East’s largest gathering focused on addressing the interconnected challenges of energy and water security, climate change and sustainable development.

The delegation was welcomed by HE Dr Sultan Ahmed Al Jaber, UAE Minister of State and Chairman of Masdar, and a number of Masdar’s executives.

“On behalf of the Kingdom we appreciate your spirit of collaboration and your willingness to support the growth and development of new and critical industries,” said HE Khalid A. Al-Falih.

“We are in Abu Dhabi because we have a great deal of admiration for the work this nation has done to deploy renewable energy and apply clean technologies. Through this dialogue, we will achieve mutual benefit in terms of process improvisation in together reaching the ultimate goal of positioning renewable energy prominently within the energy mix.”

He added: “Saudi Arabia is incredibly close to launching its National Renewable Energy Program’s first round of tendering, and believes this to be an ideal opportunity at the perfect time for the Kingdom to gain insights from UAE’s renewable energy experiences.”

HE Dr Al Jaber, UAE Minister of State and Chairman of Masdar, said: “The UAE and the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia have a deep-rooted and long-standing relationship built on collaboration and economic partnership. Among our many areas of common interest, we share the same ambitions for delivering a diversified energy mix that offers the most compelling commercial proposition for our economies. Today’s meeting during Abu Dhabi Sustainability Week was a valuable opportunity for us to discuss our goals, exchange ideas and explore avenues of collaboration that will enable us to achieve our objective.”

In a panel discussion the Saudi delegation outlined the Kingdom’s clean energy roadmap as part of the Vision 2030, which includes installing a number of renewable energy projects.

The panel also heard a presentation on the UAE’s recently-announced unified 2050 Energy Strategy.

Attracting more than 38,000 attendees representing 175 countries, including more than 80 government ministers, and 880 exhibiting companies from 40 countries, ADSW is the Middle East’s largest gathering focused on addressing the interconnected challenges of energy and water security, climate change and sustainable development.

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28 DEC 2017

Student Ambassador programme looks to empower tomorrow’s sustainability leaders

  • Part of Abu Dhabi Sustainability Week, the Student Exclusive Ambassador Programme will empower its participants to play an active role in driving a sustainable future
  • The most outstanding ambassador will win an internship at a major international technology company

A group of 35 senior high school students from across Abu Dhabi have secured places in a new year-long ambassador programme which aims to inspire and engage UAE youth to become the next generation of sustainability leaders, it was announced today.

The Student Exclusive Ambassador Programme, part of Abu Dhabi Sustainability Week (ADSW) and supported by the Department of Education and Knowledge (ADEK), will provide training and support to enable its participants to help in driving the sustainability agenda across their peer group in the UAE and overseas. The programme supports the mandate of ADSW to help empower young people, in line with the UAE Vision 2021, by building on their creativity and talent so they can shoulder responsibilities, innovate and contribute to the welfare of the UAE's community.

Among their roles, the carefully selected ambassadors will be the hosts of the next Student Exclusive event during ADSW in January 2018 – giving them the opportunity to play an active role in the largest sustainability gathering in the Middle East. The Student Exclusive is an annual youth-oriented event that takes place in Abu Dhabi National Exhibition Centre (ADNEC) among other key ADSW activities. It will run for three days, with an exciting programme which focuses on sustainability and offers creative activities to encourage students’ involvement in areas such as renewable energy advancement, water and energy efficiency, innovative clean technologies and entrepreneurship.

His Excellency Dr. Yousef Al Sheryani, Acting Undersecretary at the Abu Dhabi Department of Education and Knowledge, stressed the importance of empowering youth with leadership and project management skills that are necessary to driving a sustainable and eco-friendly economy forward. “The Student Exclusive Ambassador Programme is a pivotal initiative that will enhance community participation and effective leadership skills amongst students as part of the Abu Dhabi Sustainability Week. Such skills will further support students in their future career paths, while preparing them to become international ambassador representatives for the UAE.”

Dr. Al Sheryani further added that the shortlisted participants in the Student Exclusive Ambassador Programme have been selected based on their hard work and dedication, entrepreneurship skills and interest to excel. “We are proud of our students, whose progress will drive the nation’s economy further, through bringing about progress and further development in areas such as renewable energy, water and energy efficiency, innovative clean technologies and entrepreneurship skills. I am confident that through the programme our youth will build on their current knowledge and come-up with eco-friendly and sustainable solutions that will benefit the nation and the world.”

Shaima Al Jarman, Director of Marketing and Corporate Communications at Abu Dhabi Future Energy Company (Masdar), the host of Abu Dhabi Sustainability Week, adds: “Masdar is pleased to be managing the Student Exclusive Ambassadors Programme, and we already have held several training sessions in Masdar City. It is very rewarding to see the continuing growth in understanding and passion for sustainability issues among young people in the UAE. The Student Exclusive Ambassador Programme attracted fantastic entries from throughout Abu Dhabi, which made the selection process extremely challenging for the judging panel. Our winners are full of pride at the opportunity they’re being given, and if they can share just a small portion of their energy and enthusiasm they will have an impact which reaches across the world.”

After ADSW, the Student Exclusive Ambassador Programme will enter its second phase, which includes an “eco-thon” in which the ambassadors can draw on their wider networks of peers to deliver sustainability related projects. At the end of the programme, an overall winner who has excelled throughout the year will be rewarded with a UAE-based internship at leading international technology company. 

Participants in the Student Exclusive Ambassador Programme were chosen after a rigorous selection process which drew entries from public and private sector schools across Abu Dhabi emirate. To be shortlisted they had to provide evidence of their interest in sustainability, as well as their willingness to learn and desire to share knowledge with others.

The training of the Student Exclusive Ambassadors started in November with a series of workshops to teach them more about sustainability, while equipping them with the skills and knowledge they will need for their roles at the Student Exclusive during ADSW.

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20 DEC 2017

Abu Dhabi Sustainability Week 2018 to focus on Driving the Global Energy Transformation

Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates: 20 Dec, 2017 – Under the patronage of HH Sheikh Mohammed bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi and Deputy Supreme Commander of the UAE Armed Forces, the next edition of Abu Dhabi Sustainability Week (ADSW) will focus on ‘Driving the Global Energy Transformation’, it was announced today at a press conference to launch the event, which takes place from 13-20 January at the Abu Dhabi National Exhibition Centre.

The transition to sustainable energy sources will transform the way we power our economies, cities and businesses, requiring the global community to come together to build partnerships, share knowledge and deploy large scale projects. ADSW 2018 will therefore address key global trends that are impacting the shift to sustainable energy: Climate Change, Urbanisation, and Digitisation.

In order to support the next stage of the global energy transformation, one of the focus areas during ADSW 2018 will be youth, including a dedicated Youth Panel after the Opening Ceremony on 15 January, the annual Student Exclusive, a Youth Circle which is being run in collaboration with Ministry of Youth Affairs, and the Student Ambassadors Programme. In addition, the Climate Innovation Exchange (CLIX), which is being held under the patronage of the UAE Ministry of Climate Change and Environment, will provide emerging entrepreneurs and innovators with the chance to forge partnerships with leading global investors.

His Excellency Dr. Thani Ahmed Al Zeyoudi, Minister of Climate Change and the Environment, delivered a keynote speech at the press conference in which he stressed the importance of encouraging and inspiring future sustainability leaders.

His Excellency Dr Thani Al Zeyoudi said: "Focusing on the youth and involving them in all sectors has been an important and vital aspect in the UAE since its inception. This value had been instilled by the late Sheikh Zayed bin Sultan Al Nahyan and has been recognized by the wise leadership as one of its top priorities. This is also clearly evident in the effective involvement of youth in various jobs across the public and private sectors and their contribution in developing and implementing future plans."

"Abu Dhabi Sustainability Week reinforces the country's strong position in the clean energy, climate and environment sectors and highlights its efforts to develop local talent and attract global expertise to find effective solutions to the most important challenges facing the international community", His Excellency added.

Dr. Al Zeyoudi indicated that the CLIX forum is one of the key and most important platforms within the Abu Dhabi Sustainability Week, which will provide a competitive environment that brings together investors and innovative entrepreneurs in an effort to boost partnerships and innovation, as well as transform creative ideas into reality.

"The invitation we had extended during the launch of the forum initiative last October has been very well received, where 312 candidates from 65 countries sent 364 submissions throughout the initiative. These submissions focused on three core issues: air pollution, innovation in agriculture and innovation in transportation. I’m especially proud to see that the bulk of these submissions came from the UAE, in yet another validation of a local environment that fosters excellence and innovation. Through CLIX, we aspire to unlock funding of AED 1.1 million for individual entrepreneurs, and AED 12 million for owners of group projects with business expertise", His Excellency elaborated.

Adnan Z. Amin, Director General of the International Renewable Energy Agency (IRENA), told attendees at the press conference: “The world has entered into a new age of energy transformation driven by falling costs of renewables and their clear social, economic and environmental benefits. These trends, which will be highlighted at the upcoming Eighth Session of the IRENA Assembly, are proving that renewable energy is an engine for economic growth and job creation, which is of particular relevance at this year’s Abu Dhabi Sustainability Week, given its focus on youth and development of the UAE knowledge economy.”

Also at the press conference, Mohamed Jameel Al Ramahi, Chief Executive Officer of Abu Dhabi Future Energy Company (Masdar), the host of ADSW, said: “The next edition of Abu Dhabi Sustainability Week will be historic because it coincides with the 100th anniversary of the birth of Sheikh Zayed bin Sultan Al Nahyan, the founding father of the United Arab Emirates, as well as the tenth anniversary of the Zayed Future Energy Prize, which was established in honour of his legacy. Abu Dhabi Sustainability Week will once again provide a global platform to harness knowledge, helping nations and communities address our shared sustainability challenges effectively, affordably and collaboratively.”

ADSW, one of the world’s largest sustainability gatherings, is aimed at enabling the global community to realise viable and effective strategies to mitigate climate change – at the heart of which is the global transformation to low carbon energy solutions. The shift will determine the way we power our economies, cities and businesses in the future, requiring the global community to come together to build partnerships, share knowledge and deploy large scale projects.

On its theme of ‘Driving the Global Energy Transformation’, ADSW 2018 will come following a year of further steep declines in the cost of renewables. Combined with advances in other technologies, such as battery storage and electric vehicles, the opportunities for the global community to adopt commercially viable solutions to mitigate climate change are stronger than ever.

ADSW 2018 will provide a unique opportunity to hear from global leaders and network with policy makers, thought leaders, decision makers, experts, scientists, business leaders and academics to discuss, debate and ultimately address the energy and sustainability challenges of the future.

The event will bring together trade delegations from across the world, including strong participation from major Asian economies such as China, India and Japan, which have emerged as global leaders in innovation and deployment of renewable energy and clean technologies. The topic of Easternisation will be among the major social, economic and environmental trends to be debated during ADSW 2018. Other key topics during the week will include mobility, sustainable cities, energy efficiency and sustainable water.

The week’s anchor event, the World Future Energy Summit (WFES), will host more than 600 companies from 40 countries. At the Eighth Session of the IRENA Assembly, government officials from more than 150 countries will gather to set the global renewable energy agenda and make concrete steps to accelerate the global energy transition. ADSW 2018 will also see the return of important co-located events that promote a complete cycle of sustainability, including the 6th International Water Summit, held in partnership with Abu Dhabi Water and Electricity Authority (ADWEA), and the 5th EcoWASTE exhibition and conference, held in partnership with Tadweer, The Center of Waste Management in Abu Dhabi (CWM).

ADSW 2017 exhibitions and conferences hosted around 35,000 attendees from 175 countries. That represented a threefold increase since its inaugural edition in 2008, demonstrating the growth and maturity of the green economy, as well as the event’s success in supporting government and business to further advance the sector.

To learn more, visit www.adsw.ae or follow #ADSW and @ADSWagenda on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram.

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19 JAN 2017

Second annual Student Exclusive gives youth a voice on sustainability

UAE and international students gather for talks, performances and presentations at Abu Dhabi Sustainability Week 2017

Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates; January 19, 2017 – More than 600 students from the UAE and countries around the world took part in the second annual “Student Exclusive” at Abu Dhabi Sustainability Week (ADSW) on Wednesday. Now a signature event of ADSW, the Student Exclusive is focused on empowering young people to think and act sustainably.

His Excellency Dr Ahmed Belhoul, Minister of State for Higher Education, delivered the event’s keynote address, describing the Student Exclusive as integral to the success of ADSW.

“The culture of the UAE is based on sustainability. If you go back 100 years, people only consumed what they required; they only used what they needed. But today, we are all guilty of consumption that is not very responsible. The government is trying to help us by raising awareness, and by investing in renewable energy resources. But regardless of what we do as the government, a culture of sustainability needs to be embedded in you, our young people. You are the future, and sustainability starts with you.”

“When Masdar was established a decade ago, the UAE leadership wanted to create a company that would invest in renewable energy, but we cannot do that without human resources,” HE Dr Belhoul added. “So we took the decision to establish a holistic ecosystem, by not only creating Masdar but also the Masdar Institute of Science and Technology. We are proud today to see the achievements of both Masdar and Masdar Institute, which are empowering our best young talent.”

Commenting on the success of the Student Exclusive, Dr Nawal Al Hosany, Executive Director of Sustainability and Brand at Masdar, Abu Dhabi’s renewable energy company, also stressed the need for young people to take responsibility.

“The Student Exclusive is a platform that puts youth opinions at its core,” she said. “If we can empower young people to see how sustainability affects every aspect of their lives, then we can also empower them to be future advocates of sustainability.”

This year’s Student Exclusive was held on the theme “Creating a sustainable future by empowering young minds”.

“The culture of the UAE is based on sustainability. If you go back 100 years, people only consumed what they required; they only used what they needed. But today, we are all guilty of consumption that is not very responsible. The government is trying to help us by raising awareness, and by investing in renewable energy resources. But regardless of what we do as the government, a culture of sustainability needs to be embedded in you, our young people. You are the future, and sustainability starts with you.”

“When Masdar was established a decade ago, the UAE leadership wanted to create a company that would invest in renewable energy, but we cannot do that without human resources,” HE Dr Belhoul added. “So we took the decision to establish a holistic ecosystem by not only creating Masdar but also the Masdar Institute of Science and Technology. We are proud today to see the achievements of both Masdar and Masdar Institute, which are empowering our best young talent.”

Moderated by Khalid Al Ameri, a prominent UAE national journalist and social media influencer, and fellow Emirati Waheeda Al Hadhrami, Creative Talent Developer at TwoFour54, this year’s event hosted a diversity of young talent, who shared their own distinct perspective on adopting sustainable behaviour.

The Student Exclusive welcomed calligrapher Diaa Allam, pianist Mona Alhashmi, futurist Lina Nahhas, musicians “G-beat”, parkour coach Amal Murad, artist Hessa Al Ajmani, and singer Khalifa Nasser.

Hasan Al Redaini, the UAE’s representative to Solar Impulse 2, the first aircraft to circumnavigate the world powered only by solar energy, and two previous student winners of the Zayed Future Energy Prize – from Cashmere High School in New Zealand and the Korean Science Academy of KAIST – also presented to the Student Exclusive audience.

The Student Exclusive also featured a presentation by Fatema Al Mulla, Marketing Executive at Masdar, on the findings of The Masdar Gen Z Global Sustainability Survey, the first global study of youth attitudes towards sustainability, renewable energy and climate change; a talk by Dr Majid Al Qassimi, Director of the Animal Health & Development Department at the UAE Ministry of Climate Change and Environment on “The natural world and sustainability”; and a presentation on the sustainability narrative of Expo 2020 by Alya Al-Ali, Director for Youth, Expo 2020.

The final community awareness event of Abu Dhabi Sustainability Week will be The Festival at Masdar City on January 20-21. Open to the public, The Festival will host sustainability-themed games and activities, live entertainment and food stalls.