12 DEC 2021

Abu Dhabi Sustainability Week returns in January 2022 to advance global sustainability agenda

• The week long program will bring together global leaders from government, business and technology to support the acceleration of climate action and net zero commitments
• Aligned with the ‘Principles of the 50’, ADSW will enable cooperation, knowledge sharing, investment and innovation


Abu Dhabi Sustainability Week (ADSW), the global platform for accelerating sustainable development, hosted by Masdar, will be held from January 15 to 19, 2022

As the first major sustainability event taking place after COP26, ADSW 2022 will bring together the global community across high-level events, with participants including heads of state, policy makers, industry specialists, technology pioneers and young sustainability leaders. ADSW 2022 will focus on delivering action across three principles; Global Collaboration & Leadership, Economic Development, and Technology & Innovation

The ADSW Opening Ceremony and the Zayed Sustainability Prize Awards Ceremony will take place at the Dubai Exhibition Centre on Monday January 17, 2022, reinforcing the collective commitment of the United Arab Emirates to climate action and sustainability.  

All other ADSW events, including the ADSW Summit, IRENA Assembly, Atlantic Council Global Energy Forum, World Future Energy Summit, Innovate, Abu Dhabi Sustainable Finance Forum, Women in Sustainability, Environment and Renewable Energy (WiSER) Forum, and the Youth 4 Sustainability Hub will take place in Abu Dhabi or virtually. 

The UAE has always been proactive and forward-thinking in its approach to sustainability.  Earlier this year, the UAE announced its Net Zero by 2050 Strategic Initiative, a national drive to achieve net-zero emissions by 2050, making it the first country in the MENA region to announce such an initiative. The Net Zero Initiative will see the UAE invest over AED600 billion in clean and renewable energy over the coming decades. 

Delivering global net zero commitments and the journey to COP28, which will be held in the UAE in 2023, will be key topics for driving discussions at the ADSW Summit.  The ADSW Summit, which will take place virtually on Monday January 17, will host global leaders from government, industry and technology to explore the latest technological and economic trends that are shaping the sustainability agenda. 

An important enabler to delivering a sustainable future is innovation and supporting emerging technologies and start-ups. New to the ADSW program is Innovate, a global initiative recently launched by Masdar City aimed at identifying and nurturing the next generation of sustainable technologies. As part of its year-round program, Innovate will include a innovation hub at the World Future Energy Summit exhibition, taking place at Abu Dhabi National Exhibition Centre (ADNEC) from January 17 – 19.

The World Future Energy Summit will also host a series of industry forums that will bring together leading experts to discuss clean energy, water, ecowaste, solar, smart cities and climate and environment.   

ADSW is aligned with The ‘Principles of the 50,’ which serve as a strategic roadmap as the nation enters a new era in its development path, and a new cycle of economic, political and social growth. As one of the largest of gatherings of its kind, ADSW provides a global platform for cooperation, knowledge sharing, investment and innovation, welcoming each year more than 45,000 participants from over 170 countries, with more than 1,000 international companies represented.

ADSW will be taking place from Saturday January 15 – Wednesday January 19, 2022. 
Key dates include: January 15-16 - IRENA Assembly, Atlantic Council Global Energy Forum, January 17 - Opening Ceremony and the Zayed Sustainability Prize Awards Ceremony, ADSW Summit,  January 17-19 - World Future Energy Summit, Innovate, Youth 4 Sustainability Hub, January 18 - WiSER Forum, January 19, Abu Dhabi Sustainable Finance Forum. 

Registration details for individual ADSW events can be found on www.adsw.ae.

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24 NOV 2016

Abu Dhabi Sustainability Week 2017 to convene first Advisory

Abu Dhabi Sustainability Week (ADSW), the Middle East’s largest gathering on sustainability, will host an elite group of industry experts to advise on the event’s continued success in translating the global mandate for renewable energy and clean technologies into concerted policy and business action.

Held every January, ADSW welcomes heads of state, government ministers and international trade delegations – among a diversity of other stakeholders – to address the world’s most critical sustainability issues on the themes of Policy, Leadership, Business, Academic Research, and Community Awareness.

The first ADSW Advisory Council will take place on January 17, the day after the event’s formal opening ceremony, and every year thereafter. It will also follow Global Action Day, a high-level event aimed at translating global aspirations for sustainability into practical and innovative policy, investment, technology and partnership solutions.

The Council’s membership comprises both international and Middle East-based opinion leaders, all long-standing supporters of and speakers at ADSW and in many cases, passionate advocates of the Zayed Future Energy Prize, which distributes an annual prize fund of US$4 million to exceptional companies, individuals and schools implementing renewable energy and sustainability solutions.

The Council members are Adnan Amin, Director General of the International Renewable Energy Agency (IRENA); Rachel Kyte, Chief Executive Officer of Sustainable Energy for All (SEforALL) and Special Representative of the United Nations Secretary-General for SEforALL; Her Excellency Razan Khalifa Al Mubarak, Secretary General of the Environment Agency – Abu Dhabi; Dr Fatih Birol, Executive Director, International Energy Agency; Marie Jose Nadeau, Chair of the World Energy Council; Michael Liebreich, Founder and Chairman of the Advisory Board, Bloomberg New Energy Finance, and Board Member, Transport for London; David Sandalow, Inaugural Fellow, Columbia University; Professor Jeffrey Sachs, Professor of Sustainable Development, The Earth Institute, Columbia University; Dr Saif Al Sayari, Acting Director General, Abu Dhabi Water & Electricity Authority; Dayae Oudghiri, Management Board Member of the Moroccan Agency for Solar Energy (MASEN); Jonathon Porritt, Founder Director, Forum for the Future; and His Excellency Dr Nasser Saidi, Chairman of the Clean Energy Business Council.
ADSW 2016 received nearly 36,000 attendees representing 170 countries, 382 exhibiting companies, more than 200 high-level speakers and 80 government ministers.

“As a global platform for addressing the interconnected challenges of clean energy, water and sustainable development, Abu Dhabi Sustainability Week has developed lasting partnerships with many of the world’s most admired experts and opinion formers on sustainability issues,” said Mohamed Jameel Al Ramahi, Chief Executive Officer of Masdar, Abu Dhabi’s renewable energy company and the host of ADSW.

“As we mark ten years of the World Future Energy Summit in 2017 and embark on the next decade of our expansion at Masdar, it is an honour to bring together some of our must trusted associates in charting the future evolution of the MENA region’s largest sustainability gathering.

“The guidance of the ADSW Advisory Council, representing the broadest cross-section of the sustainability domain, will ensure that ADSW continues to set the action-agenda from both a policy and business perspective – this is particularly important now that the clean energy sector has moved from the margins into the mainstream as a dynamic, commercially viable growth market,” Al Ramahi added.

ADSW 2017 takes places on the theme ‘Practical Steps Towards a Sustainable Future’ from January 12-21. The opening ceremony will initiate four days of presentations, discussions and workshops on a range of pressing topics across energy, water and waste. These include strategies to drive investment, implementation of the Paris Agreement, and the challenges of adapting existing infrastructure to the new market reality of small-scale, distributed power.

“As a long-standing supporter of ADSW and a keen advocate of the UAE’s efforts to advance the clean energy agenda, I am delighted to deepen my involvement in ADSW, and to help chart the course of its continued success,” said Michael Liebreich, Founder and Chairman of the Advisory Board, Bloomberg New Energy Finance, and Board Member, Transport for London.

“Bloomberg New Energy Finance’s research has shown developing countries are overtaking the wealthiest economies in attracting clean energy investment, with the Middle East & North Africa playing a growing role. The global profile of ADSW is valuable in bringing emerging market opportunities to a wider stage, thereby enabling greater cooperation between developed and developing economies.”

ADSW 2017 will be the first global platform to debate practical approaches to the outcomes of COP22, the first UN climate summit to be held in the MENA region, with the agenda informed by the challenges of both emerging markets and developed economies, as well as the practical lessons they have learnt.

ADSW 2017 will also be an opportunity to reflect on the response to the Masdar Gen Z Global Sustainability Survey, unveiled at COP22, the first international study on the attitudes of 18-25-year-olds, the demographic cohort known as Generation Z, towards climate change, sustainability and renewable energy.

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09 OCT 2021

ABU DHABI SUSTAINABILITY WEEK LAUNCHES COLLABORATION WITH EXPO 2020 DUBAI

  • Abu Dhabi Sustainability Week Opening Ceremony and Zayed Sustainability Prize Awards Ceremony will take place at Expo on Monday January 17, 2022
  • All other Abu Dhabi Sustainability Week events will take place in Abu Dhabi or will be hosted virtually
  • Announcement took place during Expo 2020’s Climate and Biodiversity Week

Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates; October 9, 2021: Abu Dhabi Sustainability Week (ADSW), the global platform for accelerating sustainable development, hosted by Masdar, has today announced a new collaboration, which will bring elements of the Week to Expo 2020 Dubai. The ADSW Opening Ceremony and the Zayed Sustainability Prize Awards Ceremony will take place at the Dubai Exhibition Centre on Monday 17 January 2022.

The announcement was made during Expo 2020’s Climate and Biodiversity Week (the first of 10 Theme Weeks that anchor the Programme for People and Planet) which aims to mobilise the world to take decisive action for the health of our world. Bringing ADSW’s vital platforms to Expo 2020 will further demonstrate the UAE’s leading role in driving action on climate change, at home, in the region, and throughout the world.

ADSW is one of the largest of gatherings of its kind, which welcomes each year more than 45,000 participants from more than 170 countries. The week will return between 15 – 19 January 2022 and feature a series of high-level in person and virtual events.

H.E. Dr. Sultan Ahmed Al Jaber, UAE Minister of Industry and Advanced Technology, Special Envoy for Climate Change, and Chairman of Masdar, said: Hosting the opening of ADSW together with the ZSP award ceremony at Expo 2020 Dubai will serve to reinforce the UAE’s commitment to climate action and sustainability, as key drivers of the UAE’s progressive model for economic growth. The combination of ADSW’s experience as a convenor with Expo 2020 Dubai’s global reach will help expand partnerships, drive innovation and open up new economic opportunities. As the UAE marks 50 years of progress, with the Principles of the Fifty, sustainability will remain a cornerstone of plans for future growth, creating new knowledge, new skills, new industries and new jobs.”

The ADSW Opening Ceremony and the Zayed Sustainability Prize Awards Ceremony, will bring together more than 600 VIPs from around the world, including heads of state, government ministers, industry leaders and country ambassadors. During the Opening Ceremony, H.E. Dr Sultan Al Jaber will deliver a keynote speech.

Her Excellency Reem Al Hashimy, UAE Minister of State for International Cooperation and Director General of Expo 2020 Dubai, said: “As one of our three subthemes, Sustainability is integrated across the entirety of Expo 2020 Dubai. We aim to be one of the most sustainable World Expos in history, supporting the UAE’s continued efforts to build cleaner, safer, and healthier communities for its people. As a long-standing platform for sustainability, Abu Dhabi Sustainability Week has a legacy of bringing together the global community, facilitating dialogue and accelerating sustainable development. These qualities align with the aims of the Programme for People and Planet at Expo and our goal of catalysing a one-of-a-kind movement to shape the legacy that Expo 2020 leaves the world.

“For the six months of Expo 2020, the world’s gaze will be on the UAE. Holding the opening of Abu Dhabi Sustainability Week and the Zayed Sustainability Prize Awards Ceremony at Expo 2020, when the world’s gaze is on the UAE, exemplifies how we can all work together to mitigate climate change.”

Since 2008, Abu Dhabi has provided a sustainable platform for the global community that has grown through its initiatives and events to emerge as a thought leader and catalyst that accelerates sustainable development around the world.

The week will bring together policy makers, industry specialists, technology pioneers and the next generation of sustainability leaders to engage in dialogue and take action to advance the global sustainability agenda.

The 2022 program will include the ADSW Opening Ceremony, Zayed Sustainability Prize Awards Ceremony, ADSW Summit, IRENA Assembly, Abu Dhabi Sustainable Finance Forum, Atlantic Council Global Energy Forum, Women in Sustainability, Environment and Renewable Energy (WiSER) Forum, Youth 4 Sustainability Hub, and the World Future Energy Summit – Exhibitions and Forums.

Launched at the 2008 World Future Energy Summit by H.H. Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi and Deputy Supreme Commander of the UAE Armed Forces, the Zayed Sustainability Prize is a tribute to his father, the late Sheikh Zayed bin Sultan Al Nahyan, and his sustainability legacy.

Over 352 million people have been directly or indirectly impacted by the sustainability solutions and school projects of the 86 recipients of the Zayed Sustainability Prize winners since the first awards ceremony in 2009.

The Prize’s US$3 million annual fund rewards winners US$600,000 in each category; the Global High Schools category is split into six world region winners, with each school able to claim up to US$100,000 to start or further expand their project. The six world regions of the Global High Schools category are The Americas, Sub-Saharan Africa, Middle East & North Africa, Europe & Central Asia, South Asia, and East Asia & Pacific.

All ADSW events other than its Opening Ceremony and the Zayed Sustainability Prize Awards Ceremony will take place in Abu Dhabi or will be hosted virtually.

Learn more about Abu Dhabi Sustainability Week at www.adsw.ae

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17 DEC 2016

Abu Dhabi Sustainability Week 2017 targets new technologies in meeting

Abu Dhabi, UAE, December 17, 2016 – Ground water scarcity exacerbated by increased water demand due to population growth and the effects of climate change – droughts, higher temperatures – is a critical sustainability challenge for many regions of the world. The Middle East & North Africa (MENA) is no exception.

As the gap between water demand and availability in the Arabian Gulf widens, the pressure on desalination technologies to meet water consumption needs inevitably grows.

At the next Abu Dhabi Sustainability Week (ADSW), taking place from January 12-21, Abu Dhabi’s renewable energy company Masdar will present technical data from an innovative pilot programme that could pave the way for the commercial adoption of seawater desalination powered by clean energy.

The programme, which last month completed one year of operations, was announced at the inaugural International Water Summit (IWS) – one of the co-located exhibitions at ADSW – in January 2013.

It started with four small-scale desalination plants testing innovative energy-efficient desalination technologies; a fifth was launched in October this year, run by the French engineering company Mascara.

“The Mascara project uses reverse osmosis technology and is a showcase of an off-grid solution,” said Dr Alexander Ritschel, Head of Applications Development at Masdar’s Clean Energy division. “It can be operated independently, off-grid; it’s a 100% photovoltaics-powered desalination system. It also works without batteries and chemicals, so it’s a solution for remote locations.”

Mascara’s new plant produces 30 cubic metres of desalinated seawater per day, bringing the combined daily output of all five pilot plants in Ghantoot, Abu Dhabi to 1,500 cubic metres. The other partners in the programme are Abengoa, Suez, Sidem (Veolia) and Trevi Systems.

Altogether, four companies are evaluating reverse osmosis technology, while the fifth is researching forward osmosis. Reverse osmosis is a more energy efficient alternative to the thermal technology currently used for large-scale seawater desalination across the Arabian Gulf.

Forward osmosis is still an emerging technology but could be a viable long-term solution for hard-to-treat water sources such as highly saline water (including certain groundwater sources in the UAE or the brine stream ejected by desalination plants) or water containing significant amounts of organic matter.

“The results of our pilot programme after one year are very encouraging; performance in terms of reliability has been very high,” added Dr Ritschel. “The programme is preparing the ground for the transition expected to take place over the next decade from integrated water-and-power-generation plants to standalone, membrane-based desalination facilities powered only by electricity.”

With many conventional desalination installations nearing the end of their operational life over the next few years, and with potable water consumption in MENA expected to increase from 42 cubic kilometres per year in 2012 today to 200 cubic kilometres by 2050, the opportunities to deploy more energy-efficient alternatives, commercially and at scale, are increasingly coming under the spotlight.

The technologies being tested in Masdar’s Renewable Energy Desalination Programme are up to 40%-less energy intensive than thermal seawater desalination, according to Dr Ritschel.

The practical steps needed to advance clean-energy desalination will be a key topic at the next International Water Summit in January, which will focus on the needs of the MENA region. Other issues on the conference agenda include water project financing, waste water strategies and recycling, smart infrastructure, and water in the urban environment.

In parallel with adopting more sustainable methods to produce drinking water, the UAE is rolling out initiatives to reduce water demand. Unveiled at IWS two years ago, the Environment Agency-Abu Dhabi is implementing a “water budget” aimed at the more responsible management of the emirates’ finite water resources.

The “budget” is based on a combination of strategies including reducing waste, increasing the efficiency of irrigation technologies and methods (forestry, agriculture and landscaping alone consume more than 80% of Abu Dhabi’s water supply) and reducing utility subsidies for residential consumers.

“Abu Dhabi’s daily rate of domestic water consumption is about 563 litres per capita, still the highest in the world, and domestic water demand will more than double by 2030,” said Dr Mohammed Abdel Hamyd Dawoud, EAD Advisor for Water Resources, Environment Quality Sector. “The new tariff structure that has been introduced is helping to reduce this rate.”

“EAD is working with TRANSCO [Abu Dhabi Transmission & Despatch Company] in the Liwa strategic water reserve project [a five-billion-gallon aquifer made up of injected desalinated water], which will be completed this month,” added Dr Dawoud, who will address a panel on energy-efficient desalination in the Middle East at IWS 2017.

Today, Abu Dhabi’s available fresh groundwater resources stand at barely 0.5%, and water access is becoming increasingly stretched for around a quarter of the world’s population.

According to a World Bank report, the average person in the MENA region has only 1,000 cubic metres of fresh water available per year, compared with the global average of 7,000 cubic metres.

Concerns over water scarcity and the sustainability challenges associated with conventional seawater desalination methods are motivating greater collaboration to find workable, commercially viable solutions.

Abu Dhabi’s renewable energy company Masdar was a co-founder of the Global Clean Water Desalination Alliance (GCWDA) at COP21 in Paris along with the French government and the International Desalination Association. Today, the Alliance has 141 members from dozens of countries.

At the COP22 international climate conference in Morocco last month, the GCWDA signed the Marrakech Declaration of Global Alliances for Water and Climate (GAWC) stipulating cooperation in three strategic areas: stakeholder mobilisation to secure a place for water in climate summits, negotiations and financial mechanisms; the exchange of lessons learned and existing best practices; and the identification and support for new actions.

Marking the one-year anniversary of the Alliance, His Excellency Michel Miraillet, the Ambassador of France to the UAE, said: “The Alliance is a benchmark for effective international cooperation, offering a multilateral platform for both government and the private sector to work together on policy and technical innovation.”

The Alliance will host its next board meeting at ADSW 2017.