By virtue of Vision 2021, the UAE is striving to diversify its income resources to become a successful model of a green economy. In line with the nation’s vision, the UAE Cabinet approved the Green Agenda 2030 as a framework to guide actions that support the transition. The framework is based on 5 strategic objectives and is supported by 12 main programs. In addition, to ensure the achievement of SDG 12, the Ministry of Climate Change & Environment (MOCCAE) is in the process of integrating the concept of Sustainable Consumption and Production (SCP) in a national plan to help streamline the concept in sectoral plans and strategies, sustainable business practices and consumer behaviour.

Policies and Initiatives

The UAE portal for the Sustainable Development Goals (

The UAE Green Business Toolkit (2018) is a guideline published on the occasion of the World Environment Day to help Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs) in greening their value chains

The National Waste Database System (2018) supports the collection of waste related data from all relevant authorities within the UAE to manage the data analysis and reporting at local and national levels

His Highness Sheikh Mohammad bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai, announced in 2017 the aim to become a zero food waste nation.


More engagement is required from business in general to support the implementation of SCP, as strong business actions is required for its success.

Collecting waste data from all relevant authorities across the UAE to manage reporting at local and national levels proved to be a challenge that is being addressed through a national Waste Database System recently launched in 2018.

Recognizing the commitment of UAE towards promoting and generating Sustainable Development and in continuation of the ongoing partnership between Canadian University Dubai and Dubai Municipality’s Environmental Centre for Arab Towns (ECAT) who last year hosted the first-ever forum ‘Executive Program on Sustainability; the Canadian University Dubai and ECAT took another step forward this week by successfully delivering a second forum entitled “Executive Action Forum on Sustainable Development: Generating Economic Development through Integrated Waste and Resource Management in the Middle East.”

The Forum was led by Dr Karlson ‘Charlie’ Hargroves; a world-renowned sustainability transitions consultant, researcher and author and was assisted by Mr. Daniel Conley, Course Tutor.

Aimed at professionals, entrepreneurs, and public officials working in the resources or waste sector needing to gain an up to date understanding of the latest approaches to generate economic development opportunities through integrated waste and resource management in the Middle East, based on world’s best practice, the Forum was designed to provide participants with a clear understanding of the opportunities available to capitalize on proven and emerging waste and resource management practices and to generate economic development opportunities in line with the Dubai Municipality mandatory requirement to reuse or recycle a minimum of 50 percent of C&D waste for new developments.

Topics in the courses included the economics of decoupling waste from economic growth, an update on progress in reuse, recycling, recovery and re-design and the exploration of the innovative approaches that create new products and markets in the sustainability arena.

While globally the perception of the Middle East may be that it is lagging behind in terms of advancing sustainability, the story on the ground is entirely different with initiatives such as Dubai Sustainable City and Desert Rose clearly demonstrating Dubai’s determination to become one of the world’s leading sustainable cities. Equally, Dubai has encouraged new construction projects to identify a series of sustainable initiatives and targets which will help guide incorporate sustainability into design and building.

The Forum was delivered in an executive education format with a focus on providing capacity building using a range of methods, including TEDx-like lectures, individual discovery and small group exploration, as well as including oral presentations within small group activities.

Representatives from Sewage Network and Treatment Departments, Dubai Municipality, Sewerage & Irrigation Network Department, Dubai Municipality, Dibba Municipality, SEPCO Environment and the Riyadh Development Authority from the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia attended the forum.

At the end of the Forum Certificates were presented to all delegates by Mr. Hussain Abdulla Fardan, Director of Environmental Center for Arab Towns (ECAT).

Faculty members from Canadian University Dubai (CUD) were in attendance at the recent unveiling of Solar Decathlon Middle East, an international university competition that aims to promote sustainable, energy-efficient living.

Dr. Mohammed Alakhras, Associate Professor and Chair of Telecommunications in the School of Engineering, Applied Science & Technology; Mr. Serkan Gunay, Assistant Professor and Chair in the School of Architecture & Interior Design; Mr. Luca Donner and Ms. Carla Arias, Assistant Professors in the School of Architecture & Interior Design; and Mr. Ryan Sisson, Lecturer in the School of Environment & Health Sciences, were invited by the Dubai Electricity and Water Authority (DEWA) to attend the first workshop about the competition held in the UAE.

The Solar Decathlon, which originated in the United States, challenges university teams from around the world to design, build and operate a house that is completely self-sufficient in terms of energy creation and consumption. Dubai will be joining the competition in 2018 and the UAE will become the first country in the Middle East to host the event two years later, in conjunction with Expo 2020.

Extending the initiative to Dubai reflects the growing importance of the UAE on the international stage and will help to support DEWA’s strategic measures towards a green economy. According to Dr. Alakhras, the competition also presents an excellent opportunity for students, academics and industry in Dubai to work together on building a sustainable future.

He said, “This is a multi-disciplinary initiative that will promote collaboration between different professional fields, as well as different sectors of society. At CUD we have academic expertise across a range of relevant disciplines, including engineering, construction, architecture, interior design, energy management, and environmental sustainability, all of which will be important in developing a successful project. We are very enthusiastic about this competition and the opportunity for our students to work alongside industry on such a transformational initiative.”

Participating teams for the 2018 competition will be selected in October 2016 and will go on to develop their designs for a house that uses renewable energy and is equipped with technologies that maximize energy efficiency. Participants will also have to adapt their designs to account for the dust and high humidity experienced in Dubai.

During the final stage of the competition, the teams will assemble their houses and open them up to the general public, while undergoing evaluation against ten different contest criteria. The winning design will showcase the best blend of affordability, consumer appeal, and design excellence, with optimal energy production and maximum efficiency.

Canadian University Dubai Partners with University of Prince Edward Island to offer Unique Dual Degree Program in Environment and Climate Change

In an exciting and innovative extension to its existing transfer arrangements with the University of Prince Edward Island (UPEI), Canadian University Dubai (CUD) has signed an agreement that will enable students in the UAE to complete a unique dual degree program combining environmental studies and climate change.

The agreement, which was signed recently by CUD Chancellor, Mr. Buti Saeed Al Ghandi, and President and Vice Chancellor of UPEI, Dr. Alaa Abd El-Aziz, allows students to undertake two years’ study in CUD’s Bachelor of Science in Environmental Health Management program and then transfer to Canada where they can complete their studies in environment and climate change at UPEI. The student can also finish their degree in Dubai and graduate with a dual recognition.

This new collaboration will further cement CUD’s ties with the Maritime Province’s premier higher education institution and lays the foundations for the development of a co-degree combining environmental studies, environmental sciences and climate change, which students could complete either in Dubai or in Canada.

Established in 1969, UPEI has developed a growing reputation as a leader in education, research, innovation and academic excellence. The institution is among several Universities in Canada that hold a general partnership agreement with CUD, providing for a range of different collaboration opportunities, including student transfer and further education.

The initiative will also advance CUD’s strategic approach to supporting the UAE National Climate Change Plan, which calls for the reorientation and upgrading of higher education curricula to prepare the future workforce for the green economy.

On signing the agreement, CUD Chancellor, Mr. Buti Saeed Al Ghandi, said that at a time when climate change was a major issue for our world, the introduction of this innovative UPEI program to the University’s existing Environmental Studies portfolio would offer students an exciting new career pathway and enhance CUD’s reputation as an institution committed to providing relevant educational opportunities for society in the 21st Century.

Speaking after the ceremony, Dr. Alaa said this agreement was a wonderful opportunity for Dubai students to come to Canada and experience the welcoming atmosphere of a Canadian Institution, where they would immediately feel at home. Reflecting on his own experience of CUD, where he is always warmly received, he added that students from Canada who wished to study at CUD would feel the same.