Irrigation Systems in the United Arab Emirates

Driving down the streets of Dubai, one cannot ignore the large puddles of water that cover the side of the streets and sidewalks. These puddles, which are the result of attempted irrigation of green patches and plants, are a big waste. As a result, a very important question comes to mind: Does the UAE have that much water to spare? Water in the UAE is in very short supply. The United Arab Emirates is one of the top 10 most water-scarce countries in the world, and has one of the highest per capita water usages globally. With 550 liters per … Continue reading

Food Waste, Ramadan and the Middle East

With the holy month of Ramadan only a few days away, huge food wastage in the Middle East is again hogging limelight. It is a widely acccepted fact that almost half of the municipal solid waste stream in the Middle East is comprised of food wastes and associated matter. The increasing amount of food waste in the Middle East urgently demands a strong food waste management strategy to ensure its minimization and eco-friendly disposal.  Food Waste in Ramadan Middle East nations are acknowleded as being the world’s top food wasters, and during Ramadan the situation takes a turn for the worse. In 2012, the Dubai Municipality … Continue reading

Renewable Energy in World’s Top-10 Oil Producing Countries

In April 2019, Puerto Rico Gov. Ricardo Rosselló signed a bill that aims to power the island totally through renewable energy by 2050. It also aims to completely give up coal by 2028. Puerto Rico is an unincorporated territory of the United States of America, which is today the world’s largest oil producing country. This begs the question, what are the world’s top 10 oil producers doing to increase energy from renewable sources? First, let us have a look at how much oil these countries produced in 2017, which was the latest data available at the time of writing this article. … Continue reading

Green Building Sector in the UAE: Perspectives

The focus on sustainability is one of the biggest trends in the GCC’s building sector. This is underpinned by Dubai being ranked third in the list of global cities with the highest number of green certified buildings in the ‘Sustainability and Wellness in Dubai’ report by Core Savills with over 550 projects under LEED certification and the implementation of the Estidama framework in Abu Dhabi. Paving the Way In the UAE, the directives by the Federal and Local Government entities to establish a sustainable economy that advocates demand side-energy management, and water & energy use efficiency has encouraged real estate … Continue reading

The Benefits of Green Buildings for the Middle East

The Middle East region faces a unique set of challenges in terms of sustainable buildings and cities. For example, water shortage is mitigated by costly desalination and we are faced with high water consumption which leads to a higher carbon footprint and ultimately impacts climate change. Middle Eastern countries are at the top of the list of largest per capita ecological footprints. In 2020, Qatar has the highest per capita level of carbon dioxide emissions, at 37 metric tons per person annually. Kuwait is second with 20.83 tons, followed by Saudi Arabia with 17.97 metric tons. Therefore, integrating energy efficiency … Continue reading

Carbon Capture and Storage: Prospects in GCC

Gulf Cooperation Council countries are burgeoning economies which are highly dependent on hydrocarbons to fuel their needs for economic growth. GCC nations are fully aware of the mounting consequences of increasing levels of CO­2 on the environment, mainly attributed to soaring energy demand of domestic and industrial sector. Regional countries are undertaking concrete steps and measures to reduce their carbon footprint through the introduction of renewable energy and energy efficiency measures. Among other options, Carbon Capture and Storage, popularly known as CCS, can be an attractive proposition for GCC nations. What is CCS Carbon capture and storage (or carbon capture and sequestration) … Continue reading

Red Palm Weevil – A Real Threat to Date Palms in Middle East

A modern day threat to agriculture across the globe is the red palm weevil (Rhynchophorus ferrugineus). This creature is native to South Asia but it rather rapidly spreading its wings and crossing the globe. The red palm weevil can completely destroy palm groves, be it coconut, date or palm oil. Over the immediate past 30 years, the red palm weevil (also known as red date weevil) has penetrated over 60 countries and is now reaching the Middle East,  northern Africa, southern Europe and across to the Caribbean. Emergence in the Middle East The weevil began to appear in Saudi Arabia … Continue reading

The Menace of Plastic Water Bottles

It is common to see people greatly misuse plastic water bottles considering it free, taking a bottle, sipping it half and throwing it away. These used and partially consumed water bottles are then collected and thrown away in municipal garbage bins from where  it is collected and transported to landfills and waste dumps. These water bottles thus have a high carbon footprint and represent enormous wastage of precious water source and misuse of our other fragile resources. In many cases, these water bottles are being littered around the commercial and religious places. Plastic water bottles are a common feature in … Continue reading

Environmental Education: Key to a Better Future

Tomorrow’s leaders need to be equipped for tomorrow’s challenges, and we must adequately prepare our children for the future they will inherit. As climate change is being felt across the globe and its long term catastrophic impacts have never been so scientifically clear, environmental education is the key to a better future. In an era where more and more children are disconnected from nature, we should recognize the importance of making a real investment in environmental education and outdoor learning. Studies have shown environmental education engages students in learning, raising test scores, and encouraging youth to pursue career in environmental and … Continue reading

The Menace of Plastic Water Bottles

Plastic water bottles are a common feature in urban life. The availability of water bottles is common and the cost is affordable by all sections of the society due to which its use and misuse has increased manifolds with time. People also provide it for free in mosques and other public locations. It is because of its easy availability that people misuse this resource considering it free, taking a bottle, sipping it, consuming partly and leaving it at the venue or throwing it in garbage bins. Empty and partially consumed plastic water bottles are collected and thrown away in municipal … Continue reading

The Impact of Urban Heat Island Effect on Sustainability

Urban Heat Island (UHI) Effect arises due to absorption of incident radiation from the sun by built surfaces of tall buildings, roof, concrete structures and asphalt roads and then releasing it in the form of heat. The term “urban heat island” describes the built-up areas that are significantly hotter than the surrounding open, natural or rural areas. It occurs on the surface and in the atmosphere. The built surfaces are made of high-percentage of non-reflective and water-resistant construction materials. These materials act as heat sinks that absorb the radiated heat and store it for long time. The Urban Heat Island … Continue reading

Sustainability in the MENA Cement Industry: Perspectives

The population in the MENA countries has doubled during the last 30 years (from ca. 110m in 1980 to almost 484m in 2018). As per conservative estimates, the rate of urbanisation in the MENA countries will exceed 70% five years from today (average for all developing countries: 54%). The proceeding urbanisation and the population increase involve several problems and challenges for the national governments and also for the cement industry. The cement production of countries in the MENA region has almost tripled during the last 15 years up to approximately 500m tons. Since the start of national revolts and demonstrations … Continue reading