UAE Cabinet meets in nature reserve to approve sustainability plan

Ministers pass new standards for buildings and homes to cut carbon footprint, and also launch this year's winter tourism campaign

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The Cabinet has approved a nationwide plan to introduce new sustainability standards for buildings, roads and homes to preserve resources and reduce the country's carbon footprint.

Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid, Vice President and Ruler of Dubai, led a meeting of ministers in Ajman's Al Zorah nature reserve on Sunday.

The government has put the country on a path to net zero greenhouse gas emissions by 2050, and was the first in the Middle East to set such a target.

On Sunday, they put in place a plan to cut the energy requirements of buildings and homes by 25 per cent and to reduce water consumption by 16 per cent.

The amount of energy and materials it takes to build roads would be cut by 45 per cent.

“Today, we approved the National Building Regulations policy, which includes sustainability standards for roads, buildings, housing and other [areas],” Sheikh Mohammed said on Twitter.

“The objective is to reduce the use of natural resources and our carbon footprint, and to promote environmental sustainability standards for buildings in the UAE.”

Winter tourism campaign

Sheikh Mohammed also launched a winter tourism campaign, following the success of the World's Coolest Winter drive last year.

He said the 2021 winter campaign was credited with creating 1.3 million domestic tourists, boosting the staycation economy.

“Ajman, with its white sands, the Red Fort, the Masfout Mountains, and the valleys of Manama, is the starting point for the campaign,” he wrote.

He congratulated Sheikh Humaid bin Rashid Al Nuaimi, Ruler of Ajman, his son Sheikh Ammar bin Humaid and his brothers for boosting the emirate's attraction as a tourism destination and its economy.

Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid meets Sheikh Humaid bin Rashid Al Nuaimi, Ruler of Ajman. Photo: Dubai Media Office

“This year's theme is 'our heritage', to spread the values ​​of these most beautiful Emirati people,” he said.

One-stop-shop for foreign investors

The Cabinet further approved the creation of a single platform for foreign investors to visit.

It would serve as a one-stop shop for people looking to invest in vital sectors such as financial technology, tourism, manufacturing, renewable energy, and others.

Education, agriculture and the creative industry will also feature.

This would allow a nationwide approach for foreign investment and streamline the process.

“The platform, which is supervised by the Ministry of Economy, works to highlight opportunities in all these sectors for investors of all categories,” Sheikh Mohammed said.

Emirates clean campaign

Ministers also approved the launch of the “Clean Emirates” campaign, coinciding with International Volunteer Day on December 5.

The campaign, launched by the Ministry of Community Development and the Ministry of Climate Change and Environment until December 15, aims to involve officials, ministers and work teams of federal and local authorities volunteering to clean up tourist destinations.

Decisions were also made to increase the efficiency of border crossings and economic free zones.

Other decisions related to a new campaign to tackle the root causes of unhealthy lifestyles, “strengthening the structural, institutional, human and health systems' capabilities and redirecting them to the process of preventing diseases,” state news agency Wam said.

A decision relating to provision of health services was also approved, while the Cabinet approved the UAE's accession to the Beijing Convention, which relates to security in civil aviation.

Updated: December 04, 2022, 5:47 PM
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