The U.S.-U.A.E. Business Council, the U.A.E. Embassy’s Trade and Commercial Office, and the Dubai Electricity & Water Authority (DEWA) co-hosted an exclusive roundtable luncheon in Washington, D.C. on Energy, Water, the Environment, Technologies, and Renewables.
Ms. Nourma Al Masri, Manager of Special Projects at DEWA, and Mr. Saeed Bel Jafla, DEWA’s Senior Manager of Government Relations, were joined at this event by H.E. Saud Al Nowais, U.A.E. Commercial Counselor to the United States of America, Mr. Danny Sebright, President of the U.S.-U.A.E. Business Council, and public and private-sector stakeholders interested in exploring opportunities for investments and partnerships with Dubai in the water, environment, smart technologies, and renewable energy sectors.
Mr. Sebright, Ms. Al Masri, Mr. Al Nowais, and Mr. Bel Jafla (Left to Right)
Mr. Sebright began the luncheon by applauding the immense strides taken by DEWA and other U.A.E. organizations to realize the ambitious renewable or alternative energy goals set forth in the U.A.E. 2021 Vision and the Dubai Clean Energy Strategy. Mr. Sebright remarked that DEWA is truly demonstrating that “a government, under visionary leadership, can play a leading role in effecting positive change.” Mr. Sebright also highlighted the myriad opportunities this presents for mutually beneficial partnerships with U.S. businesses, as outlined in a recent U.S.-U.A.E. Business Council report titled “Renewable and Alternative Energy in the U.A.E.: Overview and Opportunities for Business.”
Mr. Sebright then introduced H.E. Saud Al Nowais, who framed DEWA as part of a larger story about economic diversification, energy independence, and innovation in the U.A.E. “Open and tolerant, with world-class infrastructure, and a highly educated multinational workforce, the U.A.E. is a growing magnet for innovation and enterprise,” said Mr. Al Nowais. “DEWA is a hallmark of the U.A.E.’s drive toward alternative energy and a sustainable future. But the growth is not limited to that sector. In media, fashion and retail, high-tech, and other areas, we are now a base for startups, incubators and increasingly a destination for inbound venture capital.”
Building on the above remarks, Ms. Al Masri and Mr. Bel Jafla subsequently provided a detailed overview of the Dubai government’s efforts under H.H. Sheikh Mohammed Bin Rashid Al Maktoum, U.A.E. Vice President and Prime Minister and Ruler of Dubai, to deliver “adequate energy sources while employing a balanced approach to protecting the environment.” In so doing, they outlined Dubai’s key strategic initiatives and projects including but not limited to the Sheikh Mohammed Bin Rashid Solar Park, the Hassyan Clean Coal Power Project, the Shams Dubai Solar Rooftop Initiative, and the Green Charger Initiative. They also highlighted “The State of Green Economy Report 2016,” which discusses the U.A.E.’s past achievements and future outlook in this area.
The DEWA team also discussed the purpose of their visit to the United States. “Our aim for this engagement is to explore opportunities for collaboration to exchange information and best practices,” they said. “We also want to explore avenues for potential participation in key DEWA projects and events, in the framework of our larger cooperation with the U.S. Government.”
In this context, DEWA encouraged companies to participate in the annual Water, Energy, Technology, and Environment Exhibition (WETEX), which DEWA will be hosting from 23-25 October 2017 in Dubai. “We believe that WETEX 2017 is the ideal business platform and enabler for opportunities as it will open the door for the U.S. Energy Sector, Industries, and Businesses to participate in Dubai’s economic growth,” they said. “WETEX 2017 will witness more than 1,600 exhibitors from around the globe and over 26,000 visitors on a scale of more than 68,000 square meters of exhibition area.”
Following these remarks, Ms. Al Masri, Mr. Bel Jafla, Mr. Sebright, and Mr. Al Nowais answered questions from attendees about a variety of topics, including the Mohammed Bin Rashid Solar Park, geothermal energy, public-private partnerships, innovation centers, tendering procedures, and new government regulations. The attendees then posed for a group photo before sitting down to lunch.
Prior to visiting Washington, D.C., the DEWA delegation had traveled to San Diego and Los Angeles.