A Sustainable Future One Building at a Time

Muhammad Ali Bandial
Filed on October 14, 2021

For 15 years, the Emirates Green Building Council (EGBC) has been promoting the concept of green building. Now with Expo 2020 Dubai, it is time to take the message to the world

Sustainability is a fairly new concept in the UAE. The Emirates Green Building Council (EGBC), established in 2006, was one of the first entities to introduce the concept with wealth of experience in sustainability, as a leading organisation, promoting green buildings and sustainability not just in the UAE but in the region.

Promoting green building

EGBC is a non-profit organisation, focused towards educating people and spreading awareness. It approaches every entity, government department, private sector without any agenda except to raise awareness and share their findings. EGBC also runs a ‘Emirates coalition for green schools’ programme to educate the new generation.

Green building

A ‘green building’ encompasses a holistic sustainability approach that also includes operations and functionality. It ensures that every step of the process is adaptable and sustainable without harming the environment, using energy and water and resources efficiently, and using certified ‘green’ building materials that contain the least embodied carbon.

Sustainability journey

EGBC has been a pioneer not just in the region but globally as well, being one of the first councils to join the World Green Building Council. The journey of changing people’s perceptions and mindsets has been challenging at times.

Future challenges

Global warming and climate changing is no longer a possibility, it is a reality. There are natural disasters, deforestation, fires, heat waves everywhere. The challenge now is to achieve net zero carbon emissions.

Expectations from Expo 2020 Dubai

Historically, the Expo has always introduced new concepts. This year, the focus has to be on sharing knowledge on sustainability and to ensure that people from all sectors and all over the world sit together and collaborate and cooperate to achieve Net Zero carbon emissions. Nobody can achieve it on their own, no sector can do it in isolation.

MENA Green Building Awards

The MENA Green Building Awards celebrates and recognises excellence and best practices in the built environment across the design, construction and operation of building projects in the MENA region covering 17 different categories.

In its 10th cycle, the Awards programme are open to all organisations and projects demonstrating green building excellence in the Middle East and North Africa region. Organised by Emirates Green Building Council in partnership with eight regional Green Building Councils and endorsed by the World Green Building Council, the Awards winners will be announced during the much-anticipated Awards Ceremony and Gala Dinner held in Dubai on the 24th November 2021.

A Sustainable Future One Building at a Time (

Dr. Ali Al Jassim


Chairman of Emirates Green Building Council. Holds a Doctor of Philosophy (PhD) in Business Management, an MBA with Honours, and a Bachelor of Science in Civil Engineering. Twenty five years of experience in leading roles delivering programmes and projects and has held top positions in both the public and private sector. Board member of the Emirates Environmental Group (EEG) and World Green Economy Organisation (WGEO).

A Sustainable Future One Building at a Time (

Habiba Al Mar’ashi

Co-founder and Treasurer

Co-founder and Chairperson of Emirates Environmental Group (EEG), a pioneering non-governmental organisation that become the first environmental NGO in the world to receive An ISO 14001 certification. She single-handedly established the Arabia CSR Network in 2004. Co-founder of the EGBCand serves as its Treasurer. She is also the member of Global Investors for Sustainable Development (GISD) Alliance.

A Sustainable Future One Building at a Time (

Farah Yassine

Vice Chair

Associate Sustainability Lead in the Environment and Sustainability team at WSP in the Middle East. Currently manages the sustainability discipline in addition to leading the Energy and Waste service lines. Her expertise covers a wide range of development typologies including residential, commercial, hospitality, industrial and mixed-use developments in the management of sustainable design, construction and operational aspects.

A Sustainable Future One Building at a Time (

Khalid Bushnaq

Vice Chair

Founder and CEO of Energy Management Services (EMS), the first energy saving/ service company (ESCO) in the Middle East and the Vice Chairman of EGBC.Recipient of the 1993 “Special Recognition Award” at the 16th World Energy Congress, and bestowed the title “Legend in Energy — 2010” by the Association of Energy Engineers — USA at its 33rd World Energy Congress, in honour of his stellar career in the domain of energy efficiency.

A Sustainable Future One Building at a Time (

Sarah Alzarouni

Board Secretary

Currently works in Dubai Electricity and Water Authority (DEWA) as a researcher in the energy efficiency area. Her current research project includes zero energy buildings and cooling efficiency.

A Sustainable Future One Building at a Time (

Dr. Waleed Yagoub


Director at EGBC. Has a vast experience in sustainable building performance, cogeneration and renewable energy analysis and feasibility studies. Holds an MSc and PhD degreesfrom the University of Nottingham and a Chartered Engineer with the UK Engineering Council, member of Chartered Institution of Building Services Engineers (CIBSE), Institution of Mechanical Engineers (IMechE), and Institute of Physics (IoP). Visiting Lecturer at Middlesex University in London and member of the Industry Advisory Board of Mechanical Engineering Department at Manipal University in Dubai.

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