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British PM Johnson announces Dh156.81m clean growth loan for Sharjah environment HQ


London - The project is an example of British innovation in sustainable construction in the UAE

By Prasun Sonwalkar

Published: Thu 16 Sep 2021, 7:04 PM

Last updated: Thu 16 Sep 2021, 7:07 PM

London: British Prime Minister Boris Johnson on Thursday announced a £31 (Dh156.81)million clean growth loan from UK Export Finance (UKEF) to help complete the new Sharjah-based headquarters of Bee’ah, one of the UAE’s leading environmental management firms.

Announced alongside the ‘Partnership of the Future’ during the visit of His Highness Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi and Deputy Supreme Commander of the UAE Armed Forces, officials said the project is an example of British innovation in sustainable construction in the Arab nation.

The new green building, designed by late British architect Zaha Hadid, founder of Zaha Hadid Architects, will be entirely powered by renewable energy generated from its solar panels and waste-to-energy systems and be one of the most sophisticated ‘smart offices’ in the world.

It is the first clean growth loan issued by UKEF, the UK’s export credit agency, in the Middle East. The officials added that UKEF’s backing for the project sees around one-third of the value of this green contract being delivered by UK companies, including design, engineering and smart office services.

This support will enhance the original UKEF loan provided to Bee’ah after the building scope was expanded and will ensure increased procurement from the UK.

The building now includes new interalia office-of-the-future technologies that makes it one of the first artificial intelligence integrated buildings of its kind in the world, a project that was already recognised with the Digie Award for “Most Intelligent Building – Corporate Headquarters”.

Louis Taylor, chief executive of UKEF, said: “With COP26 just around the corner, UKEF is opening new frontiers for green exporters. This building will be a beacon for the possibilities offered by green technologies and is a shining example of the expertise of British firms like Zaha Hadid Architects.”

Salim bin Mohamed Al Owais, Chairman of Bee’ah, added: “As the Gulf region’s leader in sustainability, we are proud to be part of the new green finance deal that will further our sustainability ambitions in the region and bring our great nations closer together. The Bee’ah headquarters will stand as the manifestation of our two critical pillars of sustainability and digitisation, as we strive towards creating a smarter, greener future for our region.”

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