UAE holds 14th position globally for highest number of sustainable buildings

The UAE is the leading country in the region for the highest concentration of sustainable buildings, with 869-green rated buildings and standing in 14th position globally.

The US stands on the top of the world league table with about 81,000 green buildings and at the city level, London ranks first with 3,000 environmentally accredited buildings, as per real estate firm Knight Frank.

The organization’s second (Y)OUR SPACE report, which accumulated responses from 400 businesses worldwide, said there was a growing desire for buildings and organizations to be sustainable.

The study found 40% of firms have set a net-zero carbon target and, of those, 77% are aiming to achieve this by 2030.

But 87% of firms said that not exactly 50% of their current worldwide real estate portfolios are either green or sustainable, which recommends a disconnect between real estate and wider corporate thinking on sustainability, said Knight Frank.

However, there is increasing awareness of the need for sustainability in the Middle East, according to Faisal Durrani, head of Middle East research at Knight Frank: “The climate crisis has spawned a global green reawakening and businesses in the Middle East are alive to the climate challenge,” he said.

“Three-quarters of businesses in the Middle East sample of the (Y)our Space global survey, which represents 7,800 staff, say that their real estate choices in the future will be influenced by their net-zero targets; however the vast majority say that less than 25 percent of their global portfolios are green or sustainable.”

Durrani concluded that green credentials in buildings will turn into ‘a key battle ground’  in the post-COVID-19 economy, especially as office footprints are also reversed downward because of hybrid and remote working.

He featured progress in developers conveying sustainable real estate strategies, for example, Burj Khalifa’s condensation harvesting system, and integrated wind turbines on the Bahrain World Trade Centre.

Qatar positions 32nd spot worldwide for the concentration of green buildings in the GCC, with 140 green-rated buildings, while Saudi Arabia is 54th with 38. Kuwait and Oman have 12 green-licensed buildings each and rank 69th and 70th, respectively.

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