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2024 Energy & Sustainability Summit records over 150 in attendance

The event featured three keynote addresses from senior members of government departments, three panel discussions, two fireside chats and two presentations

Big Project Middle East’s (BPME) 2024 Energy & Sustainability Summit took place at the Habtoor Grand Resort, JBR, Dubai on 7 March and tracked over 150 delegates in attendance. The third edition of the annual event saw participation from five government organisations, in addition to dozens of firms from across the built environment and energy sectors.

Delegates and speakers included industry bodies, developers & operators, construction and engineering stakeholders, energy specialists and manufacturers, the magazine’s editorial team confirmed. The event was officially endorsed by the Dubai Supreme Council of Energy.

“I’m immensely proud of the third edition of the Energy & Sustainability Summit, the event is now unquestionably one of the top decarbonisation and sustainability focused conferences in the region, which is no small feat given the absolutely packed regional event roster. Six other events took place on the same day of the conference, so I’m very grateful to have had five different government organisations participate at the event, all of whom enriched the event’s agenda significantly. They were joined by experts from a variety of private sector firms, all of whom provided our audience with incredible insights, and food for thought with regards to the ongoing journey towards decarbonisation and achieving Net Zero,” said Jason Saundalkar, Head of Content at Big Project Middle East.

He added, “I would like to thank all of our sponsors for throwing their weight behind this keystone event, and look forward to working with my team to build the next edition in 2025.”

Eng. Faisal Ali Rashid, Senior Director – DSM at the Dubai Supreme Council of Energy.

The event opened with a welcome note from BPME’s Head of Content, following which delegates heard from three keynote speakers: Eng. Faisal Ali Rashid, Senior Director – DSM at the Dubai Supreme Council of Energy; Chris Wan, Associate Director of Sustainability and CSR at Masdar City, and Ahmed Jehad Saeed Binsahoo Al Suwaidi, VP – Asset Management at Etihad Water & Electricity (EtihadWE).

Following the three high level keynote addresses, the first panel discussion ‘Post COP28 Net Zero Action’ took place. The session was moderated by Farah Naz Innovation and ESG Lead, MEA at AECOM Middle East, and featured several speakers including: Ali Amiri, Building Engineering, Façade & Sustainability Director, Middle East & South Asia at Egis; Abdullatif Albitawi, Director at Emirates Green Building Council; Ahmed Labeeb, Senior Sustainability Manager at KEO International Consultants; Dr. Yianni Spanos, Vice President, Sustainability at EXPO City Dubai, and Farouk Jivani, Co-founder and CEO at Zeroe.

The session was followed by a fireside chat with Engi Jaber, CEO and Managing Director at Climatize Engineering Consultants, and was moderated by Jason Saundalkar.

Maxwell Stanley, Behavioral Scientist at the Department of Energy then gave a presentation which introduced delegates to the world of behavioral science, and how organisations can leverage it to achieve business and societal objectives.

Chris Wan, Associate Director of Sustainability and CSR at Masdar City.

The second panel discussion ‘Sustainable Materials and Decarbonising Construction Sites’ then took place, which was moderated by John Shenton, Chair of Dubai Hub at CIOB. The sessions speakers included: Atousa Aslmainezhad, Assistant Professor of Architecture at Heriot-Watt University Dubai; Basel Khalid Mohammed, Technical & Factory Manager at 3DXB; Calum Perey, Principal Structural Engineer at Cundall; Christopher Nicolas, Director at TBH; Matthias Gelber, NetZero Ambassador for Desert Board and Co-Founder at ESG Innovation Hub Singapore, and Seb Davies, Director – Cost Management at Rider Levett Bucknall.

The second fireside chat of the day was led by Matthias Gelber, who discussed Desert Board and its various applications with Kamal Farah, Director at Desert Board by Al Talah Board Manufacturing Co. Ltd.

The third panel discussion ‘Raising the Middle East’s Clean Energy Game’ was moderated by Boushra Barakat, Senior Environmental Engineer at AECOM, and discussed advancing the region’s clean energy mix. Its speakers included: Abdullatif Albitawi, Vice Chair, Energy Institute Middle East Branch; Dr Tadhg O’Donovan, Deputy Vice Principal at Heriot-Watt University; Riad Bestani, Founder and CEO at ECOSquare; Rola Nasreddine, Energy and Environmental Consultant at Springs Global Consultancy, and Sophia Hasnaoui, Senior Business Development Manager at Yellow Door Energy.

The final session of the day was led by Atif Rehman, Regional Manager – Middle East at Thinkproject who gave a presentation on the role technology can play in the region’s sustainable development journey. Rehman’s presentation highlighted the current landscape of clean energy in the MENA region, and discussed how automation and digitalisation are revolutionising efficiency. His presentation also showcased how the region can lead the clean energy transition by leveraging technology for a sustainable future.

The event was sponsored by:

Strategic Sponsor: KEO International Consultants
Bronze Sponsor: Thinkproject
Supporting Partner: Climatize, Cundall, Engineering Contracting Company, Egis, TBH Consultancy

Read more about the Energy & Sustainability Summit here.

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