Construction Industry

RAKEZ Supports Construction Industry Investors Set Up and Expand in the UAE

Construction Industry

Ras Al Khaimah Economic Zone (RAKEZ) takes part in the Big 5 to help investors in the construction industry set up and expand their operations in the UAE. The economic zone’s participation underlines its commitment to the industry and reflects a world of opportunities for construction investors in the business haven of Ras Al Khaimah and the wider UAE.

Group CEO of RAKEZ, Ramy Jallad, said, “The construction industry in the UAE is projected to reach a value of more than USD 133 billion by 2027, according to the Global Data Report, which means that the prospects for companies and investors in the country’s construction supply chain are simply vast. And we aim to be at the forefront of this plan, helping stakeholders grow and expand into global markets.”

“RAKEZ has an ideal business ecosystem for investors in the diverse sectors of the construction industry. With us, an investor’s journey doesn’t end with company formation. Our support is available every step of the way, from liaising with government entities for securing relevant approvals at the initial stage to helping them connect with financial solution providers and the right suppliers within the industry on their onward journey,” he added.

The economic zone is already a fertile ground for hundreds of construction companies that chose RAKEZ as their base for growth. Steel fabrication and construction expert Fabcon Industrial Services is a prime example of a company that has benefitted from the RAKEZ business ecosystem. The firm’s General Manager, Binu Jacob, said, “We have consistently grown over the past 15 years, adding facilities and bringing projects from across the globe, thanks to RAKEZ for providing excellent support in terms of infrastructure and government interfaces, leaving us free to focus on the business.”

Along with Fabcon, many other companies are eager to benefit from the current and predicted growth in the industry. Ahmed Al Ghalayini, Project Manager, Rad Asphalt (a branch of Rad International Road Construction), said, “The UAE construction market is projected to grow more than 3% between 2023 and 2026, providing the contractors in the field the opportunity to thrive. The good news for companies who wish to utilise ecosystem business models, but otherwise lack the structures and maturity, is that there is RAKEZ, a growing body of leading companies, and an increasingly large workforce that understands the practical elements of building and operating an effective ecosystem function.”

Similarly, Fala Group Vice Chairman, Hani Ihsan Kurbaj added, “We set up Fala Asphalt Industry with RAKEZ in 2012 and our organisation has undergone a great deal of change since then. We got governmental infrastructural projects, hired more employees, welcomed diversity and gender balance in the workplace, and diversified our investments in the UAE and overseas. In all this, RAKEZ has been our supportive strategic partner understanding our needs and always working hand-in-hand with us. We are optimistic that if we continue like this, we can double our efforts to expand in the years to come.”

RAKEZ is one of the leaders spearheading growth in the construction sector actively supporting investors in their journeys. At the Big 5 International Building & Construction Show this year, the economic zone is extending its expertise and services for new as well as established companies that wish to expand their reach globally.

Earth

Africa Must Industrialize: 10 Key Points That African Leaders Committed to at the Just Concluded Summit On Industrialization and Economic Diversification

Earth

With increasingly growing concern over the slow progress in the implementation of the Industrial Development Decades for Africa (IDDA) I, II and III; the Strategy for the Implementation of the Action Plan for Accelerated Industrial development of Africa (AIDA); and other continental strategies and programmes relevant to industrialization, structural transformation and development towards the achievement of the African Union Agenda 2063, African leaders have committed to far-reaching and firm decisions to accelerate industrialization, economic diversification and trade on the continent, with full ownership by the citizens.

The leaders reaffirmed their determination to ensure that Africa’s industrialization and economic diversification is financed in a predictable manner and with the urgency of identifying and addressing the impediments to productivity and growth through infrastructural development, energy, access to finance, digitalization, innovation, and skills development to achieving economic diversification.

Here is a highlight of the key points of commitment at the just concluded African Union Extraordinary Summit on Industrialization and Economic Diversification, and the Extraordinary session on the African Continental Free Trade Area convened in Niamey, Niger on the 25th of November 2022.

  1. To accelerate a commodity-based industrialization as an engine of growth, productive jobs and economic diversification through a regional value chains on the continent’s natural resources endowments, with priorities on health and pharmaceutical, automotive, minerals beneficiation, food and nutrition and apparels of cotton industries in order to reduce the continent’s external dependency. In this regard, the African Union Commission will now draft a report with clear recommendations on strengthening regional value chains.
  2. To increase investments in infrastructure and energy with the support of financial institutions and partners to reduce production costs, and boost the competitiveness of the African economies.
  3. To enhance domestic resource mobilization to ensure sustainable financing on Africa’s industrialization, and allocate a minimum of 5 – 10% of the national budget dedicated to the industrial development.
  4. To develop sustainable Special Economic Zones and Industrial Parks as well as work with and support existing ones in member states as a means to overcoming existing industrial infrastructure constraints, and become hubs for regional value chain integration.
  5. To ensure inclusive and sustainable industrialization, the Heads of State and Government and other stakeholders will have regular dialogue with the private sector in order to scale up high level engagement on industrialization. The African Union Commission in collaboration with other institutions will strengthen support to Member States in creating an enabling business environment for private sector to thrive.
  6. The leaders endorsed the African Union Small and Medium Strategy. Relatedly, the African Union Commission is tasked with establishing and operationalising the Africa Enterprise Network. The African Union Commission will also work with the African Regional Standards Organization (ARSO) and the Pan-African Quality Infrastructure (PAQI) to expedite the finalization of the Made in Africa Standards and Guidelines.
  7. The leaders have committed to reserve a minimum of 10% of public procurement to local enterprises, to strengthen the private sector development and industrialization;
  8. At the Summit, the leaders agreed to establish, at the national levels, programmes for industrial linkages between the educational system and the labour market, aimed at promoting competitiveness of the private sector through development of soft and hard skills necessary for industrialization in particular in the areas of science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM); technical and vocational education and Ttaining (TVET), and robotics and artificial Intelligence. Relatedly, the African Union Commission and the African Capacity Building Foundation (ACBF) will prepare a feasibility study on the establishment of an African Manufacturing Institute to support Member States and the private sector in the development of modern manufacturing skills and fostering innovation in the manufacturing sector that will accompany the ongoing structural economic transformation in Africa.
  9. H.E Mohamed Bazoum, President of the Republic of Niger, was appointed the African Union Champion on Inclusive and Sustainable Industrialization and Productive Transformation, to provide political leadership and awareness, and ensure a follow-up on the progress regarding the industrial development on the continent in order to achieve Africa’s transformation under Agenda 2063. The African Union Commission will set-up an Inter-Institutional Coordination Mechanism to provide technical assistance to the AU Champion.
  10. With prevailing exceptional circumstances that justify the extension of the TRIPS Agreement to cover therapeutics and diagnostics for a comprehensive response for COVID-19, and to diversify production, the Heads of State called on all WTO Members to support the extension of the TRIPS waiver to cover the production and supply of COVID-19 diagnostics and therapeutics no later than 17 December 2022. Africa accounts for less than 5% of global production of all medical products, exposing the continent to vulnerabilities and fragility during pandemics.

 

Working with development partners, the African Union will also produce and disseminate amongst Member States, an annual Africa’s Industrial Development Report base on an African Industrial Development Index, and fast-track the establishment of the African Industrial Observatory.

The leaders called on the African Continental Free Trade Area Secretariat to support the implementation of the Single African Air Transport Market (SAATM) under the Guided Trade Initiative in collaboration with the African Civil Aviation Commission, African airlines and other relevant stakeholders. Further, the Secretariat is expected to fast-track the implementation of a work programme related to the Annexes for Technical Barriers to Trade (TBT) and Sanitary and Phytosanitary (SPS) specifically in the areas of standards harmonization.

Desert

Global Tourism Leaders Told of Saudi Arabia’s Unparalleled Ambition to Become One of the Top 5 Tourism Destinations in the World

Desert
  • Kingdom’s growth strategy wins ringing endorsement from WTTC Chiefs on Day 1 of 22nd Annual Summit
  • Tourism from nature generates $600 bn, WTTC CEO Julia Simpson tells delegates
  • Saudi Ministry of Tourism signed MoUs with Oman, Indonesia and Barbados

The leaders of the World Tourism and Travel Council (WTTC) have described Saudi Arabia’s ambition to become one of the top 5 destinations in the world in the next decade as “unparalleled” in the history of tourism and travel. 

Opening the 22nd edition of the Summit, Arnold Donald, Chair, WTTC & Vice Chair of the Board, Carnival Corporation, welcomed the nearly 3000 participants to what will be the biggest ever meeting of global tourism and travel industry leaders.

Praising the goals set by the Kingdom to welcome 100 million international and domestic travelers a year by 2030, Mr. Arnold said: “These are ambitions that are unparalleled in the history of our sector. Over the past three years it has been a great privilege to see the progress made here with our own eyes.”

Summit host, Saudi Arabia Minister of Tourism, HE Ahmed Al-Khateeb welcomed the leaders of the tourism world to Riyadh said: “We have the power to shape the sector, bridge cultures, and transform communities. We are fortunate to be in the position to effect change. We must not let this opportunity pass by us. Let us ensure that here in Riyadh, we really do deliver a better future for travel.”

WTTC CEO Julia Simpson focused on the vital importance of nature to the long-term prosperity and sustainability of the sector. She said: “The WTTC Positive Travel and Tourism Report shows tourism from nature generates over $600 bn which provides opportunities for some of the world’s poorest countries to protect biodiversity and their communities.”

In a day packed full of debate, dialogue and the sharing of innovative ideas from around the world, leaders of the global tourism industry participated in panel discussions and keynote speakers.

The Summit has attracted the leaders of the world’s biggest hotel groups and Christopher J Nassetta President & CEO, Hilton Worldwide, told the audience:  “We are in a new golden age of travel. Travel and Tourism is an unstoppable force for good. People want to see places they want to interact with people. My advice to everybody is to believe in the power of travel.” 

Former UN Secretary General, Ban Ki-Moon was in discussion about the sustainable future of travel. He declared: “Tourism has made a substantial contribution to humanity’s social and economic progress. Whether you belong to Saudi Arabia, China, United States or South Korea – there are no boundaries.

“We need to become global citizens. We have so many problems – health issues, political issues, environmental issues – but with global citizenship we can solve them. Let’s work as global citizens to make this world more sustainable, to transform this world and pass it on to the next generations in a better way than we found it.”

Speaker after speaker focused on a number of key developmental areas to ensure the successful future of tourism. Stephen Scherr, CEO, The Hertz Corporation explained:  “You need infrastructure in the various markets and countries. Whether it’s an airport that can handle the kind of traffic that you will have or in our business, you need to build infrastructure that is accommodating and inviting for the people you want to be traveling around.”

Indonesia’s Minister of Tourism and Creative Economy, Indonesia H.E. Sandiaga says that when you consider Indonesia and Bali that means sustainable tourism and it means a change in mindset.  He said: “The new trend of tourism is more personalized, localized and customized, and smaller in size also means better revenue. This year we are creating three times more revenue from tourism than we had expected with only a quarter of previous numbers of foreign tourists arriving.”

Creating a truly local and unique welcome for visitors was also a powerful topic of debate as international destinations work to ensure they offer visitors a unique taste of local culture, customs and heritage.

Bahrain Minister of Tourism H.E. Fatima Al Sairafi, Minister of Tourism, said: “We have noticed in Bahrain that whenever we get tourists visiting our country, one of the main things that they leave with is the authenticity of the experience they have enjoyed. We have successfully incorporated that in our tourism experiences that we offer in the Kingdom of Bahrain. Those authentic experiences are delivered by Bahrainis.”

Hashil Al Mahrouqi, Chief Executive Officer, OMRAN added: “Today, everyone is talking about sustainability. Everyone is saying protect nature, everyone is saying protect this planet. But I think in Oman we have been prepared for it.  What we need to do now in Oman is capitalize on what we already have there and I think we are on the right track doing it.”

The Summit has also seen a number of major announcements and signing of MOUs on the sidelines of the main Summit debates.  These have seen Saudi Arabia sign MOUs with Oman, Indonesia and Barbados and Wizz Air appoint Arjaa Travel and Tourism Company as the exclusive agent for Wizz Air in Saudi Arabia. 

The Summit is the largest ever staged to date and has nearly 3000 participants taking part from 140 countries.  The enormous global interest in the Summit was shown by one million livestreams of sessions on the metaverse on the first day.

Sharjah

‘Sharjah Outlook Forum’ Inaugural Edition Kicks Off February 1

Sharjah
  • Forum brings together representatives of government and semi-governmental bodies and international experts
  • People’s quality of life is at the core of all policies
  • Event to explore key global experiences in changing work week system
  • Forum’s output and recommendations will be provided to decision- and policy-makers

 

The Sharjah Government Media Bureau (SGMB) and the Department of Statistics and Community Development (DSCD) have announced the launching of the region’s first-of-its-kind ‘Sharjah Outlook Forum’.  The annual event will analyse, deliberate and evaluate specific developmental milestones, experiences, initiatives introduced in the emirate as well as the best practices adopted by its entities.

Each year, a specific central initiative will be discussed by a host of representatives of local and federal government entities, in addition to experts from different developmental sectors with international experiences to meet the needs of the emirate’s residents and the community at large.

The inaugural edition will kick-off on February 1, 2023, under the theme, ‘4X3 Indicators and Prospects’, and will discuss Sharjah’s pioneering 4-day work week mandate with a 3-day weekend, the world’s first-of-its-kind system in terms of its scope and impact. The new work week system offers public sector employees, including education and healthcare institutions as well as all government entities, a three day weekend. The four-day work week system had only been previously adopted on an experimental or trial basis in specific sectors and was not approved and adopted officially.

The announcement was made during meeting held today (Wednesday) at the Department of Statistics and Community Development headquarters in the presence of Sheikh Mohammed bin Humaid Al Qasimi, Chairman of DSCD; Sheikh Sultan bin Abdullah bin Salem Al Qasimi, Director, DSCD; HE Tariq Saeed Allay, SGMB Director General, HE Alya Al Suwaidi, SGMB Director, to address the impact of the new work week system on the quality of life of residents and the productivity of human resources, in addition to reinforcing the emirate’s appeal for living, working and investment.

HE Sheikh Mohammed bin Humaid Al Qasimi, Chairman of the SCTDA, underscored that the forum translates the vision of His Highness Sheikh Dr. Sultan bin Mohammed AlQasimi, Member of the Supreme Council and Ruler of Sharjah, on the relationship between development and the human being who is described by His Highness the Ruler of Sharjah as the essence, purpose and maker of development. At the same time, the forum exemplifies the emirate’s keenness to engage all community members in ensuring the success of its developmental project, HE added, pointing out that people’s quality of life, social stability, creative and innovative abilities, and self-development capability are evaluation and assessment  tools for all policies and experiences.

“The Sharjah Outlook Forum will provide significant data to public and private entities dedicated to tracing the emirate’s development journey, particularly in light of the world’s first of its kind inclusive adoption of the four work week, given that it had a direct impact on local communities, business community, productivity, and continuation of offering services to the public. Although this experience is promising, it is essential to discuss it subjectively, transparently, and scientifically, in order for us to develop and build on our experiences and progress forward,” said HE.

 

Annual evaluation and assessment platform

For his part, HE Tariq saeed Allay, Director General of SGMB, said: “The form will be an important annual evaluation and assessment platform that convenes a host of decision-makers and high-ranking officials in public and semi-government sectors to discuss and deliberate a specific experience through exploring its results and impact as well as its development and amendment mechanism. The forum will also enable us to compare our experiences with those of other societies to maintain Sharjah’s position as an incubator of society, families and individuals alike, along with being a champion of culture and inclusive development.”

“Countries that experimented with the four work week system trials in some sectors were looking for mechanisms that strike a balance between the quality of life on the one hand, and improving productivity, reducing costs and resource consumption, and stimulating creative economy on the other hand. Since each experience has positive and negative aspects, the forum will host a number of experts and representatives of key global experiences to share the means through which they successfully bridged the gap and shortcoming of their experiences, particularly in terms of the projected impact on some sectors,” HE added.

 

Increase in productivity and prosperity

On the forum’s projected output and results, the Director General of SGMB remarked that the milestone developments the world has been seeing over the past two decades, including AI, digitisation, transformation into modern work and life styles, are time-effective and can increase production without compromising people’s daily lives and needs. He added that the expected output of the Sharjah Outlook Forum will comprise how to harness technology in ensuring successful experiences and supporting communities’ quest for more prosperity. It will assess the experiences of Sharjah and other cities utilising scientific methods and data to enable policy-makers take evidence-based decisions.

Dubai Resort

Hilton Looks Ahead and Identifies Key Travel Trends for 2023, As a Record Year of Travel Draws to a Close

Dubai Resort

New research shows that UAE travellers seek personalised experiences, health and wellness, and deeper connections to local communities and cultures in 2023

 If 2022 was the year of the changed traveler, 2023 is the year of the evolved traveller. Today, Hilton released its 2023 trends report, The 2023 Traveler: Emerging Trends that are Innovating the Travel Experience, A Report from Hilton, which reveals the latest consumer expectations following a year when travellers showed up in record numbers.

Based on a survey of 500 UAE residents commissioned by Hilton, the new report reveals the aspirations and needs of people taking trips next year. Overall, the survey shows that a large number of UAE respondents (74%) wish to travel more in 2023 than they did in 2022. Additionally, (32%) of people said their wish list of travel destinations has increased for next year.

The research uncovered four consistent themes for 2023 travel:

 

People will turn to travel for deeper, more engaging, human experiences and connections

Travel is a gateway to discovering different perspectives and rich traditions. The research found that UAE travellers will focus on travel in 2023 to create deeper, more engaging connections with family, friends, colleagues, customers, cultures and the planet. Nearly half (46%) of survey respondents want to learn about local culture while traveling, while 39% want access to locally-sourced products. In addition, strengthening connections with friends and/or family through travel was highlighted by 40% of those questioned.

From destination-focused culinary travel packages to impactful programs like Hilton’s Travel with Purpose, which helps guests positively impact the communities they visit, travellers are looking to create meaningful change through more immersive travel experiences. In fact, Hilton is witnessing signs of this growth through its reimagined Hilton Honors Experiences, which saw a 77% year-over-year increase in Hilton Honors Point redemption during the first nine months of 2022, allowing members to connect with their passions through new, exclusive artist and celebrity events.

 

People will recognize travel as an essential part of their wellness routine

Health and fitness emerges from the survey as a significant priority for UAE travellers in 2023 with 36% of people saying travel will be an important part of their wellness routine. Having access to unique spa treatments (33%) came out strongly, as did having access to fitness activities outside of the fitness centre of their hotel (34%). Regarding food and drink, almost half (48%) of people want healthier options while travelling.

 

Travelers will want to be taken care of more than ever

Next year, Hilton anticipates UAE travellers will have a renewed appreciation for experiencing moments where they feel special. 49% care about friendly and reliable service while travelling and 28% will expect travel and hospitality companies to accommodate their personal needs next year. Specifically, more than half (56%) are looking for personalized food and beverage options and 51% are looking for personalized experiences and activities.

Travellers from the UAE know the importance of wanting to feel valued for their loyalty. In fact, 35% of survey respondents indicate that loyalty perks—such as earning/redeeming points and loyalty benefits—will matter to them when traveling in 2023.

 

Travelers want frictionless travel innovations that are both technology- and human-led

Hilton’s research found that almost half (46%) of travelers will seek an easier overall travel experience in 2023 and 37% of respondents anticipate hotel technologies will be important to them for a seamless stay.

For a frictionless travel experience, Hilton’s Digital Key allows travelers to bypass the front desk and go straight to their rooms. Additionally, enhanced booking options like Confirmed Connecting Rooms by Hilton allows families and friends to reserve adjoining rooms when booking online.

Open Banking

The New Blueprint for Open Finance? – A Look Inside the New Saudi Open Banking Framework

Open Banking

Chris Michael, Co-Founder & CEO, Ozone API

It has been a genuine privilege for all of us at Ozone API to work with the Saudi Central Bank (SAMA) to lead the development of its open banking standard over the last few months. We are also providing the enabling technology behind SAMA’s Open Banking Lab – the model bank and conformance suite – as well as working with a number of banks in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia to help them deliver their own open banking solutions.

This is much more than a compliance exercise. We are right at the forefront of helping banks in the Kingdom to unlock new business models and deliver innovative financial services. But much of this is only possible because of the ambitious approach taken by SAMA.

 

Starting with a BIG vision

Open banking and open finance are now happening all around the world. Implementation looks a bit different in each market, but where it’s being driven by central banks and regulators, it is usually with a defined outcome in mind. This can be to create more competition or to drive consumer data rights. But increasingly, it is being seen as a foundation to drive economic transformation.

There aren’t many (possibly any) countries with a more ambitious vision for transformation than the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia. The Saudi 2030 vision is huge, from transforming society to the creation of uber-modern megacities. A big part of this vision is the creation of world-leading industry sectors, with financial services being a key focus. And at the heart of that agenda, you’ve guessed it: open finance, starting with open banking.

The Saudi ambition is growth, fuelled by a thriving financial services sector. With this in mind, SAMA’s whole approach has been designed to drive adoption and usage by ensuring there are clear incentives for all participants: end users, third parties building on top of open finance access and the banks and financial institutions themselves.

In other markets, we’ve seen initiatives done to the banks, not with the banks or even for the banks. This may sound nuanced, but it is huge and important.

 

BIG Ambitions demand different approaches

With a big vision defined, SAMA’s approach to delivering its Open Banking Framework had to be different from other initiatives around the world.

The founding team at Ozone API were privileged to have led the development of the UK open banking standard during their time at OBIE. So being chosen to lead the development of the open banking standard in the Kingdom was a huge honour and a great opportunity to continue the journey and create a new blueprint.

With a big vision, SAMA has taken a very progressive approach, building on learnings from other markets and going way beyond.

The starting point was to define key use cases that would drive the greatest demand and drive value for the different participants. That’s the end users, the third parties and, yep, the often overlooked banks.

Use cases are the right starting point, since this creates clear consensus, allowing everyone to understand what they’re building and why. The intention is not to limit the implementation to a few use cases, but to enable these key use cases so that the foundations are there for many more which can be enabled now or added in future phases.

Then, and only then, did work start on defining the standard, the business rules to enable these use cases.

Whilst it sounds simple, elsewhere we’ve seen regulations, rules and standards defined ahead of such user-centric thinking, creating artificial and unnecessary limitations to the detriment of uptake and usage. And often the incentives across the ecosystem have been an afterthought, significantly impacting the motivations of banks to see it as anything more than a compliance project.

 

The Standard itself, what’s different?

On November 2nd 2022, SAMA published the first release of its Open Banking Framework to industry participants. This first phase includes business rules and the technical standard needed to meet a number of defined account information use cases, with future phases coming next year to include payments. But already, there are some significant improvements versus other standards.

Whilst there are many detailed enhancements and improvements, the game-changing differences can be summarised as follows:

The standard has been designed to be more efficient for banks and third parties to interpret and implement, ultimately creating a more effective ecosystem. Key to this is the inclusion of “event streaming” or webhooks. Historically, open banking APIs have been designed to replicate the behaviours seen with screen scraping, i.e. the third party goes and ‘pulls’ data from the bank at regular intervals to see what has changed. In the new KSA standard, event streaming informs third parties when things change in real time.

The standard has also been hugely simplified to ensure clear separation between business rules (i.e. detailed regulations) and the technical specifications themselves. This has led to a dramatic simplification of the documentation with a much clearer articulation of detailed implementation requirements.

Arguably the most exciting change is the creation of a new (to open banking) concept called “service requests”. This will be truly game-changing for banks and financial institutions.

The concept is simple: expose an API that allows almost any service to be initiated. In this first phase, we have enabled the creation of ‘letters of guarantee’, allowing banks to embed the setup of such products in a third party experience. This enables banks to ensure their products are in front of customers at the right time, in the right place and in the right context. Crucially, it provides the tools to have a direct impact on the metrics that matter, such as the number of customers, number of products sold, revenue per customer and so on.

 

What happens next?

Now that the framework and standard for phase 1 have been published, the market moves to focus on implementation.

Then, next year, Phase 2 will see the inclusion of payment initiation.

The implications of our work go much further than the Kingdom. We’ve seen a new blueprint emerge and other markets should take note and build on this approach.

We’re also excited to be working with banks around the world to help them unlock true value from open APIs, bringing a full suite of information, payment and service request capabilities to reinvent the role that open APIs will play in the new open banking business model. This means APIs that deliver real revenues, new customers and increasing product holding per customer – more to come in a future blog.

Low CO2

The Mauritius Commercial Bank (MCB) Ltd Aims to Help Africa Transition Towards Low-carbon

Low CO2

Mauritius Commercial Bank (MCB) Ltd, the banking arm of MCB Group, ambitions to become a more prominent player in the African energy landscape, by financing and supporting electrification projects that encourage the use of renewable energy. In this respect, MCB has recently participated in three landmark projects in Ghana, Rwanda and Nigeria. These projects are crucial milestones in the electrification goals of these respective countries and in their transition from fossil energy to more renewable, low-carbon energy sources. Prior to joining those three projects, MCB applied the Equator Principles to proactively identify and mitigate environmental and social risks.

Zaahir Sulliman, Head of Specialised Finance, MCB: “We are proud to contribute to these important electrification goals and the transition to more renewable energy sources”

 

Make a difference in Ghana

In July, Genser Energy announced it successfully closed an 8-year USD 425m funding package, which will be used to refinance existing debt and finance crucial electrification projects in Ghana. The funds will allow for a 100km natural gas pipeline to Kumasi, Ghana’s largest city, a 200mmscfd gas conditioning plant at Prestea and a Liquid Natural Gas (LNG) storage terminal at Takoradi port. Genser Energy ambitions to achieve net zero carbon by 2035.

As per Genser Energy, the construction of the natural gas pipeline to Kumasi and the gas processing plant in Prestea will have significant economic and environmental benefits not only for Genser but also for Ghana and the West African sub-region. The transaction will support Genser’s diversification from power to the gas midstream sector and mark a significant milestone in its decarbonization strategy to achieve net zero carbon by 2035 whilst contributing significantly to Ghana’s national climate change targets on emission reduction.

The availability of cheaper and readily accessible piped natural gas in Kumasi and the central belt of Ghana via the new pipeline will encourage industries to switch from imported trucked diesel and heavy fuel oil (HFO) to indigenous natural gas as a low-carbon intensive fuel. The pipeline will also support relocation of power plants from coastal regions to reduce line losses and improve efficiency on the national grid. Moreover, the gas conditioning plant will produce cleaner fuels and establish Ghana as a significant producer and exporter of LNGs. Moreover, the gas conditioning plant will produce cleaner fuels and establish Ghana as a significant producer and exporter of natural gas liquids. This demonstrates the potential of natural gas to act as a transition fuel that can help Africa achieve its development agenda.

 

Supporting Nigeria’s gas-to-power programme

MCB, as co-Mandated Lead Arranger, assisted in structuring and raising USD260MM in debt to fund the completion of the ANOH Gas Processing Plant.

Despite significant untapped reserves, domestic utilisation of gas remains low due to lack of infrastructure. Gas development and infrastructure projects will address this imbalance and result in significantly higher rates of gas utilisation for domestic use.

Assa North-Ohaji South (“ANOH”) is a conventional gas development located onshore Nigeria which will supply AGPC with the feedstock gas and is operated by the Shell Petroleum Development Company of Nigeria. The gas infrastructure development project is one of seven critical gas development projects earmarked by the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (“NNPC”) and the Ministry of Petroleum to bridge the demand-supply gap in the Nigerian domestic gas market.

The 300MMscfd capacity ANOH plant, located in OML53 in Imo State, is being built by ANOH Gas Processing Company Ltd (“AGPC”) which is equally owned by the Nigerian Gas Company Limited (“NGCL”) and Seplat Energy Plc. Seplat is already a leading provider of natural gas to Nigeria’s power sector, supplying up to 30% of Nigeria’s domestic grid in 2021.

 

A prominent player in Rwanda’s Omnihydro project

Last June, the Omnihydro hydroelectric powerplant was inaugurated in the district of Nyamagabe, Rwanda. This project, implemented by Omnicane, a Mauritian company, and financed by MCB, the leading bank in Mauritius, , came to fruition under a Special Purpose Vehicle (SPV) incorporated in Rwanda and operating under the name of Omnihydro Ltd. The facility has one common powerhouse with two different intakes, one on Mushishito river and the other one on Rukarara river. This power plant intends to reduce CO2 emissions by approximately 14,500 tons per year. The hydropower plant is expected to power on average an equivalent of 175,000 homes with clean energy. The small dams constructed on the Mushishito and Rukarara rivers protect communities against floods and droughts, whilst providing more than new 600 jobs during the implementation of the project.

 

How MCB can help

To limit global warming and mitigate climate change’s worst impacts, MCB recognises the need for countries around the world to transition to low-carbon economies. This is particularly important for Africa, as existing development challenges such as poverty, food insecurity and instability make it the continent most vulnerable to climate change. However, MCB also recognises Africa’s complicated energy requirements and the challenge in balancing economic and social progress and access to energy with climate goals.

Africa has the lowest rate of energy access globally – it is estimated that 600 million people lack access to electricity and more than 930 million lack access to clean cooking fuels. While there has been increased investment in the continent’s vast renewable energy potential, this is insufficient to meet growing energy demands. To achieve the continent’s growing electricity needs and help reach its renewable energy goals, MCB can be a financial partner and arranger of choice.

Commenting on MCB’s strong involvement in these projects and its ambition to accompany African countries’ transition to more renewable energy sources, Zaahir Sulliman, Head of Specialised Finance, MCB, said: “We are proud to be contributing towards Ghana, Rwanda and Nigeria’s universal electrification and their respective objective to drive sustainable development goals of meeting universal energy demand, whilst optimising production, minimising costs, and reducing emissions”.

Mr. Sulliman added: “MCB is aware of its responsibility in the face of the climatic emergency and has already committed to stop financing new coal power-plants and discontinue the trade financing of both thermal and metallurgical coal. We believe that the financing of LPG and natural gas will form part of MCB’s gradual energy transition strategy, which builds on our previous commitment to stop all new financing of coal infrastructure and trade worldwide. Financing more sustainable energy projects is a first step in the right direction and we look forward to continuing to support client projects that drive energy transition through responsible consumption and production in an endeavour to improve living standards”.

Energy

Africa-Europe Roundtable Tackles Energy Transition, Global Trade at African Energy Week (AEW) 2022

Energy

As the European Union (EU) restructures its plans for energy security in light of shifting geopolitical realities, the Africa-Europe Roundtable – organized on the first day of African Energy Week 2022 in Cape Town – addressed the role of the African continent in advancing the global energy revolution and supplying Europe with energy security.

Roundtable speakers included Hon. Gwede Mantashe, Minister of Mineral Resources and Energy of South Africa; Eng. Fuad Mosa, General Supervisor of Local Content, Risks and Crises Management, Ministry of Energy of Saudi Arabia; Rebecca Enonchong, Founder and CEO of AppsTech; Nangula Uaandja, CEO of the Namibian Investment Promotion Development Board; Mary Burce Warlick, Deputy Executive Director of the International Energy Agency (IEA); and Anja Casper-Berretta, Head of Energy Security and Climate Change in sub-Saharan Africa, Konrad Adenauer Foundation. The panel was moderated by Eleni Giokos, CNN Anchor and Correspondent.

“We are heavily dependent on coal generation. Renewables now supply only about 10% of energy in South Africa. But the first problem we have is the polarized energy debate, which doesn’t achieve solutions. We must transition, but we must be very practical in our transition,” began Hon. Gwede Mantashe, South Africa’s Minister of Mineral Resources and Energy, on the current state of the energy mix.

“We believe that the new energy mix will have everything – coal, oil, gas, renewables. All types of energy creation will continue,” added Eng. Fuad Mosa, General Supervisor of Local Content, Risks and Crises Management for Saudi Arabia’s Ministry of Energy. “The world has been blessed with resources and our ultimate goal is securing the right volumes of energy at the right price. In Saudi Arabia, we will continue accelerating oil and its role in the global energy mix, while natural gas and renewable energies also need to be expanded.”

To date, African oil producers have largely exported crude oil to China, with a few exceptions of North African producers who export to Europe. However, current sanctions against Russian gas and the ongoing war in Ukraine has reignited interest in African hydrocarbon and renewable energy projects alike, which could result in billions of new investments into emerging energy markets like Namibia, South Africa, Uganda, Kenya, Mozambique and Tanzania.

“In Namibia, there have been recent discoveries of oil and gas,” noted Nangula Uaandja, CEO of the Namibian Investment Promotion Development Board. “At the same time, we are one of the few countries where renewables can be produced at relatively low prices. How can we produce energy at lower rates so that we can export to Europe? It is definitely possible to use countries like Namibia, where our carbon emissions are already some of the lowest in the region.”

“From the European perspective, for a long time, the acute need for access to energy was not so dominant,” said Anja Casper-Berretta, Head of Energy Security and Climate Change in sub-Saharan Africa, Konrad Adenauer Foundation. “Yet in Africa, you can’t have an energy transition discussion in countries where more than half of the population doesn’t have access to electricity. So energy security comes from a very different angle. How do we assure energy security? Diversification is a key component. Since the Russian invasion of Ukraine, there has been a more practical approach to finding pragmatic solutions to the current crisis.”

Making an Africa-Europe energy trade a reality – even later down the line – will be contingent on ensuring the availability of financing solutions for energy infrastructure development. Prior to the outbreak of the Russia-Ukraine conflict, a growing number of multilateral financial institutions had reduced or eliminated their support of fossil fuels altogether, in accord with the Paris Agreement and climate concerns. Now, the African continent will need to strengthen ties with the West and its associated financial institutions to forge global energy partnerships and guarantee energy security and project stability.

“Unlocking financing for investment is crucial for addressing not only the clean energy transition, but also the energy access issue,” stated Mary Burce Warlick, Deputy Executive Director of the IEA. “Our estimates show that in order to achieve universal access to electricity 2030, 90 million would need to gain access on average every day from now until 2030. This will require $25 billion in investment. It’s not impossible, but it will require clear policy and commitment and a more flexible approach to financing.”

“In the issue of funding, we also have to think about risk capital,” added Rebecca Enonchong, Founder and CEO of AppsTech. “A lot of the risk capital that goes into energy projects does not go to local entrepreneurs. A few years ago, a famous start-up in Nairobi raised about $260 milion for pay-as-you-go solar panels – and failed – because no one knew how to fix and maintain them. We need to look at where the capital is going. Is it going to local founders who understand the local ecosystem and needs of the people and build wealth?”

“In South Africa, we have not run across the problem of a lack of funding,” contrasted H.E. Minister Mantashe. “There is a lot of money going into renewables. The issue is that the money that goes into renewables does not compensate us for what we lose by moving out of the existing sectors. When funding for coal stops and flows to renewables, the capacity to help the same number of people is not comparable. It’s not apples and apples. You get less energy from more megawatts from renewables.”

For Africa, new investments could be critical to capitalizing on untapped hydrocarbon reserves left behind in the midst of the energy transition and green lending behavior. According to Rystad Energy, renewed European interest for African gas could boost African production from 260 billion cubic meters per day in 2022, to nearly 500 billion cubic meters by the late 2030s.

World Food Day

World Food Programme (WFP) Calls for Action On World Food Day to Avoid Another Year of Record Hunger

World Food Day

The world is at risk of yet another year of record hunger as the global food crisis continues to drive yet more people into worsening levels of acute food insecurity, warns the United Nations World Food Programme (WFP) in a call for urgent action to address the root causes of today’s crisis ahead of World Food Day, on 16 October.

The global food crisis is a confluence of competing crises – caused by climate shocks, conflict, and economic pressures – that has pushed the number of hungry people around the world from 282 million to 345 million in just the first months of 2022. WFP scaled up food assistance targets to reach a record 153 million people in 2022, and by mid-year we had already delivered assistance to 111.2 million people.

“We are facing an unprecedented global food crisis and all signs suggest we have not yet seen the worst. For the last three years hunger numbers have repeatedly hit new peaks. Let me be clear: things can and will get worse unless there is a large scale and coordinated effort to address the root causes of this crisis. We cannot have another year of record hunger,” said WFP Executive Director David Beasley.

WFP and humanitarian partners are holding back famine in five countries – Afghanistan, Ethiopia, Somalia, South Sudan and Yemen. Too often it is conflict that drives the most vulnerable into catastrophic hunger, with communications disrupted, humanitarian access restricted, and communities displaced. The conflict in Ukraine has also disrupted global trade pushing up transport costs and lead times while leaving farmers lacking access to the agricultural inputs they need. The knock-on effect on upcoming harvests will reverberate around the world.

Climate shocks are increasing in frequency and intensity, leaving those affected no time to recover between disasters. An unprecedented drought in the Horn of Africa is pushing more people into alarming levels of food insecurity, with famine now projected in Somalia. Floods have devastated homes and farmland in several countries, most strikingly in Pakistan.  Anticipatory action must be at the core of the humanitarian response to protect the most vulnerable from these shocks – and a core part of the agenda at the 27th Conference of the Parties (COP27) next month in Egypt.

Meanwhile, governments’ ability to respond is constrained by their own economic woes – currency depreciation, inflation, debt distress – as the threat of global recession also mounts. This will see an increasing number of people unable to afford food and needing humanitarian support to meet their basic needs.

WFP’s operational plan for 2022 is the agency’s most ambitious ever. It prioritises action to prevent millions of people from dying of hunger while working to stabilise – and where possible build – resilient national food systems and supply chains.

So far this year, WFP has increased assistance six-fold in Sri Lanka in response to the economic crisis, launched an emergency flood response in Pakistan, and expanded operations to records levels in Somalia as famine looms. In Afghanistan, two out of every five Afghans have been supported by WFP assistance. WFP also launched an emergency operation in Ukraine and opened a new office Moldova to support families fleeing the conflict.

With the cost of delivering assistance rising and lead times increasing, WFP continues to diversify its supplier base, including boosting local and regional procurement: so far in 2022 47 percent of the food WFP has purchased is from countries where we operate – a value of US$ 1.2 billion. WFP has also expanded the use of cash-based transfers to deliver food assistance in the most efficient and cost-effective way in the face of these rising costs. Cash transfers now represent 35 percent of our emergency food assistance.

WFP has secured US$655 million in contributions and service provision agreements from international financial institutions to support national social protection systems. Similar efforts are underway to expand innovative climate financing partnerships. WFP continues to support governments with supply chain services, such as the procurement and transport of food commodities to replenish national grain reserves to support national safety net programmes. 

While these efforts provide succour to some of the severely vulnerable, it is against a challenging global backdrop in which the number of acutely hungry people continues to increase requiring a concerted global action for peace, economic stability and continued humanitarian support to ensure food security around the world.

Dubai Yachts

Abu Dhabi Is Becoming a ‘Must Visit’ Superyacht Destination, Say Experts

Dubai Yachts

With 5,325 registered superyachts currently on the world’s waterways, divided between 4,492 motor yachts and 833 sailing yachts, Abu Dhabi is on a journey to becoming a major destination for the global superyachting industry.

According to a report entitled ‘New Winter Oasis for Maritime Luxury Experience – Abu Dhabi’s Quest to Become a Global Superyacht Destination’, published by Abu Dhabi Maritime (AD Maritime), custodian of the Emirate’s waterways and part of AD Ports Group, the Emirate has achieved a number of important milestones that superyacht owners consider when selecting their destinations. The whitepaper was launched at Monaco Yacht Show, the annual international trade show dedicated to the world of superyachts held from 28 September to 1st October 2022.

After extensive consultation with industry experts, the report identified four key criteria that give Abu Dhabi significant comparative advantages, including: favourable seasonal weather and sea conditions; advanced maritime infrastructure and related services; established legal and regulatory environment; and world-class attractions incorporating social, cultural, and entertainment elements.

Superyachts, which represent the pinnacle of maritime leisure craft design and luxury lifestyle, are vessels of more than 30 metres in length predominantly residing in fewer than a dozen countries around the world. While designs may vary in terms of size and flare, superyachts all tend to have similar traits: wealthy owners, charter companies, maintenance-intensive operational requirements, and a strong demand for picturesque cruising opportunities.

With more than 150 new superyachts set to finish construction in 2022, representing a total fleet value of more €4 billion, Abu Dhabi’s entry into this exclusive industry sector could deliver significant economic benefits for the Emirate and the nation.

Captain Ammar Al Shaiba, Acting CEO of Maritime Cluster, AD Ports Group, said“We developed this whitepaper to showcase the significant progress that Abu Dhabi has made in recent years in developing its unique offering to superyacht owners, and to identify areas where more work is still needed in order to achieve our vision. The findings demonstrate that the Emirate is becoming a destination of choice among the superyacht elite, with a wide range of services, attractions, and climate benefits. Multiple agencies and organisations are working together under the guidance of our wise leadership to achieve this goal.”

Capt. Saif Al Mheiri, Managing Director, Abu Dhabi Maritime, AD Ports Group, said: “The superyachting sector is a growing cornerstone of the UAE’s wider maritime leisure economy that leverages our nation’s strategic location, attractive coastline, favourable seasonal weather, advanced infrastructure and a friendly regulatory environment to welcome leading industry players and visitors from around the world to our shores.

“As our latest study indicates, our team at AD Maritime is working closely with our broader maritime community to grow Abu Dhabi’s value proposition, and we look forward to welcoming the global yachting community to our shores and unlocking the full potential of what our Emirate has to offer.”

Developed from a range of qualitative interviews with international experts conducted in 2021 and 2022, the report examines the factors that attract owners to venture beyond traditional destinations such as Mediterranean Sea ports like Marbella, Capri, Saint-Tropez, Antibes and Monaco, and Caribbean Sea ports such as Antigua, St. Lucia, the British Virgin Islands, and the Bahamas.

Experts interviewed suggested that the rise in superyacht ownership over the last decade, underpinned by the changing nationality profiles of owners, especially those based in Asia and the Middle East, has encouraged individuals and companies to look beyond these typical destinations. Furthermore, the geostrategic location of Abu Dhabi coupled with its natural abundance of pristine waterways and islands has helped to raise its profile among these new owners.

Sea conditions in the Arabian Gulf, with their low winds and calm waters year-round, along with moderate low season temperatures, mean that vessels do not need to be lifted from the water and stored at great expense, thereby increasing Abu Dhabi’s attractiveness.

The report also highlighted Abu Dhabi’s extensive leisure and entertainment offerings to the global superyachting community, including untouched coastal desert beauty featuring marine protected areas and a collection of scenic islands, beaches and anchorage destinations. The Emirate is also home to a number of world-class annual sporting events including the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix Formula One Race, Mubadala Tennis Championship, and Abu Dhabi HSBC Championship Golf Tournament, alongside renown cultural destinations including the Louvre Abu Dhabi, Zayed National Museum, Guggenheim, among many others.

One of the areas where the Emirate has made significant progress, according to the whitepaper, is in the development of the legal and regulatory framework in support of superyacht owners and their crews, many of whom are not full-time residents in the country. The recent launch of comprehensive and fully-digitised Safety Maps of all waterways within the Emirate, identifying anchorage areas, zones for motorised and non-motorised craft, and speed limits, was cited as one key improvement. The maps, developed by the Department of Municipalities and Transport (DMT) and AD Maritime, are available on the latter’s digital portal, www.admaritime.ae, and via a dedicated interactive navigational app, Al Nalia, available on App Store and Google Play.

Furthermore, Abu Dhabi has made significant progress in the development of advanced maritime infrastructure and related services for superyachts. There are currently approximately 100 superyacht refit yards around the world, and Abu Dhabi offers a number of market-leading facilities in this area. In addition, the emirate is home to two full-service superyacht marinas that can host yachts of all sizes and are backed by a full suite of premiere accommodations, services and amenities.

One superyacht owner interviewed for the report, who chose to remain anonymous, concluded: “Abu Dhabi is quickly becoming a must-visit superyacht destination; it is a place where we want to spend more time. It ticks many of the boxes already, and the authorities are always making things faster, easier, and better for owners and our captains to choose to spend time there.”

Metaverse

Unprotected Entry Into the Metaverse Brings Accrued Cyber Risks

Metaverse

IT and cybersecurity experts concerned that most brands are rushing to establish their presence without a proper cybersecurity strategy

Enterprises that are considering joining the metaverse bandwagon have been put on high alert against imminent cyberattacks that could expose their valuable data to crippling cyberattacks, data exfiltration and breaches.

As brands get increasingly engulfed in the metaverse, largely driven by the exciting opportunities that this relatively new digital concept presents, IT and cybersecurity experts are seriously concerned that most of them are rushing to establish their presence without a proper cybersecurity strategy.

Metaverse, an attempt to create an immersive virtual world that combines augmented and virtual reality, includes economic and social spaces where users from anywhere in the world can enjoy a wide range of content and experiences.

This, according to cybersecurity experts, also significantly exposes individual internet users and brands that are playing in that space to a plethora of risks that could lead to a surge in cases of account hacking and tampering, phishing and assets theft.

“Metaverse is an exciting and futuristic concept that is creating enormous opportunities for enterprises as well as innovators. However, enterprises that are considering operating in that space should also be weary of the imminent cyber threats that come with new innovation. As soon as digital property in the 3D universe, for instance, becomes of value, cases of account hacking, theft, ransomware and phishing will also increase significantly. Partly to blame will be the lack of a solid cyber protection strategy to safeguard private and confidential information from potential attackers,” said Candid Wüest, VP of Cyber Protection Research at Acronis.

According to the Acronis Cyber Protection Week Global Report 2022, cybercriminals are exploiting the IT complexity to launch catastrophic cyberattacks. With most users still not fully aware of the magnitude of the cyber threats they are facing in the wake of increased metaverse adoption, daily data theft (credit card, identity, passwords, etc.), malware, phishing attacks are likey to increase by 200% by 2024 due to unpreparedness or lack of a cyber protection master plan.  

 

Main risks

Device security remains high on the cyber protection priority list as platform and device hacking is widely expected to soar as the metaverse uptake also skyrockets. Threats and breaches to devices is likely to worsen and could subsequently also have actual terminal consequences in the physical world.

“For individual users of Metaverse, hacking of metaverse-enabled devices like specific headsets, for instance, can cause seizures, if someone is epileptic. It can also hurt their vision or hearing at least temporarily as well as expose their physical location, and more,” noted Candid Wüest. Metaverse will not have entirely new security issues as it will have the similar issues as the gaming industry. The explosive popularity of gaming, which is arguably the biggest segment of the entertainment industry, with over three billion regular participants, paints a picture of just how lucrative the metaverse can become for cybercriminals based on the number of users it can attract.

 

Data regulation

The lack of data collection and usage regulation has also emerged as a possible enabler of cyber threats within the virtual reality platform. This, IT security experts warn, could create a myriad of loopholes that cybercriminals could exploit to infiltrate private networks and gain unrestricted access to sensitive data from enterprises and individuals.

With regulation lacking, cybercrime could become the fastest-growing type of crime currently valued at ​​US$1-2 trillion and growing at a faster rate. However, despite the commitment by social media giant Meta that it will invest US$50 million in external research that will primarily focus on privacy and security in the metaverse – including a partnership with the National University of Singapore, to investigate data use – more still needs to be done, especially by enterprises to secure their data.

These safeguard measures include a comprehensive artificial intelligence and machine learning-driven cyber protection strategy combined with vulnerability assessment and penetration testing. Other effective security measures include blockchain technology to identify users; tokens assigned by an organization and use of biometrics in a headset to confirm user identity.

 

Metaverse warfare

While the concept of a virtual world was developed primarily for social platforms to help them boost engagement, the immersive multi-dimension will also create more opportunities for complex cyber attacks.

“Metaverse for information warfare is now emerging as a real threat that could be used to spread malicious information. Issues such as deep fake news will be more convincing in metaverse, news coverage will get more “gruesome”, and sports and entertainment will feel more real. Emotions will run high – which in theory a weakness used by threat actors, including politically motivated ones,” noted Candid Wüest.

UAE Architecture

Ceramic Tiles, Bioclimatic Architecture in the Construction, Design Industry Can Drive ROI by More Than 1000%

UAE Architecture

Rising global warming rates point toward the need for sustainable architecture and materials in the building industries which accounts for 40% of global emissions in the world

The region’s growing popularity for high-rise buildings and expansive infrastructure development has been on sharp focus for mounting pressure on its energy dependency to power its amenities. This, according to key stakeholders in the construction and interior design industry, is reversing the slowing down of the region’s goal to reverse the adverse effects of climate change.

High-rise buildings consume nearly 80% of all energy produced in the United Arab Emirates (UAE) every year. Apart from massive energy consumption, these buildings add another hole to the country’s sustainability plans on the back of sky-rocketing maintenance costs, design and infrastructure needs that are extremely energy-intensive.

Apart from massive energy use, buildings and construction are responsible for 40% of total carbon emissions in the world, and with the Gulf region being surrounded by this industry, it is essential that these industries are focused upon even as the region moves closer to its vision of achieving net zero-emission by 2050.

 

The urgent need to redevelop

Over the past few years, the Gulf region has been witnessing a massive boom in the construction and design sector. This, according to Tile of Spain – the official umbrella brand that represents the Spanish Ceramic Tile Manufacturers Association (ASCER), calls for an urgent need to adopt sustainable practices within this industry, especially in the use of ceramics.

Mott MacDonald conducted a study across the GCC region to explore how carbon emissions from buildings could be reduced. The research studies the impact of adding insulation, and external insulation finishing to improve energy consumption and significantly reduce carbon emission.

“Remodeling and using sustainable building material is an urgent cry of the hour, as global warming rates across the globe keep on rising. One of the most effective and sustainable building materials has always been ceramic, as these are 100% natural and environmentally friendly. Ceramic tiles, bricks and blocks can withstand the most adverse climate effects and can resist heat up to 1,500 degrees Celsius, which makes them most suitable for use in ventilated facades. Ceramic slabs and panels can also help reduce 154 to 229 Mt CO2-eq. This places bioclimatic architecture at the heart of sustainable design and construction,” noted Mr. Vicente Nomdedeu, president and chairman, ASCER – Tile of Spain.

 

Bioclimatic architecture: the absolute need for Gulf countries

Bioclimatic architecture focuses on the design and construction of buildings taking environmental conditions into consideration and using them to benefit building users. It promises to provide maximum comfort while using the least amount of resources, as climatic and environmental factors are taken into consideration to reduce cost by using environmental factors in your favor.

Tile of Spain, a pioneering brand, has taken on the task of promoting and establishing bioclimatic architecture around the world during this crucial hour, when the global climate is taking a massive hit.

 

Main features of Bioclimatic architecture

Tile of Spain’s move to encourage the use of Bioclimatic architecture is largely expected to jolt the industry and reignite the stakeholders’ sustainable construction and design commitment. The use of Bioclimatic architecture will expose the industry to numerous benefits including saving energy, reducing air conditioner costs, and improving health and wellness.

“The Spanish ceramic tiles are developed using a technology that allows rainwater harvesting reuse as part of international certification in green building. In view of society’s increased awareness and sensitivity to living and working in healthier and more sustainable spaces, there is a growing demand for and supply of spaces with green building certifications. This makes ceramic tiles the go-to sustainable building and design solution for modern living and working spaces,” added Mr. Nomdedeu.