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Mohammed El Batta

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A mental shift ======================================================================== A mental shift

The UAE has one the largest oil reserves in the world – yet today we are seeing a tremendous shift towards a more holistic approach regarding sustainable energy, not only in the country’s energy policy but also in public perception. The UAE has adopted several laws enforcing developers to comply with specific standards to ensure that the buildings are all aligned with the country’s Green Building code. Campaigns have been launched across numerous media channels encouraging the public to become more energy efficient. Utility companies are running advertising campaigns to advise the public to use energy efficient bulbs, switch off unnecessary lights and to conserve water consumption. All these campaigns are part of the UAE’s shift towards become more sustainable in their energy consumption. Not only that, but people are now going the extra mile by installing solar powered heaters on the rooftops of their houses and making the effort to lower their electricity consumption. They are also more conscious about watering their gardens in the evening rather than during daytime heat to conserve water. Many people are now replacing their lighting systems to use energy efficient and energy saving bulbs as well as LEDs in their homes and offices.

Prominent projects such as the solar power plant Shams 1 and the world renowned project Masdar City are also highly visible proof of the Emirate’s advancing leadership in the evolving global energy market. In today’s media, we see stories highlighting how Dubai's economic recovery has also sparked a government effort to develop renewable energy sources and ensure there is no repeat of the struggles to meet the demand that marred the emirate's last housing boom. The Dubai Electricity and Water Authority hopes to reduce power and water usage in a city not known for conservative consumption. Various initiatives driven by a number of corporates and associations on water and general conservation have received a great deal of attention as well as media coverage. Recent reports also highlighted plans to introduce a feed-in tariff for roof-top photovoltaic systems and Abu Dhabi’s goal to generate seven per cent of its energy from renewable sources. The media has played an important role in educating the public about increasing levels of water and electricity consumption in the UAE as well as the benefits of a shift towards a more sustainable energy policy and lifestyle.

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About the Author Mohammed El Batta is a media and marketing communications expert with more than 15 years of experience in working with Fortune 500 companies across the Middle East. He is Managing Director of Fekra Communications, a Dubai-based fullservice communications agency and member of GlobalCom PR Network, that caters to a wide range of public and private sector clients across different industries.

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