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Third Edition of Abu Dhabi Sustainability Week Gets Underway

More than 32,000 people, from 170 countries, expected to attend, including global leaders from academia, industry and government

17 January 2015
Third Edition of Abu Dhabi Sustainability Week Gets Underway

The third edition of Abu Dhabi Sustainability Week (ADSW) starts today, as global leaders convene in the capital of the United Arab Emirates for a high-level platform that tackles the complex, interconnected challenges of water and energy security, climate risk and sustainable development. Taking place January 17-24, and hosted by Masdar, ADSW is the Middle East’s largest gathering focused on sustainability. 

The official opening ceremony of ADSW, January 19, will gather heads of state, ministers and international delegations. The week-long series of events coincides with the UAE’s ‘Year of Innovation’ – a federal initiative promoting innovation as a strategic pathway to strengthen the country’s economy and global competitiveness. As the first major event of 2015, ADSW kicks off an important year for the country and directly supports the federal strategy by promoting technology development and attracting investment in priority sectors.

“Abu Dhabi Sustainability Week is committed to tackling the timely challenges of climate change, energy security and sustainable development,” said H.E. Dr. Sultan Ahmad Al Jaber, UAE minister of state and chairman of Masdar, Abu Dhabi’s renewable energy company. “The international platform facilitates the cross-sector partnerships – where risk and rewards are shared – that advance commercial solutions and encourage a sustainable future.

“The UAE is a true energy leader committed to advancing both traditional and new forms of energy,” said Al Jaber. “Through platforms like ADSW, and companies like Masdar, the country is accelerating clean technologies to market, supporting the diversification of the global energy mix and ensuring markets have long-term access to power.”

During the week-long series of events, the evolving energy landscape will be discussed, along with pressing, global issues, including water scarcity, waste management, innovative financing, disruptive technology and sustainable development, among other topics.

ADSW will begin with the fifth assembly of the International Renewable Energy Agency (IRENA). The world’s first intergovernmental organization dedicated to renewable energy, IRENA is headquartered in Abu Dhabi and counts 171 states among its members. The assembly occurs January 16-18.

The World Future Energy Summit (WFES), International Water Summit (IWS) and EcoWASTE exhibition will take place January 19 - 22 at the Abu Dhabi National Exhibition Centre.

WFES, now in its eighth year, is the world’s foremost event dedicated to the advancement of renewable energy, energy efficiency and clean technology. The conference program and exhibition will engage political, business, finance, academic and industry figures, to address a range of key themes across clean energy.  

The third edition of IWS will focus on addressing the challenge of water scarcity through sustainability, covering governance and policy, conservation, the water energy and food nexus, innovation in industry, and energy-efficient and clean-technology desalination. 

The second EcoWASTE event, in partnership with Abu Dhabi’s Centre of Waste Management, will address ways to strengthen sustainability in waste management through greater efficiency and innovation. 

Winners of the Zayed Future Energy Prize will also be announced during ADSW, at an awards ceremony January 19. The US$4 million prize was established by the UAE leadership to recognize and reward excellence in renewable energy and sustainability.

Other notable events scheduled during ADSW include:

  • Solar Impluse 2: The Solar Impulse 2 (Si2) – a solar-powered plane that will fly round the world without using a single drop of fuel – will be on display during ADSW as it prepares for the historic flight. Hosted by Masdar, the plane is an example of how pioneering pursuits and imagination can drive innovation and accelerate technologies to market.
  • The Abu Dhabi Solar Challenge: Hosted by Masdar and sponsored by the Abu Dhabi National Oil Company, the UAE will be home to an international road competition where more than 20 teams will showcase the technology and speed of their solar-powered cars. Representing the UAE will be students from the Petroleum Institute (PI) who will compete and drive a super-sleek, solar-powered vehicle. Held January 15-19, the multi-day, timed road competition will extend across 1,200 kilometres of the emirate of Abu Dhabi. The winners will be announced during the opening ceremony of ADSW.
  • Abu Dhabi Sustainability Week in Schools (ADSWS): An emirate-wide educational program, ADSWS raises awareness about sustainability in schools. Led by Abu Dhabi Education Council and Mubadala Development Company, the program is designed to inspire the youth to engage in science, technology, engineering and math subjects, by integrating sustainability components into the curriculum. 
  • Festival @ Masdar City: One of ADSW’s key community engagement activities, Festival@ Masdar City is an opportunity to enjoy a fun, family-focused day out in one of the world’s most sustainable cities. It will be held January 23-24 at Masdar City, Abu Dhabi’s low-carbon, sustainable urban development.