Dubai, UAE: The Dubai Sustainable Finance Working Group (DSFWG), established in 2019 by Dubai International Financial Centre (DIFC), the leading global financial centre in the Middle East, Africa and South Asia (MEASA) region, and Dubai Financial Market (DFM), the leading financial market across the region, has published three new reports that aim to help businesses in the UAE build resilience to the impact of climate change and move the economy to Net Zero.   

The reports provide structured approaches on delivering Net Zero; Environmental, Social and Governance (ESG) innovation; and sustainability-linked lending.   

These reports have been published as the UAE prepares to host the COP28 climate change conference in Dubai in November and 2023 being the UAE’s Year of Sustainability. They also align with DIFC’s year-long Path to COP28 programme and DSFWG’s commitment to making Dubai the region’s best city for sustainable finance.  

A white paper on Unlocking the Potential of ESG Innovation in the UAE and Across the Globe aims to bridge the significant global gap for achieving the targets outlined as part of the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), which can be accelerated through greater innovation. The report considers the perspectives of start-ups, growth-stage companies, and larger corporate entities, and provides a step-by-step guide for businesses to effectively integrate sustainability practices using data-driven frameworks and industry-driven initiatives.  

The Net Zero Guide provides a roadmap for companies, financial institutions, and critical sector stakeholders to chart their Net Zero ambitions. The guide includes sector-specific guidance for major industries in Dubai and across other emirates, serving as a high-level toolkit for developing sectoral decarbonisation strategies.  

A report titled Sustainability-Linked Loans Guide presents an approach for any institution looking to raise Sustainability-Linked Loans to deliver on their financing requirements while supporting their sustainability goals. Sustainability-Linked Loans are increasingly being used in Dubai and the wider region, as companies look to ways to accelerate the adoption of their sustainability agendas by linking the terms of their borrowing to performance against their sustainability targets.  

Christian Kunz, Chief Strategy, Innovation & Ventures Officer at DIFC Authority, said: “We all have a collective responsibility to address sustainability issues. Whilst this is no easy feat, it also creates opportunities in terms of greater access to capital, new markets, and sustainable growth. As a significant contributor to the economic growth of the emirate, DIFC is proud to be part of a comprehensive approach to sustainability and ESG innovation that spans industries and asset classes. DIFC and the Dubai Sustainable Finance Working Group members play a critical role in creating a Net Zero future and building resilient societies, and these reports will form an important basis to accelerate meaningful actions.”  

The UAE was the first country in the Middle East to make climate commitments at COP26. Dubai has a track record of being a vibrant and dynamic city with innovation at its core, showing great promise in identifying opportunities and continuing to invest in its ESG journey to achieve its environmental and social commitments. The DSFWG was the first group of its kind in the UAE that set out a roadmap to achieve the sustainability objectives of the UAE.

The DSFWG and DIFC Authority also hosted stakeholders to an open industry event on 14 March at the DIFC Innovation Hub, where the reports were launched and provided an opportunity to learn more about the white paper and the two guides, ask questions and network with industry leaders.  


About Dubai International Financial Centre  

Dubai International Financial Centre (DIFC) is one of the world’s most advanced financial centres, and the leading financial hub for the Middle East, Africa and South Asia (MEASA), which comprises 72 countries with an approximate population of 3 billion and an estimated GDP of USD 8 trillion.  

With a close to 20-year track record of facilitating trade and investment flows across the MEASA region, the Centre connects these fast-growing markets with the economies of Asia, Europe and the Americas through Dubai.   

DIFC is home to an internationally recognised, independent regulator and a proven judicial system with an English common law framework, as well as the region’s largest financial ecosystem of over 36,000 professionals working across over 4,300 active registered companies – making up the largest and most diverse pool of industry talent in the region.   

The Centre’s vision is to drive the future of finance through cutting-edge technology, innovation, and partnerships. Today, it is the global future of finance and innovation hub offering one of the region’s most comprehensive FinTech and venture capital environments, including cost-effective licensing solutions, fit-for-purpose regulation, innovative accelerator programmes, and funding for growth-stage start-ups.     

Comprising a variety of world-renowned retail and dining venues, a dynamic art and culture scene, residential apartments, hotels and public spaces, DIFC continues to be one of Dubai’s most sought-after business and lifestyle destinations.   

For further information, please visit our website:, or follow us on LinkedIn and Twitter @DIFC.   

For media enquiries, please contact:     
Omar Nasro 
Rasha Mezher | Dubai International Financial Centre Authority
Consultant, Marketing & Cor