Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates (UAE) are emerging as frontrunners in sustainable construction globally, according to a new report by project management services firm Stonehaven.

The report, titled "Global Trends in Sustainable Construction 2024," revealed that these two countries are the only ones from the Middle East region to make it to the top 10 global rankings for Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) certified projects.

Saudi capital Riyadh has the most LEED projects in the Kingdom at 866 with Jeddah at a distant second with 20, the report noted.  This green building push is further emphasised by Saudi Arabia's significant reduction in construction and manufacturing emissions – a 24 percent decrease from 2010 to 2020. This places the Kingdom fifth globally for reducing CO2 and greenhouse gas emissions, behind Japan, Kazakhstan and the USA.

In the UAE, Dubai has the highest number of LEED projects at 348 followed by Ras Al Khaimah with 120 projects. The report attributed Dubai’s top position to the emirate’s Al Sa'fat green building rating system, which streamlines the process for sustainable construction projects. Dubai Municipality, which administers Al Sa'fat, has mandated that all new projects should have a minimum 'Silver Sa’fa’ classification.

(Editing by Anoop Menon) (

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