DUBAI: Dubai Airport Freezone (DAFZ), part of the Dubai Integrated Economic Zones Authority (DIEZ), published a comprehensive whitepaper that sheds light on its environmental, social, and governance approach, which has strengthened its position as a major player in supporting national strategies related to sustainability. This is in addition to showcasing the UAE’s significant progress in this area based on detailed statistics and comprehensive studies.

Titled "Emerald Sands of the UAE," this insightful whitepaper delves into the UAE’s journey towards achieving a green economy and the essential role that DAFZ plays in advancing sustainability through its initiatives, practices, operations, and infrastructure. This has enhanced the free zone’s position as an attractive destination for business, investments, and talents, and a supportive hub for the best responsible environmental practices, all aligned with national strategies that aspire to build a sustainable tomorrow.

Amna Lootah, Director General of Dubai Airport Freezone (DAFZ), emphasised that the UAE's strides toward a green economy are evident through its sustainability approach, which extends beyond its geographical boundaries. She highlighted substantial investments in clean and renewable energy projects, effective contributions to green energy initiatives, and hosting the COP28, exemplifying the UAE's dedication to achieving global carbon neutrality and climate action.

She added, “This whitepaper reflects our dedication to sustainability, aligning seamlessly with the UAE's vision. The remarkable progress in the Green Future Index, climbing to 36th place in 2023, underscores the nation's commitment to achieving its 2050 net zero target. DAFZ, as a free zone, has significantly reduced its carbon footprint by 48 percent, showcasing our active contribution to national goals."

DAFZ launched a special initiative dedicated to advancing the sustainability ecosystem in the UAE. This initiative involved a comprehensive research study focused on identifying environmentally responsible sectors. The primary objective was to attract companies to operate within these sectors, fostering substantial contributions to the UAE's economy across environmental, economic, and social dimensions.

This initiative aligns with DAFZ's commitment to sustainability and DIEZ’s dedication to establishing itself as a global model that embraces a culture of sustainability and adheres to the best responsible environmental practices.

The research study evaluated 11 main sectors, 36 sub-sectors, and their anticipated growth rate over the next 5 years. This included sustainable aviation fuels with an anticipated growth of 60 percent, programmable thermostats (28 percent), electromobility (27 percent), wireless power transfer (24 percent), low-carbon construction, cloud computing, and fleet management (20 percent each).

The whitepaper revealed that non-oil sectors contributed significantly, reaching 70 percent of the GDP in 2023. This achievement is attributed to the guidance of visionary leadership, advocating for a global shift towards a sustainable green economy. Major national investments in clean and renewable energy projects, spanning 70 countries across six continents, have played a pivotal role in this accomplishment.

In comparison to other Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) countries and the Middle East and North Africa region, the UAE stands out for its progress in the renewable energy journey. The country has strategically set realistic and achievable goals aligned with various global standards. The UAE secures the top position among GCC countries, the Middle East, North Africa, and South Asia in both the "SDG Progress Global Rank" and "Green Future Index." Furthermore, the UAE claims the leading spot in the Environmental Performance Index regionally and an impressive score of 39 globally. These achievements underscore the UAE's commitment to sustainable development and its prominence on the global stage in environmental stewardship.