The UAE is the leading country in the region for the highest concentration of sustainable buildings, home to 869-green rated buildings and ranking 14th globally.
The US leads the world league table with almost 81,000 green buildings and at city level, London ranks first with 3,000 environmentally accredited buildings, according to real estate firm Knight Frank.
The company’s second (Y)OUR SPACE report, which gathered responses from 400 businesses globally, said there was a growing desire for buildings and businesses to be sustainable.
The survey found 40 percent of firms have set a net zero carbon target and, of those, 77 percent are aiming to achieve this by 2030.
But 87 percent of firms said that less than half of their current global real estate portfolios are either green or sustainable, which suggests a disconnect between real estate and wider corporate thinking on sustainability, said Knight Frank.
However, there is increasing awareness of the need for sustainability in the Middle East, according to Faisal Durrani, head of Middle East research at Knight Frank: “The climate crisis has spawned a global green reawakening and businesses in the Middle East are alive to the climate challenge,” he said.
“Three-quarters of businesses in the Middle East sample of the (Y)our Space global survey, which represent 7,800 staff, say that their real estate choices in the future will be influenced by their net zero targets; however the vast majority say that less than 25 percent of their global portfolios are green or sustainable.”
Durrani concluded that green credentials in buildings will become ‘a key battle ground’ in the post- COVID-19 economy, particularly as office footprints are also revised downward due to hybrid and remote working.
He highlighted progress in developers delivering sustainable real estate techniques, such as the Burj Khalifa’s condensation harvesting system, and integrated wind turbines on the Bahrain World Trade Centre.
In the GCC, Qatar ranks 32nd place globally for concentration of green buildings, with 140 green-rated buildings, while Saudi Arabia is 54th with 38. Kuwait and Oman have 12 green-accredited buildings each and rank 69th and 70th, respectively.
(Writing by Imogen Lillywhite; editing by Seban Scaria)
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