Dubai, UAE, 11 January 2017

The UAE Water Aid Foundation’s (Suqia) board of trustees has held its ninth meeting at Dubai Electricity and Water Authority (DEWA)’s headquarters. The meeting was chaired by HE Saeed Mohammed Al Tayer, Chairman of the board of trustees of Suqia;  and attended by HE Dr Mohammed Abdullah Al Baili, Deputy Vice Chairman for Academic Affairs and Provost of United Arab Emirates University; Waleed Salman, Executive Vice President of Strategy & Business Development at DEWA;  Nasser Lootah, Executive Vice President of Generation at DEWA;  Abdulkareem Al Shamsi, Acting Executive Director of Suqia; and Abdullah bin Afira Al Falasi, Acting Secretary of the board of trustees of Suqia.

Al Tayer welcomed the members of the board, commending their efforts and achievements during 2016. Al Tayer also praised the efforts made by Suqia to promote the Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum Global Water Award in international events such as the 22nd session of the Conference of the Parties (COP22) in Marrakesh, Morocco, and at the 2016 Conference on Research and Technology Development for Sustainable Water Resources Management in Cairo.  Al Tayer noted that Suqia will double its efforts in the field of humanitarian aid, in adherence with the declaration of 2017 as the Year of Giving, as announced by HH Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan, President of the UAE. This also adheres to the directives of HH Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai, to create a knowledge based economy with a focus on technology, Research and Development (R&D), and innovation to find solutions to the global issue of water scarcity. 

“The Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum Global Water Award contributes to achieving the National Innovation Strategy, launched by HH Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, to transform the UAE into one of the most innovative countries in the world by 2021. Suqia encourages leading corporations, research centres, institutions and innovators from across the world to compete to find sustainable and innovative renewable-energy solutions to the problem of water scarcity, with a focus on young innovators as they count for the largest percentage of participants. This reflects our efforts to enhance the participation of the youth in protecting the environment and sustainable development, in adherence with the national ‘A Green Economy for Sustainable Development’ initiative to build a green economy in the UAE,” said HE Saeed Mohammed Al Tayer, Chairman of the board of trustees of Suqia. 

Al Tayer noted that Suqia had received 138 applications to participate in the award, 26 of which were put forward by UAE-based applicants. This reflects the commitment of all government and private organisations to achieve the vision of the wise leadership. Suqia also received 14 applications from Egypt and 10 from India, 5 each from Saudi Arabia, The Netherlands, and South Korea, 4 applications each from the United Kingdom, Kuwait, and Italy, 3 applications each from Bahrain, South Africa, France, Brazil, Qatar, Japan, Greece, and the United States of America, and 36 applications from other multinational organisations. 

“The Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum Global Water Award has generated large interest from leading research companies, institutions, and innovators from all over the world, in competing to find sustainable solutions to the issue of water scarcity. The achievements made by Suqia during 2016, reflects its commitment towards achieving the directives of the wise leadership, to strengthen the UAE’s participation in the field of humanitarian aid,” said Al Shamsi, Acting Executive Director of Suqia. 

The meeting discussed Suqia’s latest projects in cooperation with the Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum Humanitarian and Charity Establishment, which included the completion of two boreholes in Ghana, during the last quarter of 2016, bringing the total number of beneficiaries to 40,000. Boreholes are currently being drilled in Afghanistan, Mauritania, Somalia, Tajikistan, Ghana, Benin, Uganda, Bangladesh, Mali, and Senegal, to benefit an estimated 53,900 people.  The meeting also highlighted Suqia’s first place win in the Carbon Ambassadors Programme.

Suqia’s team designed a water purification unit that operates using reverse osmosis, and retrofitted a 20ft recycled shipping container.  The system produces 7.6 cubic metres of potable water per day, aiding more than 1,500 people per day. Suqia contributed to the State of Green Economy Report 2017, which was launched during the Climate Action 2016 Summit, organised on the sidelines of COP22. The State of Green Economy Report 2017 aims to promote economic growth in the UAE.