By employing the latest technologies and know-how from around the world, resource management companies are helping Dubai become more innovative in managing its precious resources.

Youssef Chehade

Co-founder & Managing Partner, Ecyclex International Recycling

I co-founded Ecyclex with a few partners in 2012, but we had already been running businesses that deal with metals and electronics recycling in Dubai and Sharjah since the 1980s. In the 1990s, there was no formal legal structure for e-waste management. Due to our experience in metal recycling, we had developed expertise in recycling electronics even before the legal structure for e-waste management was introduced. We created Ecyclex as a new separate entity to focus solely on e-waste recycling. We saw that this was the growth segment in the market compared to scrap-metal recycling, which was already saturated. Remarkably, Dubai was the first Emirate to bring in regulations for e-waste management, and recently Abu Dhabi implemented e-waste regulations. Our expertise in Dubai allowed Ecyclex to be selected by the authorities to initiate an e-waste recycling facility in Abu Dhabi after a lack of approved e-waste recyclers. We work with the government, private, and household sectors. The biggest volumes are in the government and private sectors because these entities change thousands of electronics at once. Here, Dubai has reached a level where e-waste is dealt with in an extremely professional way. In the private sector, only smaller entities still face a challenge because these companies usually dispose of small quantities at once.

Frank Ackland

Managing Director Middle East, Xylem

Looking at the entire cycle of water, we need to make sure the whole system is resilient. This requires a great deal of technology, which in turn requires expertise and a legacy in the market to know how to efficiently embed more technology and digitalization into the various stages and devices in the systems. All these collect a huge amount of data, and one of the things we are doing is investing in new software technologies to turn that data into predictive information, which is especially helpful for utility providers, allowing them to get ahead of the curve and schedule maintenance before an incident. One of the great things about Dubai is that we see water solutions placed front and center. With everyone already on the same page, then we start talking about what more can we do and how can we move forward multilaterally in the same direction. Ultimately, it all comes down to those important aspects of supply and demand in a renewable, sustainable way. And managing demand encompasses awareness, education, technology, and reuse. It is an incredibly intertwined conversation. Globally, there will be 10 billion people by 2030 and the better part of 2.5 billion people on the planet lack access to clean water. It is critical that we get smart about this.

George Berbari

CEO, DC PRO Engineering

Most people are aware of district cooling technology and are pleased with the current district cooling system; however, the current system, as it is being applied with its current electrical technology, has been obsolete for eight years. We have two gaps: district cooling needs to evolve, and the country needs to integrate district cooling into its energy policy and particularly into renewable in the right ways. Dubai has achieved a global record in district cooling penetration, with close to 20%. In Dubai, however, of the more than 2 million tons installed, more than 50% is unutilized. If we can increase thermal storage to cover all plants and extend the chilled water piping network, we could augment district cooling's reach from 20% to 60% without adding a single chiller. What is missing is investment in a piping network, and this should perhaps be a neutral entity owned by the government. Energy storage is a pertinent issue that is also extremely costly. In Dubai, 50% of the energy used year-round is for cooling. More thermal storage is the right solution, though only 40-50% of district cooling in Dubai has thermal storage currently and are sized for night charging and peak day discharging, which could change if it is needed to harvest and store daytime solar energy.