The eagerly anticipated RetrofitTech Conference opened in Dubai today and the inaugural gathering was replete with the industry's key players.
The event, launched in support of the Dubai Government's Demand Side Management initiatives, aimed to address progress in the emirate's building retrofitting program.
The illustrious affair was opened with a speech by H.E. Saeed Mohammed Al Tayer, MD & CEO of DEWA, who not only highlighted the importance of reducing energy consumption from an environmental concern, but also the financial opportunities available for those ready to make sustainable changes.
H.E. Al Tayer's presence was undoubtedly a huge highlight of the event, with media, delegates and sponsors vying for a moment with the Emirati leader.
The next session was delivered by sustainability leader, Saeed Alabbar. The Emirates Green Building Council Chairman purported in his ten minute speech that "the retrofitting of existing buildings possessed the greatest potential for energy savings over any other", a sentiment shared by all of the event's speakers. It was also revealed that the EGBC were on the cusp of releasing the regions' first 'Retrofitting Guidelines'; a welcome bit of news for energy savings company.
A much anticipated presentation was then delivered by Faisal Ali Hassan Rashid, Director, Dubai Supreme Council of Energy, who delved into the many facets of the Demand Side Management Strategy and even commented on progress being made across the region, "Many nations in the GCC are exploring demand side managements strategies now, which can only be a positive thing". Mr Rashid also revealed plans of the Supreme Council's latest directive, focused on the retrofitting of government buildings. "The Directive targets 20% savings in government buildings, with 1.4 billion AED savings for the government by 2030".
Other fascinating talks, including one from Dubai retrofit expert, Stephane Le Gentil and James Grinnell, Head of Water for the Regulatory & Supervisory Bureau contributed to a very informative and thought provoking morning.
The event wrapped up with a series of exclusive interviews and several other presentations from regional experts flying the flag for greater energy efficiency in the UAE.
Day Two of the RetrofitTech Conference will open tomorrow morning, Tuesday 17 March, at 08:30am with exclusive presentations by EWS-WWF, MAF Dalkia, Al Futtaim Group and many more. For more details about RetrofitTech Dubai, please visit www.retrofittechdubai.com