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Date: 24/10/2007

Dubai to go green in 2008

New guidelines issued by the Dubai government will require all buildings in the emirate to be constructed as per environment-friendly "green building" standards beginning in January, reported Gulf News. Residential and commercial builders will be required to meet the highest international standards' in sustainable development and clean environment, making Dubai the first city in the Middle East and one of the first in the world to implement this standard.

The decision comes following directives by Vice-President and Prime Minister of the UAE, Shaikh Mohammed Bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Gulf News reported.

''Shaikh Mohammed's decision to introduce innovative strategies underscores Dubai's support for international efforts to address global environmental challenges. It will make Dubai the first city in the West Asia and among few cities in the world to adopt the green building strategy.'' UAE Minister of State for Cabinet Affairs and Chairman of the Executive Office in Dubai, Mohammed Al Gergawi said.

Secretary-General of the Dubai Executive Council, Ahmad bin Byat noted the Council will immediately adopt necessary measures to ensure effective implementation of the decision. He highlighted the financial advantages of going green from lower construction costs and operating overheads to reduced utility bills for Dubai residents. The decision reflects Dubai's commitment to address environmental challenges such as climate change and global warming, he added.

Green buildings are scored by rating systems, such as the Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) rating system developed by the U S Green Building Council, Green Globes from GBI and other locally developed rating systems.

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