Vital Role of Real Estate Sector in Advancing Sustainable Development in UAE

Vital Role of Real Estate Sector in Advancing Sustainable Development in UAE

By Francis Alfred, Managing Director of Sobha Realty

Being one of the most dynamic and cyclical industries, the only constant in the real estate sector is ‘change.’ In some cases, these changes may be regional, while in others, they may have a global impact.

One such development in the sector is the growing emphasis on green buildings and sustainability. The demand for eco-friendly building techniques and real estate has increased greatly around the world, as people have become more conscious of the impact of the real estate industry on the environment.

Over the past few years, the UAE’s real estate market has also seen an increase in demand for sustainable alternatives, prompting developers, architects, and building owners to step up their efforts to integrate green building practices into their projects.

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Sustainability in the real estate sector is more important now than ever before. Green building practices are gaining more traction and governments are pushing the envelope to implement effective sustainability strategies.

As a result of such initiatives, support, subsidies, and of course, the emergence of innovative solutions, this proves to be an ideal time for developers to shift their focus towards building a better society.

Green real estate development, or the adoption of eco-friendly and resource-efficient practices in the real estate business to achieve the goals of sustainable development, needs to be implemented at both the micro and macro levels of the sector.

Developers must adapt their operations to meet the global sustainable development standards, as achieving lower carbon footprint and sustainable economic goals is everyone's responsibility.

Green building practices are crucial for developers, as investors today demand sustainable elements in their homes.

In the current real estate market, millennials and even Gen Z, the younger generations who are concerned about lowering their carbon footprint, make up the largest tenant pool. So, if a property intends to remain in line with the competition, it should emphasize environmental-friendly aspects.

Aside from the major green building practices, real estate developers should also consider implementing small environmentally conscious changes to boost the project’s appeal as an investment option.

For instance, they can consider implementing low-water consumption landscaping, ease of access to walking paths and public transportation, as well as nearby attractions like a garden, bike rentals, and on-site recycling programs.

When marketing the property, all these features may be emphasised to attract tenants who value resource conservation, which might even help the property to fetch higher rentals.

The UAE now presents an excellent opportunity for developers to accelerate the adoption of green construction practices, as the country is progressively supporting sustainability-focused efforts.

We can implement several long-term solutions that are simple to connect and combine, and more importantly, provide the opportunity to save significant costs. For instance, employing circular water management solutions can boost recycling and consumption.

Energy-efficient paint and glass also contribute to lower maintenance costs by requiring fewer repairs and repainting. Similarly, smart lighting systems equipped with occupancy and motion sensors, can help reduce energy costs.

It is evident that efficient building management systems will allow developers to save a significant amount on maintenance costs over the lifespan of the building structure.

Demand for sustainable real estate operations is anticipated to increase as the UAE combats climate change and environmental degradation.

Developers, investors, and legislators will need to work together and innovate, to produce a more sustainably built environment that meets the needs of both the present and future generations.

Ultimately, sustainable real estate development has the potential to make the world a more resilient, equitable, and prosperous place for everybody.

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