Wednesday 24, February 2016

Dubai – MENA Herald: Dubai Electricity and Water Authority (DEWA) has concluded its participation as the main partner in the Global Woman’s Forum Dubai, organised by Dubai Women Establishment (DWE) and the Women’s Forum for the Economy & Society. The Forum was held for the first time in the region, under the patronage of HH Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai, and was led by HH Sheikha Manal bint Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, President of the UAE Gender Balance Council, President of Dubai Women Establishment, and wife of HH Sheikh Mansour bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for Presidential Affairs, highlighting the UAE’s achievements and commitment to empowering women.
“The agenda for the Global Women’s Forum Dubai revolved around the pillars of Achieving, Creating, Giving, Energising, and Sustaining. The Forum’s agenda highlighted DEWA’s ongoing efforts to further integrate women into the energy and innovation sectors, because women are essential to our achieving sustainable development. I am honoured that DEWA was chosen as the main partner for this forum, which was built around the theme of Let’s Innovate. The forum gave us the opportunity to demonstrate the importance of our country’s women, their contributions, and the large role they play in the development and prosperity of our community,” said HE Saeed Mohammed Al Tayer, MD & CEO of DEWA.
“During the forum, we showed our achievements in innovation and sustainable energy, in addition to the vital role Emirati woman play in the clean energy sector today. DEWA also presented its best international practices and experiences in enabling the community and the country’s women, via the Sustainable Energy platform. I assure you that our ongoing achievements shall not cease, we will continue to place our women at the forefront of the international community, becoming role models, and showing the positive image of the UAE’s women, in support of the wise vision that recognises the significance of renewable energy in achieving a balance between development and sustainability. This balance will help preserve the rights of future generations to live in a clean, healthy, and safe environment,” Al Tayer continued.
“I would like to note that DEWA has employed 1,700 female staff working in all its operations, 559 of whom work in engineering and other technical positions. 77% of DEWA’s female workforce comprise Emirati Nationals who enjoy a secure, stable environment, which allows them to grow their skillset and abilities and contribute to the National Innovation Strategy. The strategy is set to place the UAE amongst some of the most innovative countries in the world. This move also supports the Dubai Clean Energy Strategy for 2050 launched by HH Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, to make Dubai a global hub for clean energy, capable of acquiring 75% of its energy from clean sources by 2050, as well as enhancing Dubai’s international competitiveness in the energy sector to attract more investments,” added Al Tayer.
Khawla Al Mehairi, Vice President of Marketing & Corporate Communications at DEWA, Chairperson of DEWA’s Women’s Committee, and Board Member of Dubai Women Establishment, participated in a panel discussion entitled Gender Matters for Energy. Laure Alazet, New Business Incubator for South Asia, Middle East & Africa at ENGIE and Board Member of the Clean Energy Business Council, shared the panel with Al Mehairi. The session was moderated by Rym Ghazal from The National newspaper and attended by many participants.
During the forum, Al Mehairi highlighted the role of women as key partners in sustainable development, the important role they play in energy, conservation, and protecting natural resources. She added that the successes of sustainable development programmes are closely linked to the active participation of women. She also stressed that the role of women must not be ignored when energy-related policies and programmes are developed, noting that it’s important to raise women’s awareness as they play a key role in the rationalisation of energy use at home and in society as a whole. Women can be change agents who encourage the shift towards using sustainable energy.
“Industries are undergoing profound shifts in their business models because of developments in technology. As a result, labour markets are rapidly-changing and gender gaps are increasing in some industries, as jobs traditionally held by women become obsolete and opportunities are emerging in new markets. It’s important to realise these changes and be ready to take advantage of the opportunities and face the challenges presented by these developments,” said Al Mehairi.
“DEWA’s sponsorship of the Global Women’s Forum in Dubai, whose theme is ‘Let’s Innovate,’ supports DEWA’s Corporate Social Responsibility, and its strategy to take care of women as key partners in the development process. The Forum’s agenda and its five pillars align with DEWA’s efforts to promote the participation of women in emerging markets, and empower women in the workplace. Since its establishment, DEWA’s Women’s Committee has worked to provide a positive and stimulating work environment that supports female staff and helps them achieve a balance between their personal and professional lives,” she added.
Al Mehairi said that the UAE is the first Arab country to make it mandatory for public and private organisations to include women on their boards of directors. It is also the first Arab nation to establish a Gender Balance Council, to increase the presence of women in leading positions and enhance corporate efficiency.
Amal Koshak, Senior Manager of the Marketing Communications department at DEWA, led a session on Smart Homes for Generations to Come. DEWA’s strategy strongly supports the vision of Dubai Government by promoting sustainable development by driving energy and water-use efficiency and investing in alternative energy sources. Brian Hull, the Managing Director for ABB in Oman and Bahrain session also took part in the session.
“DEWA is in the process of establishing smart electricity and water grids that will be a vital foundation towards our transition into smart homes as per the directives and vision of HH Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice-President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai, to make Dubai the smartest and happiest city in the World. DEWA is currently implementing three smart initiatives: the Shams Dubai Initiative, the Green Charger Initiative, and the Smart Applications through Smart Meters and Grids Initiative, to support the Smart City initiative, launched by His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum,” said Koshak.
“Smart homes have many benefits, and allow users remote access to things such as cooling systems, and pave the way for efficiency, sustainability, and environmental consciousness, made possible by modern applications that promote rational usage. These smart homes meet security standards, and are equipped with advanced systems that employ the use of cameras, motion sensors, and are directly linked to local police stations, as well as Civil Defence,” said Koshak.
DEWA exhibited the Al Saada (Arabic for ‘happiness’) initiative at the forum’s Discovery exhibition, which was viewed by many delegations and important delegates. DEWA launched Al Saada to develop a smart innovative platform, the first of its kind in the region. It focuses on turning people’s kinetic and mechanical energy from exercise into electricity. This is achieved by specially-designed innovative recreational equipment that anyone can use, including people with special needs and children of six years and older. The move underlines DEWA’s CSR efforts, which support social development efforts to make society happier, enhance people’s happiness and contribute to greater welfare. Al Saada will provide a range of exercise equipment that generates renewable energy, highlighting DEWA’s role in achieving Dubai’s healthcare objectives to fight obesity and provide a healthy environment for all society.
DEWA has worked alongside various government partners including Dubai Women Establishment, Dubai Municipality, and Dubai Sports Council to manufacture an entertainment platform that includes innovative equipment and sustainable materials to store kinetic energy produced by exercising to power other recreational devices and equipment. The stored energy can be used in special units within the platform for charging phones and smart devices, lighting, cooling water, or other personal devices. The platform will also have games for children that run on the energy produced by the physical activity of accompanying parents or guardians using recreational equipment, or energy that is produced by the actual games when being played. In addition to other solar devices for daily personal use in a simple and innovative way to enhance the concept of renewable energy.
A Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) was signed between DEWA and the Women’s Forum Dubai co-organiser, Dubai Women Establishment. The sponsorship is part of DEWA’s ongoing efforts to empower women in all areas, and support their contribution to society and the sustainable development of the UAE. DEWA’s Women’s Committee organises several events and initiatives throughout the year, and participates in national and international women’s activities.
As part of the agreement, DEWA representatives shared their expertise on advancements in sustainable energy during a plenary session at the Women’s Forum Dubai. DEWA also participated in the Discovery exhibition at the Forum to showcase creative ideas for innovation in sustainable energy from their booth in the Energy Hub. Talks covered topics including clean energy and the role of women in the sector that were delivered by DEWA representatives from the Energy Hub. International delegates learned about DEWA’s innovative programmes during special tours.