The Emirates is the only country in the GCC to make the world's top 30 for the highest concentration of green buildings.
UAE is the leading country in the Gulf region and 14th in the world for the highest concentration of sustainable buildings. There 869-green rated buildings in the country in total.
According to the real estate firm Knight Frank, among countries the US leads the world with almost 81,000 green buildings and London ranks first among cities with 3,000 environmentally accredited buildings.
A desire for buildings and businesses to be sustainable is growing at the moment, said the company’s second (Y)OUR SPACE report that gathered responses from 400 businesses globally.
The survey revealed that 40 percent of firms have set a net zero carbon target and 77 percent of them plan to achieve this aim by 2030.
At the same time 87 percent of firms said less than half of their current global real estate projects were either green or sustainable, which suggests a disconnect between real estate and wider corporate thinking on sustainability.
However, awareness of the need for sustainability in the Middle East is currently increasing, says Faisal Durrani, head of Middle East research at Knight Frank. 'The climate crisis has spawned a global green reawakening and businesses in the Middle East are alive to the climate challenge,' he pointed out.
'Three-quarters of businesses in the Middle East sample of the (Y)OUR SPACE global survey, which represent 7,800 staff, say that their real estate choices in the future will be influenced by their net zero targets; however the vast majority say that less than 25 percent of their global portfolios are green or sustainable,' Durrani explained.
Durrani also added that green credentials in buildings will become 'a key battle ground' in the post-COVID-19 economy, particularly as work in office is being gradually replaced by hybrid and remote working.
In addition to that, he highlighted progress in developers delivering sustainable real estate techniques, such as the Burj Khalifa’s condensation harvesting system and integrated wind turbines on the Bahrain World Trade Centre.
Among the GCC countries, Qatar ranks 32nd globally for concentration of sustainable buildings, with 140 green-rated buildings, while Saudi Arabia is 54th with 38. Kuwait and Oman have 12 green-accredited buildings each and rank 69th and 70th in the world, respectively.