Dubai, UAE, 14 December 2022: ‘The Future of Health, Wellness & Innovation Forum,’ organised by Dubai Land Department (DLD), in partnership with Delos, the leading company in the field of health and promoting well-being in living and working places, kicked off yesterday at the Museum of the Future in Dubai, in the presence of a group of officials and experts. The forum highlighted the importance of strengthening buildings and residential communities and making them healthier, safer and smarter, in line with DLD’s strategy to consolidate Dubai’s position as a preferred global real estate destination.
During his opening speech at the forum, His Excellency Sultan Butti bin Mejren, Director General of Dubai Land Department, commented: “Health and safety issues have always been fundamental pillars of the UAE’s strategy, and Dubai in particular, towards ensuring growth by promoting innovation and sustainability, in line with the developmental approach pursued by the wise leadership under the guidance of His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai.”
Bin Mejren added: “The Dubai 2040 Urban Master Plan draws an integrated future map for sustainable urban development, the main focus of which being people and the improvement of their quality of life. From this standpoint, health, safety, and innovation standards have become integral to achieving Dubai’s vision to become the best city in the world to live and work.”
Paul Scialla, CEO of Delos and Founder of IWBI, shared his insight and future vision on the Global WELL Healthy Building Movement, and said: “It’s a great honour to be here today to announce and celebrate the collaboration between Delos and Dubai Land Department. It’s wonderful to see all these people coming together with this one singular focus, which is the well-being and health safety of our buildings. This scales because of the commitment of Dubai Land Department and the initiative their leadership has taken. I could not be more honoured to demonstrate to the world an example like Dubai, which now, I believe, has received the most amount of well-rated buildings per capita in the world, and we are just getting started. I think a forum like this demonstrates to both the public and private sectors how important this is, how immediate the need is, and how well it’s been received. This type of forum with this type of energy and demonstration of commitment is something that will breed more and more success and opportunity in the future.”
Five panel discussions
The forum witnessed the organisation of five panel discussions. The first session shed light on the future of health and well-being in buildings and communities, with the participation of His Excellency Eng Marwan bin Ghalita, CEO of the Real Estate Regulatory Agency; Paul Scialla, CEO of Delos and Founder of IWBI; Anas Kassem, Managing Director of Stantec; and Rob Devereux, CEO of Brookfield Properties Middle East.
During the session, Marwan bin Ghalita highlighted the importance of healthy and sustainable buildings as part of RERA’s strategy for the future of buildings in Dubai. Paul Scialla spoke about the impact of healthy buildings on occupants, visitors and anyone spending time in buildings and how this has changed since COVID-19. As for Anas Kassem, he shared Stantec’s experience in designing healthcare buildings to be responsive and compatible with the dynamic nature of the sector, while Rob Devereux addressed the foremost health and sustainability considerations during the development of ICD Brookfield Place Dubai and how they will evolve into the future.
In another significant session titled ‘A Holistic Approach to Healthy Buildings: Wellness in Design, Operation & Behavior, Dr. Abeer Shaheen from the ADNOC Group spoke about the impact of adopting the ‘WELL Health and Safety’ classification standards on ADNOC’s ESG strategy for environmental, social and corporate governance. Meanwhile, Ahmed Khalil Al Hamdani, from DLD, shed light on how RERA employs health, safety and sustainability regarding jointly owned properties. Francis Giani, Chief Community Management Officer at Nakheel, discussed the importance of the company achieving the ‘Well Health and Safety’ rating and how investing in the health of residents and employees affected the company’s performance. Samer Jani, Director – SAGA International, spoke about the strategies that are being applied to buildings to accelerate the shift to sustainable and healthy development.
UAE National Wellbeing Strategy 2031:
The third session shed light on Vision 2031: ‘Challenges and Opportunities for Human Health, Well-Being, and Sustainability,’ with the participation of Saeed Al Abbar, CEO - AESG; Farah Naz, Director of Innovation & ESG MENA – AECOM; and Mario Saab, Head of Sustainability MENA - Cundall, who addressed the strengthening relations between the public and private sectors, in line with the UAE National Wellbeing Strategy 2031, as well as the most prominent climate challenges faced by stakeholders when designing projects.
The fourth session highlighted ‘The Impact of Health & Sustainability across Government, Commercial, Residential & Hospitality,’ and was attended by Awatif Al Suwaidi, CEO of the Happiness & Well-Being Council - Dubai Police; Khalid Anib, Chief Executive Officer - Abu Dhabi National Hotels; and Jalil Mekouar, Founder & CEO of InHovate Technology.
In the fifth and final panel, Dr Mohammad AlJaradin, Associate Professor - School of Health and Environmental Studies at HBMSU; Umar Khan, General Manager - Sustainably and Smart Cities at Honeywell; and Ala’a Ahmad, Facilities & Services Senior Manager at HBMSU; highlighted the premise of well-being and health provided by modern technology in the education sector.
The forum also witnessed a number of side events and talks, where Dr Mansoor Al Awar, President of Hamdan Bin Mohammed Smart University, shared his future visions on health, well-being and education, while Dr Naseem Abdullah, Director of Health & Safety Department – Dubai Municipality, shared her visions on the quality of indoor air and water systems in the built environment during a fireside chat, while Nadima Mehra and Scott Armstrong addressed ‘Expo City Dubai: The Next Chapter.’
Memorandum of Understanding
On the sidelines of the forum’s activities, Dubai Land Department and Delos Company signed a memorandum of understanding on initiatives, products and solutions for the healthy building movement. The memorandum explores opportunities and prospects for joint cooperation in hosting events related to healthy buildings and communities, exchanging experiences and knowledge about the healthy building movement, and recommending the best scientifically approved health technologies, solutions and products, among others.