Global design and consulting firm Arcadis places Dubai 52nd in its 2016 Sustainable Cities Index and 1st in the Middle East, while Abu Dhabi becomes the second most in the eight cities of the Arab world, finishing 58th globally. The index was compiled by the Centre for Economic and Business Research. Amman, the capital city of Jordan, is the lowest ranking regional city with 86th place overall.
The index was prepared based on three sub-indexes; people (social), planet (environmental), and profit (economic). As per the profit index, Dubai scores exceptionally well with a fourth place globally, just ahead of New York, Paris, and Tokyo. But in the environmental ranking, Dubai is positioned among one of the lowest scored cities, with 96 ranks in 100. Lack of greenery and high levels of energy consumption and pollution were the reasons behind Dubai’s low performance in the environmental section. Abu Dhabi placed 96th in the environmental list but achieved a 13th position in the profit index.
Ben Khan, client development director for Arcadis Middle East, said that even though Dubai is a city of superlatives, energy consumption and carbon emissions remain high in the city, mainly because of the climate, volume of development, and the traditional reliance on fossil fuels. He also stated that this is an area that both cities, Dubai and Abu Dhabi, are actively looking to address, and it forms an essential part of the UAE’s Vision 2021.
Arcadis is a leading global design and consulting firm for natural and built assets. It is based in Amsterdam, the Netherlands, and has a presence in over 70 countries all over the world.