UK announce new green finance deal in UAE

  • £31 million loan from UK Export Finance enables the completion of Bee’ah’s headquarters – an award-winning environmental management company in the UAE
  • British-designed building is intended to transform attitudes and behaviours towards the environment in the region
  • Announcement comes during the visit of His Highness Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan, President of the United Arab Emirates to the UK

UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson has announced today (Thursday, September 16) that a £31 million clean growth loan from UK Export Finance (UKEF) will help finish the new headquarters of one of the UAE’s leading environmental management firms.

Announced alongside the ‘Partnership of the Future’ during His Highness Mohammed bin Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan, President of the United Arab Emirates’, visit to the UK, the project is a shining example of British innovation in sustainable construction within the UAE.

The new green building, designed by late British architect Dame Zaha Hadid, founder of Zaha Hadid Architects, will be entirely powered by renewable energy generated from its solar panels and waste-to-energy systems and be one of the most sophisticated ‘smart offices’ in the world.

Computer generated image render of planned interior of Bee’ah headquarters.

It’s the first clean growth loan issued by UKEF, the UK’s export credit agency, in the Middle East as the department continues to ramp up its green financing.

The support comes from UKEF’s Clean Growth Direct Lending Facility, which dedicates £2 billion of funding for clean growth and renewable energy projects, and was facilitated by HSBC.

UKEF’s backing for the project sees around one-third of the value of this green contract being delivered by UK companies, including design, engineering and smart office services, delivering on the Prime Minister’s Ten Point Plan to grow Britain’s clean growth sector.

This support enhances the original UKEF loan provided to Bee’ah after the building scope was expanded and ensures increased procurement from the UK.

The building now includes new interalia office-of-the-future technologies that makes it one of the first artificial intelligence integrated buildings of its kind in the world, a project that was already recognized with the Digie Award for “Most Intelligent Building – Corporate Headquarters”.

Computer generated image render of planned interior of Bee’ah headquarters.

Louis Taylor, Chief Executive of UK Export Finance, said:

With COP26 just around the corner, UKEF is opening new frontiers for green exporters. This building will be a beacon for the possibilities offered by green technologies and is a shining example of the expertise of British firms like Zaha Hadid Architects.

I am delighted that this landmark deal is funding sustainable infrastructure in the UAE and reflects both countries’ shared commitment to protecting the environment.

Salim Bin Mohammed Al Owais, Chairman of Bee’ah, said:

As the Gulf region’s leader in sustainability, we are proud to be part of the new green finance deal that will further our sustainability ambitions in the region and bring our great nations closer together.

The Bee’ah headquarters will stand as the manifestation of our two critical pillars of sustainability and digitalisation, as we strive towards creating a smarter, greener future for our region.

Sara Sheikh Akbari, Associate Director at Zaha Hadid Architects, said:

The new Bee’ah headquarters incorporates the highest standards of design to create a building where sustainability and technology work together to drive positive change.

We are proud that Bee’ah’s new headquarters will achieve LEED Platinum certification – the highest possible rating under the internationally recognised US Green Building Council standards.

Abdulfattah Sharaf, HSBC UAE CEO and Head of International, said:

HSBC is committed to the transition to a global net zero economy, not just by playing our part, but by helping to lead it.

We’re doing this across the bank, supporting our customers in their own transitions, mobilising finance and accelerating innovation, and working in partnership with our customers to realise the opportunity to build a more sustainable, resilient, and prosperous future.

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