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Vision of Sheikh Zayed continues to resonate as countdown to WFES 2012 begins

On December 2, 1971, the late Sheikh Zayed bin Sultan Al Nahyan became the president of the newly formed United Arab Emirates. Charged with leading this young country, the biggest resource that enabled the UAE's first president to transform this arid desert region into the sprawling business hub it is today was not money but vision.

The word "sustainable" is liberally used today but in the 1970s, Sheikh Zayed's focus on building a diverse economy was decades ahead of its time. It is his vision that has led Abu Dhabi, the capital of the United Arab Emirates, to adopt The Economic Vision 2030. The emphasis of the current leadership's strategy is simple- building a sustainable economy, and ensuring a balanced social and regional economic development through the diversification of industry. Part of this vision included a global contribution to future environmental needs including a clear focus on the development of renewable energies as a means of addressing the challenges of high energy demand and water scarcity so prevalent in the Middle East.

The strategic vision to transform Abu Dhabi's economy was in play even before the Economic Vision was drafted. Sheikh Zayed's insight has been transformed to action by the current leadership who have encouraged a number of initiatives that promote sustainable energy. Masdar, Abu Dhabi's multi-faceted renewable and sustainable energy company, was formed in 2006, and two years later, Masdar inaugurated the first World Future Energy Summit. Since 2009, Abu Dhabi serves as the headquarters for the United Nation's International Renewable Energy Agency (IRENA).

The World Future Energy Summit, hosted by Masdar and supported by IRENA, gives momentum to the mandate of the past and present leadership to diversify the economic portfolio of the UAE. With a focus on providing sustainable energy solutions, WFES has become a flagship event in the Abu Dhabi's strategic vision to transform their regional and global business activities, and, approaching its sixth edition, is now acclaimed as the world's foremost platform for the energy and environmental industries.

From January 15- 17 2013, I hope you will join over 30,000 regional and worldwide leaders, businesses, scientists, developers and many others in Abu Dhabi to further fulfill Sheikh Zayed's vision during the 2013 World Future Energy Summit, the centrepiece of Abu Dhabi Sustainability Week.

Quelle: 29. November 2012, www.worldfutureenergysummit.com

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