December 7, 2023 | AUD Auditorium
By the year 2030, about 3 billion people will require access to adequate housing.
The provision of affordable housing has become an urgent imperative. Housing serves as our first line of defense against the challenges of climate change.
Housing represents more than just a roof over our heads; it encompasses the provision of essential services for people to live with dignity and access opportunities.
Confronting the housing crisis can evolve into a pivotal opportunity to address climate challenges more effectively. Housing can significantly reduce carbon emissions
through efficient housing policies, the adoption of low-carbon materials and the promotion of zero-waste practices— essential for mitigating the environmental footprint of the housing sector.
The session will discuss successful approaches and will be the opportunity to launch the “Housing Matters” global campaign touching upon
interconnected topics, through a holistic approach to act together.
10:30 a.m. to11:00 a.m.
11:00 a.m. to11:20 a.m.
11:20 a.m. to11:50 a.m.
Welcome Stage: committed business, industries and professional partners
11:50 a.m. to12:20 p.m.
Decarbonizing Housing for Livable Cities
12:20 p.m. to12:50 p.m.
Towards a Green and Sustainable Habitat
12:50 p.m. to1:00 p.m.
Executive Director, UN-Habitat
Director, Middle East Cities Center, American University in Dubai
Director, External Relations, Strategy, Knowledge and Innovation, UN-Habitat
Coordinator, World Urban Campaign, UN-Habitat
President, Royal Town Planning Institute
President & CEO, Enterprise Business Solutions WLL
Chief Initiatives & Startups Officer, Consolidated Contractors International Company
Principal Researcher (Urban Resilience Lead) & Chair of the Research Strategy Team, International Institute for Environment and Development, UK
Head of Innovation and Future Foresight Center, Agriculture and Livestock Department, Sharjah Government
Team Leader of Construction Safety, Complaints & Emergency, Dubai Municipality
Thursday, December 7, 2023
10:30 a.m. to 1:00 p.m.
AUD Auditorium, Sheikh Zayed Road, Dubai Media City
Contact us: +971 4 399 9000 | firstname.lastname@example.org
Ms. Maimunah Mohd Sharif of Malaysia is the Executive Director of the United Nations Human Settlements Programme (UN‐Habitat),
appointed by the Secretary‐General, following an election by the General Assembly on 22 December 2017.
She succeeds Joan Clos of Spain to whom the Secretary-General is grateful for his dedicated service to the Organization. Dr. Clos led UN-Habitat during the pivotal years
when the world’s population became majority urban. During this time, he championed the development of a New Urban Agenda and Sustainable Development Goal 11 (SDG11),
the first development goal focused on sustainable urbanization. His emphasis on urban planning and national urban policies has been widely appreciated and applied to plan and steer the
world’s cities toward sustainability, economic and social progress, and inclusion.
Ms. Sharif is currently the Mayor of the City Council of Penang Island, Malaysia. Before she was appointed Mayor, she was the first woman to be appointed as President of the Municipal
Council of Seberang Perai in 2011. As mayor of a local authority, she leads the Municipal Council of Seberang Perai to achieve its vision of a “cleaner, greener, safer and healthier
place to work, live, invest and play”. She is a champion of Gender Responsive Participatory Budgeting to integrate gender perspectives into the governance process as a tool to
mainstream gender into budgetary and development policy and planning. During her tenure, the Municipal Council of Seberang Perai was the first Local Authority to implement and achieve
six quality-based management ISO certifications.
Ms. Sharif began her career as a Town Planner at the Municipal Council of Penang Island in 1985. In 2003, she was promoted to Director of Planning and Development, a position she held
until November 2009. As Director, she was responsible for the preparation of structure and local plans and was directly involved in development control of Penang City projects and landscape
development. She also led a team for the planning and implementation of the Urban Renewal Projects in George Town. In November 2009, she was entrusted as the first General Manager to
establish George Town World Heritage Incorporated and manage the George Town World Heritage Site which was inscribed by UNESCO in July 2008.
She holds a Bachelor of Science with Honors in Town Planning Studies from the University of Wales Institutes of Science and Technology, United Kingdom, and a Master of Science in Planning
studies from the Malaysia Science University. She is married and has two daughters.
Dr. Mahmoud AlBurai is currently serving as Senior Advisor at the Real Estate Regulatory Agency of Dubai, mandated to work on a plan to make Dubai more competitive.
Before this role, Dr. AlBurai served as the CEO of the Dubai Real Estate Institute for 10 years, during which time the institute graduated 80,000 real estate professionals
from the region. He is currently the Chairman of the UNDRR Arise network in the UAE working on making businesses more resilient, in alignment with the Sendai Framework.
He is also the Vice President of the International Real Estate Federation, FIABCI Arab Countries since 2016 and sits on the board of the International Real Estate Federation,
the world’s largest global real estate network with more than 1.5 million associate members. Before this role, he served on the Board of the International Real Estate Society
(IRES) for 5 years and on the Board of the National Association of Realtors (NAR), a 1.3-million-member real estate network based in Chicago, from 2019-2020. Dr. AlBurai
served as the Chairman of the UN Global Compact UAE from 2015-2020 and represented the MENA region on the UN Global Compact Advisory Board from 2016-2018. In his role as
UN Global Compact MENA representative, Dr. AlBurai led many SDG-driven initiatives. He started youth ambassador programs at seven UAE universities, recruiting over 150 youth
and training them to help businesses become more sustainable. He also led the establishment of the Women Empowerment Principles Platform in the UAE with 60 companies signing
on to the initiative. To promote SDGs among businesses, Dr. AlBurai launched SDGs Pioneers UAE celebrating SDG success stories of private and governmental organizations.
Dr. AlBurai has been selected to be the FIABCI representative at the United Nations Economic Commission for West Asia (UNESCWA) and UNECE (Geneva). Recently, he established
a Think Tank in Geneva under the name of the Middle East Sustainable Development Institute (MESDI) to lobby governments, businesses, and communities to action on SDGs in
the Middle East. He has actively lobbied the private sector in the region to be involved in SDGs. During his presidency of the MESDI, the UAE local network became the
fastest-growing network internationally. Moreover, Dr. AlBurai leads the affordable housing working group at the World Economic Forum and also serves as an advisor to the
MENA region at Happy City Lab, headquartered in Canada, which works on integrating happiness into urban design.
A former Chief of Staff at the Office of Executive Director of UN-Habitat.
Before joining the United Nations, he was Chief of Operations at Think City, a subsidiary of Khazanah Nasional, the investment holding arm of the Malaysian Government.
Neil is a social historian with a special interest in how citizens make their towns and cities. He started working for the United Nations Human Settlements Programme (UN-Habitat) in April 2019 as the Special Advisor to the Executive Director. He was involved with the restructuring of the Programme and was the overseeing officer of the 10th session of the World Urban Forum. In 2020, he was the Officer-in-Charge of the Office of the Executive Director, with oversight duties in the UN-Habitat Covid-19 programme. Since April 2021, he has been Chief of Staff as interim of the Programme with special duties including oversight of the Project Review Working Group and the Cities Investment Facility.
Neil was formerly the Chief Operating Officer of Think City, an urban regeneration agency set up by Khazanah Nasional, the investment holding arm of the Malaysian Government. Before joining Khazanah Nasional, Neil was also a journalist with Star Publications, Malaysia's largest English daily, where he got involved in political analysis, heritage-making, and civil society activities.
He is also a published author, having written some 10 books, ranging from Straits Chinese cuisine to his latest, Towns of Malaya: A Visual Urban History of the Malay Peninsula (Editions Didier Millet). Neil holds a PhD in English from the University of Cambridge.Special Advisor to the Executive Director of UN-Habitat, and Director (a.i.) External Relations, Knowledge, Innovation & Communications.
With more than two decades of experience on urban issues in a United Nations context, Christine Auclair today runs the World Urban Campaign, an advocacy platform to
engage urban stakeholders in achieving the New Urban Agenda and the SDGs in cities and communities.
She holds a French diploma in Architecture (DPLG) and a PhD in Urban Studies (Institut Français d’Urbanisme, Paris). She worked in France in several architecture studios
before joining UN-Habitat on the lead to the United Nations Habitat II Conference (Istanbul, 1996) to prepare city data and support national reporting. She contributed to the UN-Habitat
Global Urban Observatory and the development of slum data and urban indicators. She has developed partnerships with the private sector, urban professionals, researchers, and civil society
organizations for the agency. She has contributed to several key publications, including UN-Habitat’s State of the World Cities Report.
Susan Bridge is the President of the Royal Town Planning Institute (RTPI) representing 27,000 planners worldwide. She is a Chartered Town Planner with over 40 years of experience in
local government and the development industry. She is passionate about the role of planners in delivering on climate change and is committed to raising the profile of planning
and planners globally. Susan was Chair of the RTPI Board of Trustees.
She is the Chair of the Global Planners Network (GPN).
Experienced Chief Executive Officer with a demonstrated successful history of establishing and leading businesses working in the oil & energy industry. Strong Sales Strategic Leader and business development professional skilled in developing organizations from the ground up, Budgeting and Business Planning, and Strategic Sales and Marketing plans, establishing and leading Sales organizations to perform and
exceed their sales targets and revenues and plans.
Aref has occupied Executive positions at multinational corporations in Digital Transformation for over twenty years. He also holds a “Strategy Officer” position at
the World Economic Forum, Member of the Board of Directors at Technology & Innovation Startups, & an Advisor\ Consultant for Universities and international Research
Groups\ Expert Networks.
Aref’s career at CCC Group included creating & implementing Third and Fourth Industrial Revolution technologies in operations of turnover values exceeding $70 Billion. Last year’s
focus was on providing vision, direction, and leadership to a large number of discrete Strategic Initiatives & projects that drive organization-wide transformational &
Aref is CEO of “CCC Startup” company; a subsidiary of CCC Group that implements, in partnership with tech Startups, disruptive technologies. He, & his geographically diversified
team in Europe, & the Middle East delivered world-record innovations in Renewables, 3D Printing, Wearables, IoT, Additive Manufacturing, AI, etc.
Aref contributes to the “World Economic Forum”, with influence etched in studies & white papers delving into megatrends, Industry 4.0, Infrastructure 4.0, Globalization 4.0, 4IR,
and UN SDGs initiatives.
At UNEP GlobalABC, Aref contributes to studies related to Net Zero Carbon Transition and efficient and resilient Buildings\ Construction Sector.
Aref is a consultation group member at the OECD Blue Dot Network, an initiative that puts ESG at the heart of infrastructure development.
An Ambassador to FMC, led by the U.S. State Department & WEF, driving decarbonization efforts by fostering early markets for Greentech crucial to achieving Net-Zero transition.
Aref is an advisor and board member to various startups that digitally transform legacy industries. He excels at mentoring seed-stage startups to achieve product-market fit, sell to C-level
and executive decision-makers, and become international revenue-generating businesses. All the startups he has partnered with have successfully raised Series A & B rounds from world-renowned
Recognized commentator & speaker at events organized by the UN, EU Arab Summit, BuiltWorlds, The Big 5, The Solar Show, and Construction Tech. Forum, etc.
Opinions cited in Reuters, Business Green, Yahoo Finance, Forbes Middle East, MEED, MTV, Euro2Day, BusinessNews, Business Insider, Markets Insider...
Aref has a proven track record as an executive with a business vision, hard-core technical skills & the ability to grow/motivate/bring people together. A career in building businesses
through innovation & technology.
Dr. Aditya V. Bahadur has worked at the intersection of urbanization, climate change adaptation, and sustainable development for over 15 years.
He has written on these issues extensively, has contributed to the IPCC AR6 WG2 report, and his treatise on urban resilience, ‘Resilience Reset: Creating Resilient Cities in the Global
South’ was published by Routledge in 2022. Currently, he serves as the Chair of the Research Strategy Team and Principal Researcher at the International Institute for Environment and
Previously Aditya has worked with Oxford Policy Management, the Overseas Development Institute, the International Federation of the Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies, and in the private
sector. He completed his undergraduate degree at the University of Delhi, India, his Ph.D. at the University of Sussex, UK, and a postdoctoral programme as a Fulbright scholar
at Columbia University, USA.
Agribusiness Innovation and Foresight Leader | Expo 2020 Representative | Media Enthusiast | Government Innovator | Entrepreneur
With 12 years of diverse experience in the Agriculture sector, I've had the privilege of contributing to both government and private initiatives, cultivating my passion for sustainable
and organic food production and distribution.
Currently, I'm leading the charge in Agribusiness Innovation and Foresight within the Department of Agriculture and Livestock in the Sharjah government. Here, I spearhead pioneering projects
that shape the future of agriculture in the region, aligning seamlessly with my entrepreneurial venture, Nabta Agriculture LLC.
Notably, I represented the Agriculture sector at the UAE Pavilion during Expo 2020, showcasing our innovative practices on a global stage.
In parallel, I'm actively engaged in the dynamic world of media, creating captivating radio and TV programs that promote agricultural awareness and education.
My educational journey includes a Bachelor's degree in Agribusiness and a Master's in EMBA. I also had the privilege of participating in the prestigious USA International Leadership Program,
enhancing my global perspective and leadership skills.
My career has taken me across continents, trading in Europe, Africa, Asia, and the GCC, expanding networks, and fostering international partnerships in the agriculture domain.
A dedicated and results-driven professional with a strong background in civil engineering and building control. Currently serving as a Team Leader at Dubai Municipality,
and brings a plethora of experience in leading impactful projects and managing teams effectively. Omran’s expertise lies in areas such as Event Management, Entrepreneurship,
Asset and Liability Management (ALM), Project Management, and Engineering.