The 50-Year Charter – a plan for the happiness and prosperity of Dubai’s citizens

On 6 January 2019, HH Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai, issued the 50-Year Charter on the anniversary of his 50 years of service to the nation. The Charter includes nine articles that highlight some aspects of His Highness’ vision for the future city of Dubai and the life he wishes for everyone living in its community.

Article 7: self-sufficiency in Dubai homes

“We will develop an integrated programme to build a comprehensive system that allows at least a tenth of our citizens’ homes to be self-sufficient in terms of water, food, and energy. The achievement of this goal will help change lifestyles and contribute to the preservation of our environment. We aim to create a new economic sector that supports energy, water and food self-sufficiency in the houses of Dubai, for at least a month, to be increased later.”


Dubai Electricity and Water Authority (DEWA) is responsible for the 7th Article of the Charter with the support of the Dubai Supreme Council of Energy, Dubai Municipality, Dubai Police, and the Mohammed Bin Rashid Housing Establishment. The intention is to develop a comprehensive programme for the sustainability of energy, water, and food for Emiratis.

DEWA: Solar panels in 10% of Dubai citizens’ homes

“We value the efforts of His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai, to launch such initiatives that serve the common good, the welfare of the country and its citizens as a strategic priority, and contribute to accelerating the transition to a green economy. The Eight Principles of Governance and the 50-Year Charter show the proactive efforts of His Highness to provide prosperity for the citizens of Dubai, and his intention to achieve the happiness of individuals and society as a whole. This is done according to an integrated system and solid foundations that contribute comprehensively to sustainable development. Dubai has become a role model of a city of the future that brings happiness and prosperity to its citizens. As soon as the document was announced, we pledged to His Highness our commitment to implement it, especially article seven, which is related to energy self-sufficiency in a tenth of Dubai citizens’ homes. This accelerates the shift towards renewable energy, contributes to environmental sustainability, conserves natural resources, and reduces the Emirate’s carbon footprint. This supports the Dubai Clean Energy Strategy 2050 to produce 75% of Dubai’s total power output from clean energy and make Dubai the city with the lowest carbon footprint in the world. Under the directives and follow-up of His Highness Sheikh Hamdan bin Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Crown Prince of Dubai and Chairman of the Executive Council of Dubai, the government departments and organisations responsible for this article are the Dubai Supreme Council of Energy, Dubai Municipality, Dubai Police, and the Mohammed Bin Rashid Housing Establishment, who took the initiative to develop plans to complete this article’s objectives by the end of the year,” said HE Saeed Mohammed Al Tayer, MD & CEO of DEWA.

“In line with the objectives of article 7 of the 50-Year Charter, DEWA has launched a project to install photovoltaic solar panels at a tenth of the homes of Dubai’s citizens, and connect them to its grid. DEWA has awarded the projects to six contractors who will start work immediately, and will cover all the costs for this. We pledge to His Highness that we will continue working to achieve his vision to enhance the quality of life in Dubai and achieve the happiness and prosperity of its citizens,” added Al Tayer.

Six companies to implement the project

On 17 January, DEWA released the tender to install photovoltaic solar panels in 10% of citizens’ homes in Dubai, and received 13 bids from companies listed under the Shams Dubai initiative. After opening and evaluating the bids, letters of assignment were sent to 6 companies, who are now working on the project in accordance with the criteria, set by DEWA, based on the highest international standards. The Etihad Energy Services Company (Etihad ESCO) will oversee the implementation of the project, which also includes the installation of energy-saving lights and water-savers to reduce use.

Shams Dubai

This pioneering project will contribute to enhancing citizens’ happiness, and will be implemented under the Shams Dubai initiative. DEWA launched Shams Dubai to support the Smart Dubai initiative to turn Dubai into the smartest and happiest city in the world. Shams Dubai encourages building owners to install photovoltaic solar panels to produce clean energy and connect them to DEWA’s grid. Shams Dubai has been very successful, with 1,276 buildings connected to the grid with a total capacity of 81.3MW. Dubai intends to install solar photovoltaic panels at all buildings in the Emirate by 2030.

The supporting organisations implementing article 7 of the 50-Year Charter are keen to play their part.

Dubai Municipality

“At Dubai Municipality, we adopt strategies that contribute to the sustainability of Dubai’s environment and its natural resources. We are committed to achieving the directives of His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai, and strengthen our role in implementing article 7 of the 50-Year Charter for ‘water, food and energy self-sufficiency in tenth of citizens’ homes.’ This will change the lifestyle to protect the environment and create a new economy in Dubai’s homes by comprehensively implementing the latest best practices. Dubai Municipality supports aquaculture technology by growing plants in high-nutrient solutions, thereby reducing soil and pesticide consumption. Aquaculture is considered a sustainable solution because of its contribution to saving 90% of water and 80% of fertiliser used, leading to increased production and self-sufficiency in food production,” said HE Dawood Al Hajri, Director General of Dubai Municipality.

Dubai Police

HE Major General Abdulla Khalifa Al Marri, Commander-in-Chief of Dubai police, has said that that Dubai Police is keen to strengthen its strategic partnership with Dubai Electricity and Water Authority and values this long-term partnership. This is based on an integrated work system that supports the vision for the future of Dubai. He sees DEWA’s key role in achieving the UAE’s sustainable development goals, and the principles set by HH Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai, in the 50-Year Charter; to improve the quality of life of citizens, protect the environment and preserve natural resources.

Al Marri said that Dubai Police is harnessing all its capabilities to align with the strategic objectives and plans of the wise leadership and the articles set by His Highness in the 50-Year Charter, noting that Dubai Police is an essential part of the business strategy for the development that is consistent with today’s goals.

Dubai Police’s Commander-in-Chief added that Dubai Police is committed to its pledge to achieve all the sustainability elements included in the 50-Year Charter, and which contribute to achieving the vision of His Highness by strengthening the partnership with DEWA and other relevant parties to achieve self-sufficiency in energy, food, and water in tenth of Dubai citizens’ homes; thus changing the lifestyle and preserving the environment.

Mohammed Bin Rashid Housing Establishment

“Mohammed Bin Rashid Housing Establishment’s participation in the initiative to install photovoltaic solar panels to produce energy, overseen by Dubai Electricity and Water Authority, encourages homeowners to install solar panels. It also helps DEWA by raising awareness of the importance of using clean energy to generate electricity. Clean energy is key for reducing carbon emissions and having a positive impact on the environment,” said HE Sami Abdulla Gargash, CEO of the Mohammed Bin Rashid Housing Establishment.

Gargash appreciates the role of the directives of HH Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai, in improving life in all its aspects in Dubai through the 50-Year Charter to make Dubai a city governed by law; where the spirit of mercy and love prevails, where people can live in harmony and tolerance, and life is characterised by ease and prosperity.

Reducing the carbon footprint

DEWA fully-owns Etihad ESCO, a super-energy-services company that is creating a leading model environment for the region and the world in energy efficiency. It is doing this by retrofitting buildings, reducing and monitoring energy use, and using clean and renewable energy technologies. The company has retrofitted over 2,000 buildings in Dubai with savings of 25-35%. This resulted in savings of over 88 gigawatts of electricity, 246 million gallons of water, and a reduction of 407,000 tonnes of carbon emissions. These efforts contribute to reducing Dubai’s carbon footprint as part of the Carbon Abatement Strategy to reduce carbon emissions by 16% by 2021 as well as encourage the rational use of resources. This supports the Demand Side Management Strategy to reduce energy and water use by 30% by 2030.

Reducing electricity and water use

In line with its vision as a leading sustainable innovative global corporation, DEWA adopts an integrated strategy to raise awareness about the importance of rationalising consumption and encouraging all customers and society to protect the environment and preserve natural resources. DEWA’s rationalisation programmes include innovative awareness initiatives and activities that target all consumers, to instil the concept of resource rationalisation within society’s culture, and make it a daily habit by adopting a conscious and responsible lifestyle when using electricity and water. Over the past decade, savings in the commercial sector amounted to 1.2 TWh of electricity (10%) and 4.3 billion gallons of water (28%). The residential sector achieved savings of 68 gigwatthours (GWh) of electricity (18%) and 500 million gallons of water (27%). The industrial sector achieved savings of 112 GWh of electricity (15%) and 211 million gallons of water (29%). Government and semi-government organisations achieved savings of 426 GWh of electricity (12%) and one billion gallons of water (21%). Educational institutions achieved savings of 213 GWh of electricity (10%) and 1.3 billion gallons of water (24%).