The Business Year

Khaled Al Huraimel

UAE, UAE, SHARJAH - Energy & Mining

Big Things Await

Group CEO, Bee’ah

Bio

Khaled Al Huraimel is the Group CEO of Bee’ah and has served in this capacity since 2009. Under his leadership, Bee’ah has transformed from a waste management company to a sustainability pioneer setting benchmarks for quality of life across the MENA region. Championing Bee’ah’s vision for the future, he has facilitated the achievement of several remarkable milestones, such as building the first waste-to-energy plant in the Middle East, establishing the first sustainable transport company in the UAE, and leading digital transformation through the creation of disruptive, technological platforms.

Sharjah is known as the cultural, educational, and, now, sustainable capital of the region, and Bee'ah has been driving most of these efforts.

What is your evaluation of Sharjah’s effort to become an eco-friendlier and sustainable Emirate?

Bee’ah has been operating for just over 10 years. When we were established, we were a PPP, looking at tackling environmental challenges, and we established goals to benchmark these efforts. One of our goals was zero waste for Sharjah. Today, Sharjah has the highest diversion rate away from landfills in the Middle East, approximately 76%. We have built the infrastructure, and now we have the facilities to treat, segregate, and recycle waste. We have a business unit that does collection and street cleaning, and we also manage landfills. We have become the leaders in waste management across the region. We operate across the UAE, and we have a staff of around 7,000. By 2021, Sharjah will reach zero waste heading to landfills, and we will be the first city in the Middle East to hit this target. To go from our current rate of 76% to our goal of 100%, we entered into a JV with Masdar, and in Sharjah we are building the first waste-to-energy plant in the Middle East. This plant will generate over 30MW of power from waste sources. This JV represents a large investment in some of the most advanced technology in the Middle East. This will help us in our efforts to reach zero waste. We have also created a digital venture called Evoteq, which facilitates digital transformation projects, as well as build digital platforms. As part of our vision of promoting a sustainable quality of life, we are also looking at other forms of renewable energy like solar. Our new HQ will be powered 100% by solar. It will be the office of the future and will be one of the smartest buildings in the world when it goes into operation.

Do you have any other accomplishments to share with us?

We have been successful in waste management. We are operating across the UAE and manage most of the iconic projects in the country, including Burj Khalifa, Masdar City, and several national landmarks. In the waste management and recycling sector, we are by far the leaders in the UAE. A lot of this success is due to the vision of His Highness, the Ruler of Sharjah, and the PPP structure of the company. In this sector in the Middle East, the PPP model is a successful model. We are a case example of this success. In order to do sustainable initiatives, we must recognize that not all of our efforts will be commercially viable. We are also investing a great deal in research, and we fund sustainability research and studies. We also fund the country’s preeminent leadership program, the Sharjah Leadership Program, where future leaders are developed from within Sharjah entities.

Could you tell us what you learned from your meetings with delegates from Harvard University?

We met with the Emirates Leadership Initiative, a program that the UAE government funds. It allows international students studying public policy at the Harvard Kennedy School of Government to learn more about the issues facing the UAE. A group of students visited the UAE, stopping in Sharjah, Dubai, and Abu Dhabi to understand what the different Emirates are doing. We introduced them to Sharjah’s efforts in education, culture, sustainability, and business. As these students become future leaders in different areas, they can understand what the UAE is doing and can help promote its efforts.

What are your main goals and priorities for 2019?

2019 is a big year for us. We are starting construction on the first waste-to-energy plant in the UAE and the region. This will help Sharjah reach zero waste. Our new headquarters will also be nearing completion. We also have ambitions to go outside of the UAE in 2019. Additionally, this is the year when Bee’ah will become fully digitally enabled.

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