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Yousif Al Mutawa

UAE, SHARJAH - Real Estate & Construction

Yousif Ahmed Al-Mutawa

CEO, Sharjah Sustainable City

Bio

Yousif Ahmed Al Mutawa is the Chief Executive Officer at Sharjah Sustainable City, spearheading the project in its global positioning as a benchmark for sustainable living. An Emirati national and proud Sharjah resident, Al Mutawa has dedicated his career to Sharjah’s development into a major culture, tourism and sustainability player in the region. He started his career in 2006 as a project manager for the Sharjah Investment and Development Authority (Shurooq), embarking on a 14-year professional journey within the group across a variety of strategic leadership roles spanning project management from design until construction, property management, operations, and investment management. Part of a generation of young local entrepreneurs and business leaders playing a key role in the future of Sharjah, Al Mutawa is an expert in sustainability with a deep understanding of the importance of environmental protection, and its cultural significance in preserving the beauty and wonder of the United Arab Emirates. He holds a bachelor’s degree in e-commerce from the Higher College of Technology – Sharjah and is a certified Project Management Professional and a member of the Project Management Institute (PMI).

"Our collaborations extend to various educational institutions, including the American University of Sharjah, the University of Sharjah, the Higher College of Technology, and Ajman University."
TBY talks to Yousif Ahmed Al-Mutawa, CEO of Sharjah Sustainable City, about sustainability, partnerships, and plans for the coming year.
Sharjah Sustainable City is the first sustainable master-planned community in the Emirate of Sharjah. What have been the key milestones of the project?

Sharjah Sustainable City is the first sustainable master-planned community in the emirate of Sharjah, developed in partnership with the Sharjah Investment and Development Authority (Shurooq) and Diamond Developers, a private entity in Dubai renowned for pioneering sustainable real estate. Inspired by the success of Dubai Sustainable City, we aim to create a thriving community that sets new standards for sustainability in Sharjah’s real estate landscape. Our goal is ambitious: to cultivate a city that embodies environmental, economic, and social sustainability and inspires others to embrace sustainable living. With 1,250 villas, we exceed the scale of Dubai’s project, reflecting our commitment to pushing boundaries. Our joint venture, established in 2018, paved the way for construction. We acknowledge the unique demands of Sharjah’s climate and lifestyle preferences. For example, while traditional sustainability models might discourage vehicular traffic within the city, we recognize the need for proximity and convenience, especially in light of the weather. Balancing sustainability with practicality, we have tailored our approach to meet the community’s needs. While our commitment to sustainability remains steadfast, we acknowledge the importance of adapting to the expectations and lifestyles of our residents. This flexibility ensures that our community not only meets sustainability standards, but also fosters a thriving and comfortable living environment.

What makes this model ideal for future sustainable developments in the region?

The masterplan is designed on grid lines, focusing on integrating innovative technologies, including a motorized cleaning system for solar panels atop the roofs. Every rooftop in the community is equipped with solar panels, to provide each villa with its own sustainable power source. This approach sets a new standard in the UAE’s residential market, harnessing the abundant sunlight to benefit residents. Every aspect of the villas is designed with sustainability in mind, from UV-reflective glass that reduces AC consumption to carefully selected building materials that optimize energy efficiency. Our advanced AC systems utilize the latest VRF technology, minimizing power consumption by centralizing the cooling process. Water-efficient fixtures and energy-saving appliances are included in each unit, further promoting sustainable living practices. The project also features a green spine dividing the community, with biodomes at its center where residents can enjoy chemical-free vegetables grown on-site. To encourage community engagement, urban farms are provided between blocks, offering residents the opportunity to cultivate their own crops with guidance from our staff. This hands-on approach has yielded proud moments, such as residents harvesting strawberries grown from their own efforts.

What specific initiatives or features of the city have the most significant impact on promoting a sustainable lifestyle?

Collectively, these elements contribute to a holistic lifestyle. Our aim is to foster a healthy way of living that aligns with the climatic conditions of the UAE. We prioritize creating shaded areas and promoting walkability and wellness, enhancing the overall appeal of the properties. Furthermore, integrating smart technologies adds another layer of attractiveness. By providing residents with the ability to monitor power consumption, we gain insights into their behavior, allowing us to tailor community workshops and address daily needs accordingly. There is a growing demand for resources that cater to every member of the family, from parents to children to elders. This encompasses factors such as accessibility, mobility, green spaces, and communal areas. Continuously seeking feedback from residents, we strive to evolve and enrich their living experience.

What are some partnerships you hold with various stakeholders?

Our collaborations extend to various educational institutions, including the American University of Sharjah, the University of Sharjah, the Higher College of Technology, and Ajman University. There is considerable interest from educational institutions seeking insights into our development, especially as sustainability becomes a prominent subject of study. Even engineering students are eager to integrate sustainability principles into their education. Moreover, government entities including the UAE Ministry of Climate Change and Environment, and the Ministry of Economy, prioritize sustainability initiatives. One of our recent partnerships is with BEEAH Group, a prominent company specializing in waste management and energy production in Sharjah. With multiple stakeholders engaged, our efforts towards sustainability are well-supported and poised for impact.

What are the key goals and priorities for the upcoming year in Sharjah?

Upon completing both the commercial and residential components, our intention is to retain the management of the community rather than transferring it solely to individual owners to form an association, as is customary. Our vision extends to integrating the community with an Internet of Things system, aiming for a fully integrated city infrastructure. While not entirely autonomous, this system will streamline operations, reducing the workforce needed for day-to-day tasks. Embracing such technological advancements is crucial for maintaining accuracy, presence, and facilitating future enhancements to the city. Once this integration is achieved, our primary goal is expansion. We have observed demand for individual homes alongside townhouses, prompting us to explore opportunities to develop larger mansions within the community. Recognizing the appeal of spacious living within a sustainable city, we anticipate that residents will be willing to invest in such offerings.

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