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(fifth from left) Sheikh Ahmed bin Saeed Al Maktoum, Chairman of the Dubai Supreme Council of Energy and Chairman of the Expo 2020 Dubai Higher Committee, tours WETEX 2021 at Expo 2020 Dubai on Tuesday Image Credit: Supplied

Dubai: Attracting more than 1,200 companies from 55 countries, the ‘23rd Water, Energy, Technology, and Environment, Exhibition’ (WETEX) and Dubai Solar Show was inaugurated on Tuesday by Sheikh Ahmed bin Saeed Al Maktoum, Chairman of the Dubai Supreme Council of Energy and Chairman of the Expo 2020 Dubai Higher Committee.

Held under the theme, ‘At the Forefront of Sustainability,’ the three-day exhibition will run until Thursday at Dubai Exhibition Centre at Expo 2020 Dubai, showcasing the latest technologies and innovations in energy, water, sustainability, renewable and clean energy. The event is also bringing together experts and specialists in the green economy, smart cities, innovation, sustainable development, and major international companies, including Siemens, Hitachi, ABB, Honeywell, Masdar, ACWA Power, among others.

Sheikh Ahmed said: “The forward-looking vision of His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai, has made Dubai a pioneering platform for hosting and organising major exhibitions and events.”

Dubai Electricity and Water Authority (DEWA) is organising WETEX and Dubai Solar Show as an in-person event at Expo 2020 Dubai.

“Organising the exhibition this year at Expo 2020 Dubai underlines the importance of sustainability, which is one of the UAE’s top priorities. This aligns with Dubai and the UAE’s efforts to host the most sustainable world expo ever. Sustainability is ingrained in everything we’ve been doing - from buildings and construction to establishing a lasting legacy long after Expo 2020 Dubai is over,” Sheikh Ahmed said.

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(third from left) Sheikh Ahmed during the tour Image Credit: Supplied

Global transition to clean energy

The main objective of WETEX is to bring together experts and specialists as well as companies to discuss market requirements and trend to accelerate global transition to renewable and clean energy.

Saeed Mohammed Al Tayer, DEWA managing director and CEO; founder and chairman of WETEX and Dubai Solar Show, said: “WETEX and Dubai Solar Show are important for organisations, and investors in the water, environment, oil, gas, conventional and renewable energy, green development and relevant sectors from the region and the world to showcase their solutions and products, make deals, build partnerships, and promote green technologies.”

He added: “This is especially important after announcing the ‘Projects of the 50’ through which the UAE aims to enhance public-private partnerships and provide promising investment opportunities in the country.”

Companies and participating country pavilions are showcasing their latest technologies, innovations, and new products in energy, water desalination, clean energy, environmental sustainability, oil and gas, digital transformation and use of AI (artificial intelligence).

Italian delegation

Meanwhile, Italy has marked its biggest participation ever at WETEX, with 55 companies exhibiting their latest products and services.

Nicola Lener, Ambassador of Italy to the UAE, said: “Cooperation between the UAE and Italy are built around innovation, renewable energy, water solutions, technology, infrastructure, SMEs, start-ups, smart cities and the circular economy – which resulted to 23 billion Euro turnover on renewable energy components.”

Amedeo Scarpa, Italian Trade Commissioner to the UAE, added: “The trade exchange figures between Italy and the UAE reflect our strong bilateral and economic relations. The UAE is the largest Gulf trading partner to Italy, while Italy is the second largest European partner to the UAE. In the renewable energy sector, Italian export increased by 11 per cent in the first semester of 2021. This year promises to be a year of redemption for the Italian companies in the sector. Our largest physical participation at WETEX since it opened in 2009 confirms our intention to further strengthen cooperation with the UAE.”

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Amedeo Scarpa, Italian Trade Commissioner to the UAE, at WETEX 2021 Image Credit: Supplied

Economic surge

Dr Mostafa Al Guezeri, managing Director (UAE, Gulf, Near East & Pakistan) at Hitachi ABB, said: “WETEX comes at a crucial time for businesses anticipating a post-pandemic economic growth surge. This year’s physical exhibition is also a testimony of the tenacity of the UAE in weathering the pandemic and normalising the situation to pave the way for business and economic growth.”

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Dr Mostafa Al Guezeri, managing Director (UAE, Gulf, Near East & Pakistan) at Hitachi ABB. (File pic)

He added: Electricity will be the backbone of the entire energy system and solar energy will be the one of the most competitive renewable energy in the coming decade, contributing to a carbon-neutral future. Dubai Hitachi ABB Power Grids facilitates the first-ever hydro pumped power project in the UAE and the Arabian Gulf region. The Hatta pumped-storage power station of DEWA is under construction in the Hajar Mountains, 140km southeast of the city of Dubai, will provide clean, renewable and flexible energy when commissioned in early 2024.”