Laila Al Balooshi receives a 'Sustainability Tree' sapling from a member of Sheikh Saif’s office at WGS in Dubai on Wednesday Image Credit: Sajila Saseendran/Gulf News

Dubai: Hundreds of homes and offices in the UAE and abroad will carry forward the legacy of the 10th edition of the World Government Summit (WGS 2023) in the form of a ‘Sustainability Tree’, saplings of which were gifted to more than 1,000 delegates on the final day of the Summit on Wednesday.

Named the ‘Sustainability Tree’, the date palm saplings were a surprise gift for the delegates from the last speaker of WGS, Sheikh Saif bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Interior of the UAE.

The saplings were a symbolic gift of the Year of Sustainability announced by His Highness Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan, President of the UAE.

Sheikh Saif, who gave an inspiring speech about how the Emirati community and the country’s leadership value sustainability and environmental protection, ensured that the message is literally driven home with the special gift.

Malaz Elgemiabby poses with the Sustainability Tree that she received at the WGS in Dubai on Wednesday. Image Credit: Sajila Saseendran/Gulf News

Emiratis, expatriates and foreign delegates alike were excited to receive the gift from Sheikh Saif which was distributed as they left the Plenary Hall at WGS where his speech took place in the presence of His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai, Sheikh Hamdan bin Mohamed bin Rahid Al Maktoum, Crown Prince of Dubai and Chairman of The Executive Council of Dubai and other royal delegates.

Emirati friends Shaikha Al Ali, who works with the Emirates Schools Establishment and Laila Al Balooshi, who works with the Ministry of Energy and Infrastructure were proud and happy to receive the gift from Sheikh Saif.

“This is very special to me as this is a gift from Sheikh Saif. I am going to plant it in my office,” said Al Ali.

“It carries a message of the event and the country,” added Al Balooshi.

Another happy recipient was Malaz Elgemiabby UTA Permanent Representative to United Nations Economic and Social Council (UN ECOSOC) in Sudan. UTA is United Towns Agency, a UN NGO for North-South Cooperation. She said: “It is very reassuring to see the Year of Sustainability theme, which was announced by the UAE President, has consistency throughout all the events in the UAE. I witnessed it at the Abu Dhabi Sustainability Week and now here at the WGS and we are going to see it at COP 28. Consistency and commitment are the strongest words in sustainability and we can see that in actions here in the UAE.

“This gesture of giving individuals these saplings is like passing the torch to the community because we all understand that change cannot happen only from top down. It has to happen from bottom up as well. This is a gesture that shows that the government is working hand in hand with the community to empower them to be participants in this movement which is great. Imagine me watching this plant grow over the years. Giving this plant to so many delegates was a brilliant idea.”