Water – A Primary Pillar of the National Innovation Strategy


Launched by His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai , the National Innovation Strategy focuses on building specialised national capabilities, encouraging private sector innovation, promoting UAE’s international, research-oriented partnerships and pushing governmental work systems towards driving more innovation, which will be stimulated in seven major sectors, including water, our greatest and most scarce commodity.

Innovation & Water Security

Developed by The National Centre of Meteorology and Seismology, the UAE Research Programme for Rain Enhancement Science Initiative aims to expand global water security through a first of its kind grant programme investing in research to identify sustainably implemental methods of enhancing precipitation to increase rainfall in the UAE, as well as other arid and semi-arid regions spanning the globe.

Masdar launched a pilot programme to test and develop advanced energy-efficient seawater desalination technologies suitable to be powered by renewable energy sources. The long-term goal of the program is to implement renewable energy-powered desalination plants in the United Arab Emirates and the MENA region.

Innovation & Water Management 

Abu Dhabi’s Strategic Tunnel Enhancement Programme “STEP” is one of the longest gravity-driven sewerage tunnels in the world. When completed, STEP will be recognised as an efficient, cost-effective and sustainable solution to meet the long-term wastewater collection and conveyance needs of Abu Dhabi Island and mainland. National Geographic featured “STEP” in the primetime television documentary – “Megastructures.”

Innovation & Water Conservation

The UAE is making critical investments and policy interventions in energy efficiency. The country established the first mandatory green building codes in the Middle East, cutting water and energy consumption by over 33%, as well as introducing the first appliance efficiency standards.

The Abu Dhabi Food Control Authority and the Environment Agency – Abu Dhabi have partnered to set up the Abu Dhabi Protected Agriculture Centre to promote the use of greenhouses and soilless agriculture, a technique that involves growing plants in hydroponic and soil alternatives. The process uses 90% less water for the same volume of crops produced.