Ahmed bin Mohammed honours winners of 2nd Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum Global Water Award

Photo: Media Office

His Highness Sheikh Ahmed bin Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Chairman of the Dubai Media Council and Chairman of the Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum Knowledge Foundation, honoured 10 winners of the 2nd Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum Global Water Award. The Award was launched by HH Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum to encourage research institutions, individuals, and innovators from around the world to develop sustainable and innovative solutions to water scarcity that use solar power. The UAE Water Aid Foundation (Suqia), under the umbrella of the Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum Global Initiatives, oversees the award, which has three main categories: Innovative Projects Award, Innovative Research and Development Award, and the Innovative Individual Award.                                            

His Highness Sheikh Ahmed bin Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Chairman of the Dubai Media Council and Chairman of the Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum Knowledge Foundation, said that the UAE is a major contributor to vital humanitarian and development causes through initiatives that extend assistance to developing societies across the world to resolve challenges hindering their progress.

Praising the positive impact of the Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum Global Initiatives, His Highness said it reflects the UAE’s commitment to giving which is an integral part of the country’s ethos and the vision of its leadership. It also signifies the keenness of His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai and Patron of the Foundation, to contribute towards a better future for humanity through initiatives that offer sustainable solutions to some of the world’s most critical developmental challenges.

The award ceremony was attended by HE Dr. Thani bin Ahmed Al Zeyoudi, Minister of Climate Change and Environment; HE Saeed Mohammed Al Tayer, Chairman of the Board of Trustees of the UAE Water Aid Foundation; HE Dr. Hamad bin Sheikh Ahmed Al Shaibani, Director General of the Islamic Affairs and Charitable Activities Department in Dubai; directors of government departments, ambassadors, consuls general, public figures, officials from the public and private sectors, local and international universities and research centres, and students from National and international universities. The winners from around the world presented innovative ideas and projects.

In the Innovative Projects Award for Small Projects, GivePower Foundation from the USA came first for its BLU Drop Solar Water Farm. Boreal Light from Germany was second with its WaterKiosk project. International Business Ventures from the UAE, in partnership with Zero Mass Water from the USA, came third with its Platinum Heritage (PH) Source Oasis project.

Khalifa University from the UAE won the Innovative Research & Development Award in the National Institutions category for low-cost desalination, using a distiller coupled with gravity solar heather project.

In the International Institutions category, Liquinex Group from the Republic of Singapore came first for its compact water purification system. Plasma Waters from the Republic of Chile came second for their Innovation with Purpose project. Project Maji from the Republic of Ghana came third for their Solar Kiosks project.

The Innovative Individual Award for Youth was awarded jointly to Jan Radel from Germany for his Drinking Water for Malambo project; and Muhammad Wakil Shahzad for his 24/7 Solar Desalination project.

Dr. Mahmoud Shatat from Palestine won the award in the Distinguished Researcher category, for an innovative and affordable solar water desalination unit.

HH Sheikh Hamdan bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Ruler's Representative in Al Dhafra Region and Chairman of the Emirates Red Crescent (ERC), said the Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum Global Water Award highlights the growing role of the UAE and its wise leadership in helping the needy, and adopting innovative and sustainable solutions to overcome humanitarian and developmental challenges. These include water scarcity, which adversely affects several communities.

“This quality initiative is not a precedent by His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai. His Highness constantly works on vital humanitarian issues and contributes to solving them. His Highness also strongly supports affected communities, and adopts initiatives that enhance their capacity in facing such challenges. His Highness strives to mobilise all efforts to enhance corporate and individual social responsibility,” said HH Sheikh Hamdan bin Zayed Al Nahyan.

“The initiative is part of the global initiatives of His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum to improve the lives of marginalised communities in essential areas. It aims to mobilise all support to drought victims and conveys a strong message of solidarity with their situation,” said HH Sheikh Hamdan bin Zayed Al Nahyan.

“Climate change has increased the scarcity of clean water. Therefore, The Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum Global Water Award will save millions facing death due to water scarcity. The award aims to find solutions, through its pillars, and encourage sustainable solutions to counter water scarcity around the world using solar energy and modern technologies,” HH Sheikh Hamdan bin Zayed Al Nahyan added.

HE Mohammed Abdullah Al Gergawi, Minister of Cabinet Affairs and the Future, and Secretary-General of the Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum Global Initiatives, said the Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum Global Water Award is one of the most important initiatives under the Mohammed Bin Rashid Al Maktoum Global Initiatives Foundation, because it addresses the issue of water scarcity. This is one of the world’s most pressing issues, and by supporting institutions and innovators to invent sustainable solutions, clean and safe drinking water can be made more readily available, especially in poorer nations.

"The award is part of the UAE's effort to contribute to protecting the world’s fragile water ecosystems as well as focus on a strategic approach to water security. It enhances cooperation between key stakeholders and helps to support the provision of clean and safe drinking water. The award has proven to be a tremendous success, particularly in the area of solar-powered solutions to support clean drinking water. Our work in this area has been life-enhancing and has helped some of the world’s neediest people to improve their quality of life,” said Al Gergawi.

“Water is life. It is closely linked to several development areas on earth. These include health, economy, environment, and society. The Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum Global Water Awards underline the leading role of the UAE in supporting sustainable development, especially providing fresh water to the world and finding solutions using renewable energy. The Award aims to find sustainable and innovative solutions to water scarcity around the world using solar power. This is in accordance with the UAE Vision 2021 and efforts to make sustainable technologies and innovation part of resolving the global water crisis,” said HE Suhail bin Mohammed Faraj Faris Al Mazrouei, Minister of Energy and Industry.

HE Dr. Thani bin Ahmed Al Zeyoudi, Minister of Climate Change and Environment, commended the efforts of the team that oversees the Award and praised the innovation and creativity of participating and winning projects.

“Using innovative solutions has become the best way to overcome challenges in our societies. The UAE has prioritised innovation, thanks to the directives and vision of its wise leadership. The UAE has become a global incubator and platform for innovation, employing modern technologies, and enhancing innovation, especially in sustainable development. The Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum Global Water Awards is an initiative and platform that inspires global innovation efforts to find sustainable solutions for water scarcity,” said HE Dr. Bin Al Zeyoudi.

Al Tayer said that this year’s edition of the award builds on the success of the first award. This underlines the importance of the award globally and the UAE’s role as a platform for innovation, a destination for innovators, and an incubator for creative minds from all over the world.

“The UAE is the land of happiness, love, tolerance, and giving whose helping hands extend all over the world to alleviate the suffering of human beings wherever they are, regardless of their nationality, race, or religion. This aligns with the noble principles and values instilled by the late Sheikh Zayed bin Sultan Al Nahyan, may his soul rest in peace, in the hearts of Emiratis, to support those in need and stand by them. The UAE has continued this approach under the wise leadership of His Highness Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan, President of the UAE; His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai; His Highness Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi and Deputy Supreme Commander of the UAE Armed Forces, and Their Highnesses the Members of the Supreme Council and the Rulers of the Emirates. Charitable and humanitarian work has become a culture and a daily practice in UAE society,” said Al Tayer in his keynote speech.

“This is where the Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum Global Water Award, which bears the name of His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, plays a key role. His Highness is one of the most prominent pioneers of charitable work in the world, who has created a legacy of serving mankind. The award is another significant milestone in the UAE's generous humanitarian efforts and supports international efforts to provide drinking water to the needy by encouraging research institutions, individuals, and innovators from around the world to develop sustainable and innovative solutions to water scarcity, using solar power. The UAE Water Aid Foundation (Suqia) under the umbrella of the Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum Global Initiatives oversees the award,” added Al Tayer.

“In article nine of the Fifty-Year Charter, His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum emphasised that “Charity is indeed a major factor in the happiness of societies and the continuity of progress and prosperity.” At Suqia, we are committed to working on one of the key objectives set by the Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum Global Initiatives foundation, which is Humanitarian Aid and Relief by contributing to providing safe and clean water. In this regard, I thank the Emirates Red Crescent and the Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum Humanitarian and Charity Establishment for supporting Suqia in implementing sustainable water projects in 36 countries around the world, to provide drinking water for over 9 million people. Building on the success of the first award, His Highness Sheikh Ahmed bin Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum today presented awards to the winners of the second Global Water Award as our country prepares for the next 50 years and will tell the story of the UAE to the rest of the world,” Al Tayer further said.

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