Submissions open for $360,000 Dubai International Award for Best Practices.

Discussions of establishing a UN centre of excellence and best practices in Dubai are currently undergoing, a UN Habitat representative revealed.

However, Dubai Municipality officials refused to comment.

Dr Eduardo Lopez Mourinho, head of Development and Research Centre at UN Habitat, made the announcement during the launch of the 11th cycle of Dubai International Award for Best Practices.

Entries open for $360,000 best practices award

Submissions are now open for the 11th Dubai International Award for Best Practices.

Celebrating its 20th year, the award promotes and recognises outstanding initiatives that contribute to sustainable development and provides the opportunity to transfer innovative practices. Government organisations, multilateral agencies, local authorities, public and private foundations, and individuals are eligible to apply.

“Many cities around the world are facing renewed challenges in providing basic civil services for their residents to keep pace with the rolling growth in population,” said Eng. Hussain Nasser Lootah, Director General of Dubai Municipality.

Lootah added that documenting practices received in an electronic archive gives the chance to other communities to apply successful practices to their habitat and improve their living environment.

The award, which is granted every two years, will have its cycle increase to three years to give time to evaluate the increased number of applications.

An amount of $360,000 will be divided among 12 winning best practices in five categories: Best Practices Category; Best Practices Transfer Category; Private Sector Category; University Scientific Research Category; and Personal Award Category.

Last day for submission is December 29, 2016.

The centre will provide training activities, research analysis and publications to cater to different development areas in Dubai.

“We will focus on areas like education, technology and transport among other fields in a way that compares with best practices around the world,” said Mourinho.

He added that the centre will serve the award through “comparing existing best economic practices of different countries” to bring new possibilities to Dubai.

“We want to understand how the award winners brought their ideas to practice, how we can benefit from that and understand the process of creation. We need to look at the changes,” he told Khaleej Times.

“We try to translate best practices for the community good.”

Saidou Abdoulie N’Dow, head of legal office at UN Habitat, said the centre will be a “great initiative that will help achieve Expo 2020 vision in making Dubai a platform for further international projects.”

Proposals of the centre were sent to Dubai Government officials three months ago and discussions started on Wednesday.

The plans are still in preliminary stages and no further details were declared.

“Around 20 years ago, 1.4 billion people lived in urban areas. Today, the number has increased to 4 billion people. The growth is as fast as the growth witnessed in 3,000 years,” said Mourinho.

He highlighted that while urbanisation has its own challenges in energy and land consumption, adopting best practices and measuring the changes made is the key.

Regarding the Best Practices Award, he said: “It’s not only a trophy, we are looking at transformative ideas that made cities a better place for people.”

Dubai International Award for Best Practices, established by the United Nations Human Settlements Programme (UN-Habitat) and Dubai Municipality, recognises and promotes initiatives that improve the living environment.


Sherouk Zakaria / Dubai ; Khaleej Times ;  June 2, 2016