Dubai, one of the seven emirates of the United Arab Emirates, faces major environmental problems after years of rapid urbanization and business growth. Located in the desert south of the Persian Gulf, Dubai’s biggest challenge is providing fresh water to its residents. However, the city has many other problems including waste management and sewage treatment operations. Despite being situated on vast oil reserves, the region is also running low on energy sources to support its lifestyle. On top of these complications, the United Arab Emirates (UAE) is preparing for a population boom this upcoming decade. Therefore, concepts of sustainability and environmental issues are becoming very important to businesses and citizens of Dubai.

The first problem confronting Dubai is producing enough energy to power the region. Executing massive industrial projects, providing fresh water, and managing waste removal require enormous amounts of electricity forcing the city to turn to a nuclear energy future. This is good news for businesses involved in nuclear energy, such as the Emirates Nuclear Energy Corporation, but bad news for the environment. The use of nuclear technology raises many questions about environmental safety and political risks.

Another major problem for Dubai is providing drinkable water. The Persian Gulf offers a lavish supply of water for Dubai but this water is undrinkable without using desalination plants. Dubai has one of the world’s largest carbon footprints because these desalination plants emit large amounts of carbon dioxide. The desalination plants also generate huge volumes of heated sludge, which is then pumped back into the sea. Four billion water bottles are produced each day by the desalination process. However, their backup supply of fresh water is extremely thin. On average, the region only has an estimated four-day supply of fresh water if the desalination plants happen to fail. Therefore, the government and businesses in the region should look for more efficient ways to provide clean water and should also explore effective operations of conserving water.

As you can imagine, the environmental complications that are troubling the city of Dubai are greatly affecting businesses in the area. The growth of the city occurred so rapidly that many people disregarded the possibility of future environmental problems as they focused on expanding business. Now, Dubai is responsible for confronting these glaring issues in order to maintain its remarkable development. The UAE provides businesses with a good example to keep in mind: If you ignore the sustainability of the environment, you may achieve quick profits but in the future you may face hazards that jeopardize your profits.

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