Abu Dhabi wins bid to host IDA World Congress in 2024


A grand view of the Abu Dhabi National Exhibitions Company, a key hub for hosting mega events.

Abu Dhabi has won the bid to host the IDA World Congress 2024, which is organised by the International Desalination Association. The congress is considered the largest-of-its-kind in the world and brings together water and desalination sector leaders, senior officials, and international experts.

The announcement was made during the current edition of the IDA World Congress 2022, which is being held in Sydney, Australia, where Ahmed Mohammed Al Rumaithi, Under-Secretary of the Department of Energy in Abu Dhabi (DoE), received the badge as the winning bidder that will host the next edition of the conference. The delegation also took part in the IDA 2022 flag ceremony in the presence of Abdulla Al Subousi, UAE Ambassador to Australia.

Abu Dhabi’s win of this global event is the result of DoE’s cooperation with various government entities in the Emirat, including the Abu Dhabi Convention and Exhibition Office, the Department of Culture and Tourism in Abu Dhabi and the Abu Dhabi National Exhibitions Company (ADNEC).

Awaidha Murshed Al Marar, Chairman of DoE, said, “Abu Dhabi winning the bid to host the IDA World Congress 2024 is the culmination of the guidance and enlightened vision of the wise leadership of the UAE. We have consolidated the position of the Emirate of Abu Dhabi worldwide by launching pioneering projects in the desalination sector. We are also a leading hub of innovation, creativity, and modern and advanced technologies to enhance the efficiency of water consumption and achieve water security. By rationalising consumption to preserve natural resources, we are ensuring sustainability for current and future generations.”

He added, “The hosting of the IDA World Congress 2024 by the Department of Energy – Abu Dhabi is in line with our strategic plan to achieve sustainable growth and enhance water security. We are also augmenting Abu Dhabi’s globally leading position in desalination using low-carbon technologies.

“The conference will give sector leaders, officials, and experts from around the world the chance to learn about the latest technological innovations and discuss ways to address the various challenges facing the water and desalination sectors. Especially those related to climate change and the reduction of carbon emissions, which helps in shaping the future of the sector worldwide.”

Al Rumaithi stated that winning IDA World Congress 2024 bid is a strong boost to the leading position of Abu Dhabi’s water and desalination sector and the efforts of the Department of Energy, which works according to its strategy and directions to support the UAE’s efforts in achieving sustainable economic growth.

He added that the department has made many efforts to ensure the sustainability and efficiency of water and its consumption and issued many regulations and policies to achieve the maximum benefit from recycled water. It also supports national efforts to preserve water resources.

He pointed out that the Department of Energy is working to supply water production through reverse osmosis technology and has adopted policies to stimulate energy efficiency. These will help reduce emissions from water production by at least 50 percent in the next ten years while providing reliable water services and water security in the future.

During 2021, total water production in Abu Dhabi amounted to 1,236 million cubic metres, while total water production capacity last year was 4.14 million cubic meters per day. Abu Dhabi has four main desalination plants using reverse osmosis technology, which represent about 24 percent of the total water production capacity in Emirate. The share of production capacity with this technology will increase to about 43 percent by 2025 due to the full commercial operation of the Taweelah plant by the end of 2022. In addition, two new stations, Al Mirfa M2 and Shuweihat S4, are currently in the process of being constructed.

Abu Dhabi also possesses the latest facilities and technologies to ensure water quality, and that water supplies are as per health specifications and standards. The total number of tests carried out by independent water and energy producers were 50,877. These tests relied on 64 quality indicators for water produced using reverse osmosis technology and 51 quality indicators for water produced using thermal desalination technology. These include “multi-stage flash distillation and multi-impact distillation.” The overall compliance rate of water quality testing for production companies was 99.85 percent.

For his part, the UAE Ambassador to Australia said, “It was an honour to welcome to Sydney the UAE delegation led by Ahmed Mohammed Belajar Al Rumaithi, Undersecretary for the Abu Dhabi Department of Energy. Their participation in the IDA World Congress comes at such an important time when there is much debate in Australia about the role desalination can play in securing the country’s long-term water supply needs. The UAE has a valuable role to play in helping guide countries like Australia in developing successful strategies for non-rainfall dependent water supplies, so they can meet the challenges posed by climate change.”



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