Senior officials and housing ministers from the Gulf states took part in a virtal meeting to discuss a joint housing action strategy, focusing on challenges and opportunities in terms of financing, real estate development, and technical construction and sustainability.
The meeting, headed by the UAE's Minister of Energy and Infrastructure Suhail bin Mohammed Al Mazroue, also focused on the establishment of a single GCC housing database and highlighted the importance of providing up-to-date statistical data.
In his opening address, Al Mazrouei said: "In the UAE, we work according to a comprehensive development perspective based on the cooperation between all relevant authorities, to fulfill the needs of citizens for quality government housing by drafting ambitious action plans, to continue the country’s journey of achievements and strengthen its global excellence and leadership over the next 50 years."
"We also exert significant efforts to develop the housing system according to the highest standards of construction and sustainability, by benefitting from the technologies of the fourth industrial revolution in the field of construction, such as Artificial Intelligence, AI, robotics and 3D technologies," stated Al Mazrouei.
He also pointed out that the UAE was keen to build future smart cities with distinguished facilities, which are based on sustainability, green buildings, and environmentally-friendly solutions.
During the meeting, Bahrain's Housing Minister Bassim bin Yaqoob Al Hamer stressed that the current circumstances required the development of short and long-term plans aimed at preserving the stability of the vital sector.
"There is a need to continue and follow up on the decisions made in the joint executive programme related to the joint housing work strategy to implement the initiatives and projects, overcome the challenges and ensure the success of providing a joint Gulf housing system," stated Al Hamer.
The Bahrani minister said the kingdom now looked forward to hosting the next meeting in 2021.
The GCC housing ministers meeting reiterated the importance of achieving sustainable development and fulfilling the growing demand for housing caused by continuous population growth, in addition to solving the many challenges faced by the world because of the coronavirus pandemic.
The ministers agreed that a futuristic approach 'based on a vision to turn challenges into opportunities' was much needed.
Lauding the GCC co-operation, Al Mazrouei said the exchange of expertise among the Gulf countries was indeed commendable. This joint effort had led to the overall progress in this key area.
The GCC is capable of enduring and overcoming challenges with hard work and joint action, he added.