Dubai/Luxor, 29 October 2021 – UN-Habitat and Expo 2020 Dubai will celebrate World Cities Day with three exciting events highlighting this year’s theme Adapting Cities for Climate Resilience. The events, which will be held at the Nexus for People and Planet, Opportunity District at the Expo, will look at innovative ideas, solutions, and best practices for adapting cities to become more climate resilient.

The fight against climate change presents the single biggest threat to sustainable development with more than 3.3 billion urban residents potentially at risk from severe climate impacts by middle of the century. The rapidly urbanizing Arab world is particularly at risk from rising temperatures, drought and water shortages. At the same time urban communities have shown tremendous resilience and have developed a wealth of innovative solutions for recovery in cities.

At the first specialist event, UN-Habitat and the World Green Building Council will launch the Executive Summary of the upcoming flagship publication ‘Guidelines for Sustainable Reconstruction and Urban Regeneration in the MENA region’ which focus on strengthening climate resilience in Arab cities affected by crises and conflict with MENA standing for Middle East and North Africa.

The Guidelines offer an opportunity to mobilise collective action to support the rebuilding and sustainable recovery of critical infrastructure, services and livelihoods of communities affected by conflicts and disasters. They will be presented by UN-Habitat’s Regional Director for Arab States, Erfan Ali, the agency’s Chief of Urban Practices Branch, Shipra Narang Suri and the Chief Executive Officer of World Green Building Council, Cristina Gamboa.

In another panel, challenges and best practices from the Arab World will be discussed by city mayors from Tunisia, Lebanon, and Iraq as well as UN-Habitat’s Head of Iraq and Yemen Programmes, Wael Al Ashhab. Other speakers include a partner from Development Inc. in UN-Habitat’s Rubble to Mountains Project which aims to reuse and recycle rubble and glass resulting from the Beirut Port explosions. The events are being livestreamed here.

The last event at the Expo is a Youth Circle featuring up to 30 young activists will discuss the climate crisis and solutions. Speakers include Małgorzata Jarosińska-Jedynak, Secretary of State at the Ministry of Funds and Regional Policy for Poland, host of next year’s World Urban Forum (WUF) which is being convened by UN-Habitat in Katowice. The event will also hear from a Polish Youth Council Representative for WUF and UN-Habitat’s Shipra Narang Suri.

The Expo events are part of worldwide celebrations held on October 31 in cities and towns around the world marking World Cities Day to raise awareness about sustainable urbanization. This year’s main Global Observance will be co-hosted by UN-Habitat and the Government of the Arab Republic of Egypt and will take place in Luxor.

UN-Habitat works in over 90 countries supporting people in cities and human settlements and focusing on urban development. Working with governments and local partners, its high impact projects combine world-class expertise and local knowledge to deliver timely and targeted solutions.

World Green Building
A global action network comprised of around 70 Green Building Councils around the globe. As members of the UN Global Compact, WGB works with businesses, organisations and governments to drive the ambitions of the Paris Agreement and UN Global Goals for Sustainable Development. Through a systems change approach, the network is leading the industry towards a net zero carbon, healthy, equitable and resilient built environment.

Expo Livestream:
Global Observance, Luxor:
For more information contact:
Yasmine Mostafa: Knowledge Management and Reporting Officer, Regional Office for Arab States, UN-Habitat -

UN-Habitat and Expo 2020 Dubai to highlight climate resilient cities at World Cities Day