UN-Habitat supporting youth entrepreneurship in Kuwait_1Kuwait, 23 May 2016- The UN-Habitat recently signed a Memorandum of Understanding with the Dubai Real Estate Institute to offer and advocate real estate solutions to professionals in the MENA region . The MoU press conference held at the United Nations building aims to strengthen the collaborative role of both organizations in continuously offering educational and leadership programs that are in-line with international standards throughout the coming years. The collaboration between the two parties will be implemented with a focus on jointly organizing training workshops, urban campaigns, urban research on city prosperity and affordable housing and urban competitions that promote positive change in cities and housing communities for better quality of life. The objectives of the MoU are as follows: -Awareness raised on Sustainable Development Goals and its application in Gulf Cities - City Prosperity initiative introduced in at least six gulf cities; - Housing Profile for Gulf countries produced; - Housing practitioners capacity developed on new trends in access to adequate housing; - Urban competition among young Gulf professionals launched; - World Urban Campaign and the city we need materials localized and disseminated

Mr. Mahmoud Al- Burai, the Managing Director of Dubai Real Estate Institution recalled that UN -Habitat and Dubai Real Estate Institute recently organized the Urban Thinkers Campus that discussed the regions aim for the city they need from a real estate sector perspective. It is now the right time while we are preparing to go to the United Nations Conference for Housing and Urban development next October in Quito to be ready with a plan to implement the new Urban Agenda once adopted in the Gulf States, continued Mr Al-Burai. Mr. Tarek El-Sheikh, Director at UN-Habitat, said that Dubai Real Estate Institute has been active in collaborating with UN Habitat in promoting the New Urban Agenda elements and advancing the World Urban Campaign that advocate the Sustainable Development Goal 11, and that the two organisations were going to work together to raise awareness on Sustainable Development Goals and its application in Gulf Cities. The city prosperity initiative will be discussed and how it can contribute in at least six gulf cities and organize an urban competition among young gulf professionals on safe, connected, integrated, healthy and resilient cities and develop training courses in different countries on housing and real estate. The MoU will support the “I’m a City Changer” campaign which is an advocacy and partnership platform under UN-Habitat to raise awareness about positive urban change in order to achieve green, productive, safe, healthy, inclusive, and well planned cities. A campaign geared to create a place for urban innovators to share their inventions into their local areas to serve and foster communities in cities of the Gulf.

UN Habitat and Dubai Real Estate Institute will jointly collaborate to raise awareness and build capacities for the development of sustainable cities and communities through:

- Undertaking joint workshops and media Awareness events on Sustainable Development Goals and its application in Gulf Cities with Gulf states City authorities; - Carrying out City Prosperity initiatives training for the six gulf cities; - Preparing Housing Profile for Gulf countries in collaboration with the gulf Cooperation Council; - Holding Seminars for Housing practitioners on new trends in access to adequate housing; - Jointly organizing Urban competition among young Gulf university Students and; - Preparing localized World Urban Campaign and the city we need materials in Arabic.

It is worth mentioning that there is a growing consensus about the need to work together to address the impact of climate change and achieve the sustainable development goals as stated in the GOP meeting in Paris last September.

It is expected to start our first activities with our collaberative partners in the Kuwait Engineering Association and the Arab Towns Organization (ATO) as well as with Kuwait University Faculty of architecture in launching design competition for the World urban Campaign for GCC; (I am a city Changer).

This is in line with UN Habitat plan of action in Kuwait to hold a series of regional workshops for the Gulf States in Kuwait supported by Gulf and Kuwait based institutions and organizations to advance sustainable urban development.

UN-Habitat believes creating partnerships play a crucial role in the overall development of societies and lays out the final goals for nations to work together in order to achieve all other goals which is part of goal 17 under the SDG.