Diamond Developers has created a sustainable city. Karim notes that their company doesn’t only sell a single product or service, but it provides a lifestyle. When they created a sustainable city, they already knew it wasn’t something new that never already existed. However, they still believed that they could do it differently and add their own innovative touch to their projects. As their innovation relates to the SDGs, it focuses on eco-environment and green development. The company focuses on the following SDGs through its innovation, good health and wellbeing, quality education, clean water and sanitization, affordable and clean energy, economic growth, sustainable cities and communities, climate actions, and partnerships for the goals.
University of Dubai
They started with the innovation by choosing Dubai as their location. This is because Dubai is unique in its own ways; for example, its climate, geography, and it’s also a young society, but most importantly, it is already driven by innovation.
The innovation is about collecting those great ideas and transforming those ideas into something workable. Furthermore, now the company has created Dubai’s sustainable city. It consists of 46 hectares, 3,000 people live there, 500 villas, 89 apartments, and even restaurants and an autism center and a school. They’ve been operating the sustainable city for 4 years now, and they will continue to innovate.
They also have a master plan to call for sustainability, but this will require people to be sustainable, and they themselves will have to practice sustainability. As Mr. Karim supported his idea by asking: ”how long do you take to shower?” Hence, according to him, infrastructure is one half of the job, and the other half is the people. Furthermore, he definitely agrees that being sustainable is their goal, and they don’t sell villas; they sell a lifestyle. Other companies would sell a product, for example, how many bedrooms, is the consumer looking for attached or semi-attached villas, etc., without taking into consideration to provide their customers a better way of living. Still, Diamond Developers sends a lifestyle, meaning that they will teach their customers about sustainability and encourage them to appreciate sustainability. Diamond Developers allow people to recycle and tell them there is no harm in recycling.
The inspiration they got for this innovation was by traveling. Karim, along with his other colleagues, went on a journey that they started 10 years ago at the time of previous global financial crises. Here they decided to approach commercial real estate differently. They got the inspiration and ideas from different countries and by looking at their green developments and eco-cities. These countries included Egypt, Japan, Britain, Denmark, and California. Furthermore, the motivation for this innovation was that they didn’t want to survive at the environment's expense. Furthermore, the interviewee explained that back in 2008, their CEO had an awakening; this is because their business was going into a downfall. That time was when he and his partner decided to do something different. After the global financial crisis, they came up with a new and different product.
This innovation has contributed to bring down the cost of living and has also positively impacted society. One of the main overall impacts of the innovation was to have occupancy. There are now schools and hospitals. This innovation has also achieved lower carbon footprints in the real estate sector and significantly reduced living costs by decreasing electricity bills and water bills. Furthermore, investors do not have to pay any community fee every 3 months. Furthermore, because of the innovation, the waste stream has been reduced. Autonomous driving in the city has also been introduced; this will allow electric vehicles.
The innovation has led to economic development because they’ve consistently maintained high occupancy even during pandemics. Additionally, the innovation contributes to the SDGs, for example, access to clean energy, sanitization, climate action, sustainable city, and partnership.
The overall impact of the innovation is a good quality of life for people with easy access to schools and health systems. Moreover, the innovation focuses on the improvement of economic growth, sustainability, and prosperity. This has led to increased employment opportunities and hence has reduced poverty. This innovation has provided additional resources; for example, education, housing, recreation, and health services also have increased the well-being of residents.
Sustainable City does impact the business in several ways. This is because they maintain high occupancy as they have unique products and services. Moreover, in Dubai, there are great stories to tell and dozens of cities. Still, none of them has combined all the dimensions and elements of sustainability, and this is where Diamond Developers stands out and has an advantage over their competitors. They want to achieve social, environmental, and economic sustainability. Diamond Developers are now designing and building 4 more cities; one is in Sharjah and is now under construction.
Diamond Developments wants to inspire others and wants to open in other countries as well. The innovation has allowed businesses to gain a reputation, and it has also led to brand loyalty. It has allowed the business to be one of the best developers in the industry of real estate. If the business hadn’t been innovative, it wouldn’t be surviving right now. This means that the innovation is the only thing that drives the company. Since the business is known for its innovation, it must have increased demand and profit.
In the time that we live in, people are now more interested in sustainability and efficient products so that customers would choose Diamond Developers. The innovation has allowed the business to gain recognition in the UAE, and it is also enabling and opening ways for the company to grow and expand, as well as the employees gaining more experience and a better way of living by working in a sustainable environment that the company offers.
The innovation of Diamond Developers benefits society as well as the environment. This is done because of the innovation aids in reducing ecological footprints, carbon, and energy. This will lead to an enhanced environment in which less waste will be consumed, less water will be consumed, and the use of chemicals in the community will decrease, for example, pest management. This will enhance the environment, as they quoted on their website “Not by choice but by necessity, it is our collective responsibility to reverse climate change so that future generations can inherit a cleaner and healthier environment.”
Socially speaking, the sustainable city has achieved happiness, and because of this, Dubai’s standard of living has increased. Diamond Developers has won many awards, such as being the happiest community in GCC.
The environment has gotten much cleaner because of this innovation because the carbon released by renewable energy has been decreased.
The environment has gotten much cleaner because of this innovation because the carbon released by renewable energy has been decreased. Economically, it has led to many businesses in the city and has created almost 700 jobs in the city, such as schools, health, and rehab. this has increased the country's employment rate, which leads to a better standard of living, resulting in economic growth. Furthermore, the infrastructure has also contributed to the economic goals and improved the UAE as a whole. The usage of resources are now much more efficient and are effectively used. Recycling is also taking place because of this innovation in society, and it leads to a reduction in the amount of waste dumped, creating pollution. This innovation has allowed people to have a much healthier lifestyle, and hence the cost spent on health has also decreased. In short, the innovation has led to a better quality environment and has also created opportunities for leisure activities.
Karim El-Jisr, Chief Sustainability Officer
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Dubai, Dubai, AE
Business Website: https://diamond-developers.ae/rd-see-institute/
Year Founded: 2002
Number of Employees: 501 to 1000
We got the opportunity to interview the chief sustainability officer at Diamond Developers named Karim El-Jisr. He explained his experience at the company, the sustainability actions taken by his company, and how he got engaged in the job. He said this was a highpoint in his personal life to experience sustainability first and then promote it. Our interview later focused on how Diamond Developers contributes to sustainable innovation and how do the actions taken by the company later lead to a better society. Diamond Developers is a real estate market that consists of the vision of how the future should be. A new era was created by the company making sustainable cities. As Mr. Karim says, each individual has responsibilities to take for us to have a sustainable environment.