Building Retrofits


Buildings are large consumers of energy. In particular, old buildings have equipment and materials that are not always energy efficient. In early 2015, the DSCE enacted the Directive #1 of 2015 which mandates walkthrough energy audits in Dubai Government buildings above 1000 sqm and the creation of a building retrofit plan for each government entity. The directive targets 20% water and electricity savings from government entities by 2021.

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The program seeks to execute a building retrofitting program that targets the main components of a building in an integrated manner: Cooling, lighting, water, industrial processes, building envelope and other retrofits. The initial focus is on buildings permitted prior to 2003, with the ambition to retrofit about 30,000 buildings by 2030.

The program aims to improve Dubai’s asset base where needed and at the same time establish energy management practices which will sustain saving benefits in the long run. We have established a model to retrofit buildings supported by funding mechanisms enabling improvement in buildings at no cost for the owners.

Key Initiatives

JAFZA Retrofit Project

Etihad ESCO completed the retrofitting program for 157 buildings for the Jebel Ali Free Zone Authority by replacing air condition, lighting and water fixtures. The project was financed through a partnership with National Bonds Corporation to create a Sharia’a compliant structure that can accommodate retrofit projects. JAFZA is the largest guaranteed energy savings project in the Middle East.

DEWA Light Retrofits

DEWA replaced 8,500 light bulbs in two power stations with high efficiency lights. Expected savings are 75% decrease relative to initial electricity consumption from lighting, or 15 GWh/ year.

Key Facts

DSCE Directive No. 1 2015 for Dubai government has led to

over 2,000 government buildings conducting energy audits.