The water commitment: from the UAE to the world

The United Arab Emirates (UAE) Water Aid Foundation, Suqia, plays a leading role in the UAE's support for the SDGs

19th March 2018

Winners from the first cycle of the Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum Global Water Award, 2017


The water commitment: from the UAE to the world

The United Arab Emirates (UAE) Water Aid Foundation, Suqia, plays a leading role in the UAE's support for the SDGs

By UAE Water Aid Foundation (Suqia)

Water is a fundamental human need and a driver for sustainable growth, yet water scarcity affects more than 40% of the global population and is projected to rise. While 2.6 billion people have gained access to improved drinking water sources since 1990, some 663 million people are still struggling with water sources.

The Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) define global development priorities and aspirations for 2030 and present a unique opportunity to address the world’s biggest development challenges. The United Arab Emirates (UAE) has established a global role in international efforts to combat humanitarian challenges, among which is access to clean drinking water.

The Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum Global Initiatives Foundation, through the UAE Water Aid Foundation (Suqia), a non-profit organisation, provides humanitarian aid and helps communities that suffer from water scarcity by providing them with potable water around the world. Suqia is concentrating its efforts to support SDG 6: “Ensure access to water and sanitation for all” and achieving this goal relies heavily on joint action and collaboration by all sectors.

In three years, Suqia has positively influenced the lives of more than 8 million people in 25 countries by providing access to clean water.

Clean and accessible water for all is an essential part of the world we want to live in. Access to safe water can quickly turn problems into potential: unlocking education, improving health and creating work opportunities. Suqia’s commitment to reach out and aid underprivileged communities that suffer from access to clean water remains strong, and SDG 6 has become a valuable guide on how best to achieve that.

Suqia’s goals are not only confined to the provision of potable water to those in need, but it also identifies how innovative and sustainable technologies can also be part of the solution to the global water crisis. The scale of the water crisis demands different approaches that extend beyond giving water.

Hence, in line with the UAE’s goal to become a knowledge-based economy with a strong focus on technology, R&D and innovation, HH Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai, launched a $1 million global award to find sustainable solutions to water scarcity.

Suqia supervises the ‘Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum Global Water Award’, which encourages leading corporations, research centres, institutions and innovators from across the world to compete in finding sustainable and innovative solar-energy solutions to the problem of water scarcity.

The water challenge continues to persist. In 2018, Suqia will continue its search for innovative, sustainable solutions and technologies for water purification and management, opening the door for young innovators, companies and research institutions worldwide to compete in the upcoming 2018 cycle of the ‘Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum Global Water Award’.

Together, we can overcome the challenge and carry forward the philanthropic legacy of the late Sheikh Zayed bin Sultan Al Nahyan, Founder of the UAE, during the ‘Year of Zayed 2018’ – and take a step closer to achieving a water-secure world for all.


UNA-UK thanks Suqia for its generous support for this publication