Down to Earth, the UAE’s annual festival celebrating all things green, returns for its third edition on Sunday, November 27, 2022 from 10am to 8pm. This year’s Small Talks Programme is titled More with less: Sustainable interactions with water
Presented by SOMA MATER the Small Talks programme hosts three brief interventions followed by a panel of experts looking at sustainable interactions with water. Saeed Alhassan from Manhat unpacks how we draw water from air to nurture our food. Deema Khoury from Dibba Bay Oysters dives deep into embracing the untapped resources of the sea. Rukhsana Kausar encourages cities to drop their plastic bottle habits as part of her work in Liquid of Life. Together, they sit with Greg Ohannessian, partner at SOMA MATER, for a group discussion on how we may holistically value water in our time.
Art Jameel invites everyone — from nature and crafts enthusiasts and the eco-conscious to those new to sustainability and looking for a free, fun day out — to come join us at Jameel Arts Centre and experience a range of entertaining and informative activities for all ages.
Browse the full programme of the day here.
Dr. Saeed Alhassan is the founder of Manhat, a deep tech startup based in Abu Dhabi and focuses on developing technologies for sustainable water production and sustainable farming. Manhat has received several accolades including from “Water Europe”, “Arab Water Council” and “Food for Thought” to name a few. Dr. Saeed is also a faculty of chemical engineering at Khalifa University and has occupied managerial positions including director of Gas Research Center and senior director of Petroleum Institute. Dr. Saeed has authored more than 130 journal articles, 80 conference papers, 20 invited lectures and 16 patents.
Deema Khoury is the Marketing and PR manager at Dibba Bay Oysters, the Middle East’s first and only gourmet oyster farm. Her work in the food industry extends from a global FMCG to local sustainable farms. She started her career at Nestle where her role focused on media strategies, digital marketing, and brand building for Middle East, African and Asian markets. Her passion for locally sourced food eventually led her to Emirates Bio Farm, the UAE’s Largest organic farm, where she was the Marketing and Events Manager focusing on eco-tourism which educates the public about environmental protection and building sustainable food systems through organic agriculture. In 2021, she made the shift into sustainable aquaculture with Dibba Bay Oysters, where she leads brand communication and marketing, driving the company’s mission to become a global seafood brand produced locally in the UAE.
As Founding Partner of Liquid of Life, Rukhsana Saukar has been instrumental in raising awareness about the issues surrounding plastic pollution and climate change. Working with individuals, families and businesses such as Dubai Chamber, Etihad Airways, Emaar, Dubai Holding, Aldar and more recently working on the Dubai Can initiative she helps to reduce the negative impact we have on the planet by installing a range of patented filtered drinking water solutions as an alternative to plastic bottled water. She also worked in partnership with organizations such as EWS-WWF, Azraq, Surge for Water and Impact Water to highlight the importance of water conservation and water scarcity and promote sustainable habits.
Greg Ohannessian is a founding partner of SOMA MATER and has over a decade of experience in developing policy and strategy for public and private sector clients. He has delivered projects in coordination with the UN, DP World, the UAE Ministry of Defense, MoCCaE, and the Dubai Government. He is strongly committed to the long-term sustainable growth of the region and ways the agriculture sector can support this. Greg holds a Masters in Middle Eastern Studies from King’s College London.
Down to Earth’s 2022 Sustainability Partner: BEEAH Tandeef
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