Speaking at MEED’s Green Building Conference in Dubai on 28 October, Peter Busby, principle with the US-based architect and interior design firm Perkins & Will said it is self-defeating for the various emirates and developers to adopt differing systems.

“I think there should be an effort for one standard,” he said. “Can you imagine every city in Europe having a different standard? Imagine contractors working in Dubai or Abu Dhabi working to different standards?”

Currently there are only three buildings in Dubai which have been given a Leadership in Energy & Environmental Design (LEED) certificate, a set of environmental building standards developed in the US.

About 270 further buildings in Dubai and 26 buildings in Abu Dhabi have applied for LEED certification.

Sadek Owanaiti, founder and a former chairman of the Emirates Green Building Council made a similar plea: “We need to work together.”

“It is about time we have a regional code. There is no room for competition in sustainability.”