The six key figures in the emirates’ water sector: Rashid Ahmad Muhammad bin Fahad, Nick Carter, Fady Naja, Mohamed Ibrahim Suwaid, Issam al-Mulla and Branly Nassour.
Rashid Ahmad Muhammad bin Fahad
Position: Environment & Water Minister
Biography: Rashid Ahmad Muhammad bin Fahad began his professional career working as a process engineer for Dubai Municipality. He subsequently ran the municipality’s Food & Environment Laboratory until 2003. His strong academic background in engineering and environmental sciences includes a doctorate in civil engineering (environmental health) from the University of Strathclyde in the UK. Prior to his appointment to government, he was deputy director general and board vice-chairman of the Emirates Authority for Standardisation & Metrology. He also held the position of secretary general of the GCC Standardisation Organisation, based in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia. Bin Fahad took up the post of Environment & Water Minister in February 2008. The ministry is responsible for agricultural, environmental, fisheries and water affairs in the UAE.
Contact Tel: (+9714) 295 8333
Position: Director general, Regulation & Supervision Bureau
Biography: Nick Carter is a fellow of the Institution of Engineering & Technology and a member of the UK Engineering Council. Educated at University College London, Insead and London Business School, he has spent most of his working life in utility management, holding executive-level positions at London Electricity and Southern Electricity in the UK. He was involved in acquisition projects when the UK’s gas and electricity markets were liberalised in the late 1990s. Carter joined the water and electricity unbundling team for Abu Dhabi in 1998, and was appointed deputy chairman and managing director of Abu Dhabi Distribution Company and board member of the local transmission company (Transco) the following year. He joined the water regulation body Regulation & Supervision Bureau as director general in 2001.
Contact Tel: (+9712) 642 6777
Position: Head of water projects department, Abu Dhabi Water & Electricity Authority (Adwea)
Biography: After graduating from the American University of Beirut, Fady Naja started his career as a project engineer working on water projects for a major contracting company in Abu Dhabi. He took up management of Adwea’s water projects department in April 2006. The department is responsible for coordinating and overseeing the water networks for the new developments in the emirate, as well as the water projects shared with Abu Dhabi Distribution Company, Al-Ain Distribution Company and Abu Dhabi Transmission and Dispatch Company. Naja has taken a lead role in executing many of Abu Dhabi’s large water projects, including the Shuweihat, Taweelah and Al-Ain water transmission schemes. Adwea produces, transmits and distributes electricity and water to more than 1.4 million customers.
Contact Tel: (+9712) 694 3331
Mohamed Ibrahim Suwaid
Position: Director of water, Federal Electricity & Water Authority (Fewa)
Biography: Mohamed Ibrahim Suwaid was recently appointed director of water at Fewa, replacing Mohammed Mohammed Saleh, who was called upon to act as head of the authority following the surprise resignation of the director general in June. Fewa is the body responsible for generating and distributing electricity and water in the UAE’s northern emirates of Ajman, Fujairah, Ras al-Khaimah and Umm al-Quwain. Fewa owns and operates six power-generating plants and three water desalination plants, and is the federation’s smallest utility. Fewa’s position as the dominant player in the northern emirates’ utility sector is about to come to an end. With Abu Dhabi set to become the major supplier and the private sector being encouraged to build new capacity, Fewa’s future role will largely be confined to distributing electricity and water generated by third parties.
Contact Tel: (+9714) 262 6262
Position: Water department manager, Sharjah Electricity & Water Authority (Sewa)
Biography: Issam al-Mulla is responsible for overseeing water production and supply in the emirate of Sharjah, which, after Dubai, has had the highest electricity and water growth rates in the UAE. The emirate’s population has been increasing by an estimated 8-10 per cent a year. The utility relies on desalination plants and well fields to meet the emirate’s water demand, which is rising by about 9 per cent a year. Desalination facilities account for about 65 per cent of supply. Al-Mulla’s department has invested in new desalination capacity and boosted the number of well fields and bore holes. Alongside Sharah Municipality, it is encouraging customers to be frugal with water through a public awareness campaign. Earlier this year, the utility company also introduced a staggered tariff system for water and electricity bills, which forces heavier consumers to pay higher rates.
Contact Tel: (+9716) 567 1114
Position: Senior manager, water projects and engineering department, Dubai Electricity & Water Authority (Dewa)
Biography: Branly Nassour manages Dewa’s water projects department, which has the challenging task of matching supply with demand. Real estate developers have to seek approval for their projects’ water needs from Nassour’s department. Information on large development projects with high water requirements has to be submitted at least five years prior to the anticipated project commissioning date because of the time it takes to build new water production facilities. Traditionally, Dewa has only contracted out the engineering, procurement and construction works for its capacity-building projects, but with the rapid rise in demand for power and water, it is softening its stance towards independent water and power projects, and is more open to private sector involvement.
Contact Tel: (+9714) 307 2725