Mr. Bin Kuwair, you were part of the Middle Eastern delegation that visited Switzerland in February to meet several Swiss companies here. What was your impression?
I was invited by the Dubai office of the Swiss Business Hub Middle East to visit Switzerland and explore new technologies in the waste management industry. The visit covered innovative companies and research institutions as well as environmental law, which has driven private households as well as public authorities to recycle material and treat waste. This has led to Switzerland and its economy becoming the worldwide leader in the fields of waste management, recycling and water treatment.
What was particularly surprising during your visit?
The trip covered the best practices and solutions that are a benchmark for the industry worldwide. The commercially driven structure to recover waste and turn it into value has created a very strong circular economy in Switzerland and made the country a frontrunner for leading environmental solutions. The level of integration in each facility with other industries bears witness to the synergies between different service providers, which ultimately serves the national objective of reaching zero waste and optimizing waste as a valuable resource.
Why reinvent the wheel when we can adopt the best practices applied in Switzerland!
Do you have concrete plans to work with Swiss companies?
Absolutely, why reinvent the wheel when we can adopt the best practices applied in Switzerland! The UAE also aspires to achieve zero waste targets and utilize waste as a valuable resource. Hence, Swiss technologies are among those that we are considering for such developments.
Where do you see the advantages of Swiss companies in the international environment?
The maturity of the infrastructure in Switzerland allows new technologies to be advanced and developed. Service charges and landfill disposal fees have been beneficial to the development of commercially driven facilities. Also, the level of integration between different facilities creates synergies for value and increase the expected outcomes from such developments.
What are the challenges in working with Swiss companies?
The cultural and infrastructural differences may lead to different expectations when it comes to the financial structure of a new facility. The UAE is still paving the road for commercially driven environmental solutions. There might not be a high return on investment in the beginning. Swiss technologies are often of high quality, yet a bit more expensive than the market.
What is the reputation of Swiss companies in the United Arab Emirates?
Technologies bearing the title Swiss-made are seen to be of high quality, yet expensive. As long as we have a less mature waste management infrastructure in the UAE, it would be hard to develop a commercially viable facility with Swiss technology; however, rational trade-offs can be made to make the economics work.
About Mohammed Bin Kuwair and Bee’ah
Reporting to the MD of Bee'ah Energy, Mohammed Bin Kuwair is responsible to drive Bee’ah Energy international growth and long-term strategy for the Waste to Energy Industry, and drive the expansion on Renewable Energy Sector. The company was founded in 2007 and is one of the Middle East’s fastest growing environmental management companies. Bee’ah provides sustainable solutions in environmental and resource management through integrated waste managemen, renewable energy, public cleansing, environmental protection, environmental consulting, facilities management, education and awareness (internal and external), sustainable development.