Download Brochure

    The links between the green building concept and its cultural dimension are deeply intertwined in the Arab world, drawing from historical architectural traditions, and climate conditions that require ingenuity in building spaces for living and social interactions, and managing natural resources. Green building practices resonate with Arab cultural values such as harmony with nature and community well-being, while also offering opportunities to bring the local identity through a more sustainable and culturally resonant built environment in the Arab world. Using building criteria from the SGBF framework relevant for SDGs 6, 7, 9, and 12 can be complemented by additional criteria to allow SMEs to have a more impactful approach towards managing change. This process of internal change can potentially lay the foundation for a certification process drawing on saaf experience, if there is sufficient will from the companies to take firm commitments externally.
    Saudi Green Building Forum (SGBF) is a professional civil society establishment, registered with AWQAF (Non-Governmental Organization) in Special Consultative Status with the Economic and Social Council at the United Nations. SGBF is associated with the United Nations Department of Global Communications (UNDGC), accredited by the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP), & the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC). SGBF is powered by four strategic pillars: Conferences, Education, Projects, and Marketplace.
    This pilot project will aim to provide a foundation for future partnership between SGBF and UNITAR on potential projects to develop a detailed reporting for SDG/ ESG reporting aligned with the SGBF guidelines and criteria and for the roll-out of the related trainings to SMEs in Saudi Arabia but also more broadly across the Arab world. The project will be designed and implemented jointly by UNITAR and Saudi Green Building Forum.
    United Nations Institute for Training and Research (UNITAR) is an autonomous body within the United Nations (UN) that was established in 1963 pursuant to a UN General Assembly resolution, with the purpose of enhancing the effectiveness of the UN through appropriate training and research. UNITAR’s mission is to develop the individual, institutional and organizational capacities of countries and other UN stakeholders through high quality learning solutions and related knowledge products and services to enhance decision-making and to support country-level action for overcoming global challenges. The Strategic Implementation of the 2030 Agenda Unit of UNITAR shares the Joint Secretariat of UN SDG: Learn with the UN System Staff College. One of the task forces of UN SDG: Learn called SDG4 Business was created to look into the needs of MSMEs and reskilling and upskilling in the context of transition to sustainable development and the SGBF/ ESG agenda.

    Objectives of the SGBF – UNITAR Masterclass:

    The project will aim to:
    Foster sustainability leadership across SMEs in the Arab world and offer an approach to position them for future global and regional value chains and local markets by leveraging the SDGs and the green building concepts anchored in Arab culture.
    Expected Outcomes:
    Target audience:
    Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs) from Saudi Arabia.

    Qasim Al Harasi

    Head of Planning Greater Muscat, Ministry of Housing and Urban Planning, Oman
    Qasim AlHarasi is a seasoned urban planning professional with 16 years of experience in developing sustainable and resilient cities. In his role as Head of Greater Muscat Planning, he leads initiatives to address climate change challenges and promote long-term urban development strategies.

    Amr Younes

    Sr. Director for City Development, King Abdullah Economic City
    Amr currently serves as the director of city development at KAEC. Amr is a goal oriented and self-motivated with over 15 years of success in team management, development management, and real estate business development provided by a diversified background and exposure. Always looking forward to implement the knowledge and experiences acquired throughout my career to perform and improve the duties and responsibilities bound by my position.

    Dr. Francesca Arici

    Chief of Planning and Development, Aseer Development Authority (ASDA)

    Dr. Francesca Arici is an Italian urban planner, urban designer and architect, with over 20 years of professional and academic experience in international working environments, based in KSA since 2018. 

    She is currently Chief of Planning and Development at the Aseer Development Authority (ASDA).

    Prior to joining ASDA, Francesca held the position of Senior Director of Master Planning & Design at Saudi Downtown Company (SDC), a PIF company whose mandate is to deliver 12 mixed-use masterplans across KSA.

    Between 2018 and 2021 she was Planning Director and Acting Chief of County Zoning and Planning within the Royal Commission for AlUla (RCU), where she led the strategic regional planning of the AlUla County and the development of the local Masterplans.

    During her time in AlUla Francesca grew the CZP department and reported directly to the CEO as the Acting Chief.

    She holds a PhD in Urban and Regional Planning from the University of Palermo, a Master of Architecture in Urban Design from Harvard Graduate School of Design (GSD) and has lectured in a variety of institutions, including IE School of Architecture (Spain), Harvard University’s Career Discovery (US), Palermo and Alghero University (Italy).

    During her career she obtained several recognitions, such as a Fulbright grant, the IE award for teaching excellence as well as prizes and mentions in different international competitions.

    Dr. Waleed A. Sultan

    General Supervisor for Classification Development, Project Management and Performance Follow-up, Ministry of Municipal and Rural Affairs and Housing

    Dr. Waleed, a venerated strategic thought leader with the foundational credentials of a DBA holder and a Ph.D. researcher, boasts over two decades of mastery in shaping organizational strategy, business development trajectories, and visionary portfolio and program management pathways. Equipped with elite certifications, including PfMP, PgMP, and PMP, Dr. Waleed has architectured transformative strategic blueprints that have steered organizations toward their apex ambitions. His strategic compass, informed by the principles of Benefits Realization Management (BRM) and Business Continuity Management (BCM), harnesses the depth of VRIO analysis to craft robust, high-impact strategies. Complemented by his MBA in Project Management and PPP, Dr. Waleed seamlessly bridges theoretical insights with strategic execution, ensuring value maximization at every turn. 

    Furthermore, his strategic formulation prowess is dynamic and contextual, adeptly aligning organizational methodologies with the grandeur of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia’s Vision 2030. By weaving modern strategic frameworks with the cultural and overarching objectives of Vision 2030, Dr. Waleed guarantees immediate strategic wins and a sustainable alignment with the nation’s expansive economic, social, and developmental goals.