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UAE leads green bond surge in MENA: a record-breaking $10.7 billion in sales

The United Arab Emirates (UAE) has emerged as a leader in the Middle East and North Africa's (MENA) green bond market. The nation recorded sales nearing $10.7 billion, a staggering 170% increase from previous figures. This impressive growth accounts for about 45% of the total green bond sales in the region, as reported by the Emirates News Agency (WAM).

UAE leads green bond surge in MENA_View from behind bushes on Al Ain Oasis in Abu Dhabi_visual 1View from behind bushes on Al Ain Oasis in Abu Dhabi.

The MENA region experienced an unprecedented upsurge in the issuance of green social, sustainable, and sustainability-linked bonds (GSSB) in 2023. Data from Bloomberg's Capital Markets League Tables indicates that the total sales hit a new high of $24 billion, marking a 155% increase from the past year. This surge is primarily attributed to significant contributions from the UAE and Saudi Arabia, jointly accounting for 77% of the total regional issuances.

Read more: All you need to know about green bonds

The year 2023 was particularly noteworthy for the UAE, as it hosted the 28th United Nations Climate Change Conference (COP28). This event coincided with a wave of debut sustainable debt issuances by various corporate and government entities in the UAE, totalling $7.95 billion. Prominent among these were issuances by DP World Sukuk, Sharjah government, TAQA, Emirates NBD, and others, including notable Sukuk issuances from Dubai Islamic Bank and Abu Dhabi Islamic Bank.

Read more: Advancing green finance: UAE's Mashreq unveils partnership for carbon offsetting

Furthermore, 2023 marked a milestone for green Sukuk in the MENA region. For the first time, Islamic issuances constituted over a quarter of the total regional output. The MENA region also led the global market in green Sukuk, with sales of approximately $6.5 billion. This includes significant contributions from ADIB, DP World, First Abu Dhabi Bank, among others. These developments underscore the UAE's commitment to sustainable finance and its leadership role in the global green bond market.

The importance of carbon offsetting in reaching environmental targets cannot be overstated. Its contributions are essential for environmental preservation, economic resilience, and societal health, playing a critical role in maintaining the vitality of our natural world. DGB Group is at the forefront of these efforts, having planted more than 31.2 million trees and targeting the capture of over 60 million tonnes of CO₂. These actions are crucial in steering us towards a sustainable future. DGB provides organisations with opportunities to control and reduce their environmental footprint and balance their emissions. This is achieved through participation in nature-based projects and the acquisition of DGB's verified carbon units, aiding in the rejuvenation and safeguarding of our natural environment.

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