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UAE Ministry of Energy & Infrastructure, Dake Rechsand to present Sponge City at Innovation Week – Sharjah


Sponge City, a pathbreaking sustainability solution to mitigating floods and addressing water scarcity, will be presented at the Innovation Week – Sharjah by impact-maker Dake Rechsand in conjunction with the UAE Ministry of Energy and Infrastructure (MOEI)

Dake Rechsand, the Dubai-based company specializing in sustainability solutions for desert farming and water conservation, along with the UAE Ministry of Energy and Infrastructure (MOEI), is set to present ‘Sponge City’ at the Innovation Week – Sharjah, an event poised to facilitate multistakeholder participation for socioeconomic impact. Sponge City, promoted by Dake Rechsand in the form of its proprietary product IDer, has emerged as a pathbreaking solution to mitigating floods and simultaneously addressing water scarcity. 

The Innovation Week, helmed by MOEI, is set to take place between 21–23 February 2023 at the Ministry Building – B, Sharjah. Under the tutelage of H. E. Suhail bin Mohammed al Mazroui, Minister of Energy and Infrastructure – UAE, The Innovation Week aims to mobilize stakeholders from across the public and private sectors for collaborative efforts toward sustainability. Shaikhah Alshehhi, representing the Financial Investment Department of MOEI, joins Chandra Dake, CEO of Dake Rechsand, in presenting Sponge City to attendees.

“Sponge City ticks several sustainability boxes — social, economic, and environmental — that are topical to regional issues: Water scarcity and recurrent flooding. Such issues have grown in severity in recent years, underscoring the need for actionable solutions, such as Sponge City. To that end, the Innovation Week couldn’t come at a better time. By touching upon demonstrated outcomes, we intend to raise awareness about the solution at the event,” opined Chandra Dake, CEO of Dake Rechsand.

Sponge Cities, by design, are expansive areas where permeable pavers absorb rainwater and either drain it to proper sewers or store it in underground reservoirs. The harvested rainwater — the purest form of natural water — helps enhance water security. So, Sponge City is an interdisciplinary solution, finding applications in decentralized rainwater harvesting as well as stormwater management. 

Sponge City is a new urban development model is aimed at creating sustainable and resilient urban environments by utilizing technologies such as permeable roads, honeycomb water storage, rain gardens, and ground water recharging to manage stormwater, reduce runoff, improve water quality, and increase green spaces, alleviating flooding, water scarcity, and stormwater pollution.

As the primary material — such as Dake Rechsand’s IDer — is produced from typical aeolian desert sand, it is cost-effective and accessible to institutions and individuals across the socioeconomic spectrum. 

Sponge City is linked to positive outcomes in terms of multiple Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs): 3, 6, 10, 11, and 12. Most importantly, the solution can help the UAE reduce its unsustainable dependence on carbon- and energy-intensive desalination plants, thereby complementing the nation’s ambitious Net-zero 2050 goals. Sponge Cities are well-positioned at the intersection of water security, climate actions, and socioeconomic growth. 

“We are glad to associate with the Ministry of Energy and Infrastructure (MOEI) in its concrete efforts to enable multistakeholder participation. The private sector’s competency in developing actionable solutions needs top-down undertaking from governing bodies for maximum impact. My gratitude to MOEI for not only recognizing the need for multistakeholder participation but also creating an avenue to facilitate it,” added Chandra Dake. 

Dake Rechsand was featured in the ‘Green Technology Book 2022: Solutions for Climate Change Adaptations’, a report released on the back of COP27. The sustainability champion is ramping up its efforts in light of the upcoming, UAE-hosted COP28, whose outcomes could potentially chart a new course for global climate actions. While staying committed to the regional cause, Dake Rechsand has expanded its global presence, recently making a foray into the US by partnering with Donald V. Watkins, an impact-led entrepreneur. As part of the partnership, Dake Rechsand will support the greening of four desert regions in the US, keeping the empowerment of Native American Tribes paramount.

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