October 14, 2012
Ramallah- Arabian Business Magazine has selected Palestinian businessman Mr. Khaled Al Sabawi, General Manager of Union Construction and Investment (UCI), and President of MENA Geothermal, amongst the 500 most powerful and influential Arab figures in the world, for the year 2012, for his outstanding and pioneering achievements in the field of sustainable energy. Arabian Business, the Middle East"s bestselling weekly business magazine, conducted a six-month thorough survey of all the sectors in the Arab countries. Mr. Al Sabawi was ranked #195 out of a population of 380 million people. Mr. Al Sabawi, for the first time in the Middle East and North Africa region (MENA), applied the use of geothermal energy as a mean to provide an environmentally friendly and energy efficient form of heat and cooling.
According to the statement announced by the Arabian Magazine, Palestine was ranked the fifth place in terms of the number of influential businessmen named. In total, the list contained 39 names including prominent Palestinian figures from various important sectors and fields. Lebanon was ranked first, the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia ranked second, the United Arab Emirates third, and Egypt fourth.
The list also contained many names of activists working in the field of human rights, in the Arab countries that have witnessed considerable political change. Moreover, the fields of business, contracting and real estate included 200 Arab figures. On the other hand, the scientific and cultural field included 196 names, 21 writers and poets, as well as 72 artists and singers from different Arab countries.
Mr. Khaled Al Sabawi, who holds a Bachelor’s Degree with Honors in Computer Engineering from the University of Waterloo in Canada, is known as the first engineer certified in geothermal energy in the entire MENA region. He was also named by Global Post, one of the World’s Top Energy Entrepreneurs.
Mr. Al Sabawi established his company, MENA Geothermal, in 2008 in Palestine in order to increase energy efficiency in a country that suffers from the lack of resources, high energy prices, and total dependency on Israel for supply. MENA Geothermal has realized outstanding achievements in this field, gaining the attention of several international institutions and organizations. MENA Geothermal was awarded the International Energy Global Award twice for its projects in designing and installing cooling and heating systems using geothermal energy. These projects were implemented in UCI’s headquarters office building in Al-Masyoun, Ramallah, and at the American University of Madaba, which is considered the largest geothermal system implemented in the entire MENA region, with a capacity of 1.6 mW (a cooling load of 457 tons).
MENA Geothermal, continues to move forward in the implementation of more projects that demonstrate the efficiency of this system, compared to traditional systems prevailing in Palestine and other countries of the world. MENA Geothermal has recently opened up on office in Amman, Jordan.