Wasit Wetland Center Sharjah
Wasit Wetland Center nature reserve in Sharjah

The UAE has shown over and over again that an eco-friendlier future is an important goal. Now, one prominent Emirati businessman has undertaken a major personal initiative to make the UAE a little greener.

Salem Al Qaidi, the owner of Al Qaidi Farms, has pledged to donate 100,000 trees in line with the giving initiatives promoted by the UAE's Year of Zayed, The National reported

Half of the trees, which will be of various local varieties, will be distributed to residents and citizens of the country. The other portion will be planted in public parks and reserves.

Al Qaidi explained that his donation falls in line with the late Sheikh Zayed bin Sultan Al Nahyan's goal of increasing green areas throughout the country to benefit the environment.

The announcement of the generous contribution is just another example of Emiratis and the UAE looking toward a greener future. 

From launching various eco-projects, to building an entire city run by renewable energy, the nation has shown a strong commitment to embracing an eco-conscious future.

Masdar City will be completed in 2025

The Masdar City project in Abu Dhabi spreads over 700 hectares and will be completed by 2025. It aims to be one of the most sustainable cities in the world, by relying nearly exclusively on solar energy and other renewable sources. It aims to be a hub for clean-tech companies and will operate solely on clean energy.

The city also hosts the headquarters of the International Renewal Energy Agency, an inter-government organization that promotes the adoption of renewable energy.

The UAE is investing heavily in solar energy

Abu Dhabi officially launched what will become the world's largest independent solar power plant in May of last year. Fittingly, the facility will be named Noor Abu Dhabi (or the Light of Abu Dhabi).

Capable of producing 1,177 MW of electricity, the plant will surpass India's plant in Kamuthi, Tamil Nadu, which opened last year and produces 648 MW. The India plant had surpassed Topaz Solar Farm in California, which has a capacity of 550 MW.

The UAE plant will cost some $3.2 billion, according to Arabian Business. It will be located in Suweihan and will provide power to hundreds of thousands of home. Officials said the aim is to complete the facility by the second quarter of 2019.

The nation is on track to surpass its renewable energy targets

The UAE aims to produce 24 percent of its energy from renewable sources by 2021. Early last year, UAE Minister of Environment and Water Dr. Rashid Bin Fahd said that the nation is on track to surpass its renewable energy goals. 

"We not only do work in the field of sustainable energy for us but to help others because we believe we have to lead by example. The region needs success stories to learn from and so we like to share what we have with others,” Bin Fahd said.

In other Gulf countries, governments are turning toward renewable energy as well. Saudi Arabia, one of the world's top oil producing nations, aims to rely on 10 percent renewable energy by 2023.