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Press release

17 DEC 2020

RICS brings global forum to Dubai Exhibition Centre at Expo 2020 Dubai

The Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors (RICS) has signed a milestone agreement with Expo 2020 Dubai to bring the fifth annual World Built Environment Forum (WBEF), to Dubai Exhibition Centre (DEC).

From 24 to 25 January 2022, a global community of senior leaders from the private, public, academic and not-for-profit sectors will convene to tackle key issues, challenges and opportunities in the built environment.

Following the COVID-19 pandemic, many of the influential factors driving urbanisation are no longer applicable in a new world of social distancing and remote working. If cities are to restate their centrality to global economic growth, they must prove that they have successfully adapted to emerging norms and expectations.  

“Across the globe, cities are playing a greater role in the overall health, wealth and happiness of people, and innovative approaches are crucial to solve the challenges faced in the built environment. As with many cities across the Middle East region, Dubai has grown exponentially to become a key investment hub in the world, and we are excited to bring the World Built Environment Forum to the region, so together with global industry leaders and influencers, we can develop holistic solutions that create better communities. World Built Environment Forum is a unique forum where thought leadership can be translated by RICS into tangible actions and standards that make a positive difference in the World” – Robert Jackson, RICS Managing Director AEMEA.

Inaugurated in 2016, the World Built Environment Forum is a global platform dedicated to shaping the future of the built environment by debating, discussing, sharing ideas and innovating to ensure we are creating sustainable places for all to live, work and play.

Through an online community, thought leadership, standards, guidance and series of summits, the World Built Environment Forum brings together built-environment professionals, innovators and global influencers to discuss how we can all harness the enormous potential of the 21st century’s people and places.

As the world experiences significant change, such as exponential population growth, climate change, health crisis and the fourth industrial revolution’s impact on business and work processes, it is essential that global leaders and innovators address the challenges created by these megatrends.

The World Built Environment Forum is a unique platform where content from the forum and accompanying summits is used by RICS to make a real difference, with tangible actions through standards, guidance notes and regulations produced for industry professionals, and by working in parallel with global policy-makers who act on the forum’s insight.  

Aligned with Expo 2020’s theme, ‘Connecting Minds, Creating the Future’ – as well as its three subthemes of Opportunity, Mobility and Sustainability – the World Built Environment Forum’s summit in Dubai in 2022 is designed to look at how global influencers can collaborate to create opportunity for a better future, tackle global sustainability issues and redefine mobility through innovation.

Sumathi Ramanathan, Director, Market Strategy and Sales, Expo 2020 Dubai, said: “The rapid rate of urbanisation around the world is leading to cities consuming energy and resources at a rate never previously seen. It is crucial for the habitats of the future to be smart, resilient and sustainable. Expo 2020’s mission is to highlight the unprecedented opportunities brought forward by the challenges that humanity now faces. By hosting the world’s brightest minds and harnessing the power of collaboration, and by welcoming events such as the RICS World Built Environment Forum at Dubai Exhibition Centre, Expo2020, we hope to unlock solutions that will inspire action and help shape a future where no one is left behind.” – Sumathi Ramanathan, Director – Destination Marketing, Expo 2020 Dubai.

Co-located at the first World Expo to be hosted in the Middle East, Africa and South Asia region, DEC is a world-class events and exhibitions facility that features cutting-edge technology, including ultra-high-speed 5G connectivity. During the six months of Expo 2020, which will open its doors on 1 October 2021, DEC will host some of the world’s most important conferences and events attended by the world’s brightest minds, including industry leaders, tech visionaries and influential decision-makers.

Expo 2020 will be the largest event ever held in the Arab World, bringing together more than 200 international participants, including more than 190 countries, as well as millions of visitors, and offering a never-before-seen celebration of what humanity can achieve through solidarity, cooperation and optimism.


About the World Built Environment Forum and Summit /

The World Built Environment Forum is an initiative of RICS. Our mission is to advance discussions of critical importance to the built and natural environment, inspiring positive and sustainable change for a prosperous and inclusive future. We are bringing together international leading thinkers, global influencers, practitioners and stakeholders in 2022 for the Dubai summit, as part of the Expo 2020 Dubai’s programme of events.

We are RICS

Everything we do is designed to effect positive change in the built and natural environments.

Through our respected global standards, leading professional progression and our trusted data and insight, we promote and enforce the highest professional standards in the development and management of land, real estate, construction and infrastructure.

Our work with others provides a foundation for confident markets, pioneers better places to live and work and is a force for positive social impact.

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