Exploratory Roundtable Discussion on Infrastructure Resilience in the Real Estate Sector

United Arab Emirates
ARISE Meeting
United Nations Office for Disaster Risk Reduction - Regional Office for Arab States

Emaar Hills - Sales Office 


Event language(s)


The real estate sector is defined in broad terms as “land and anything permanently affixed to the land” and it is composed of various subsectors (residential, commercial, industrial, land, and special purpose). It is important to understand how real estate assets and their associated systems are exposed to hazards. The increasing number, intensity, and impacts of natural, man-made, climatic, and biological hazards have had significant adverse effects on the social, economic, and environmental functionality of communities and the real estate sector has not been exempted from the negative impact caused by these hazards.

The Real Estate sector stakeholders (developers, investors, regulators, engineers, architects, building owners, and so on) do recognize the risks to their buildings and occupants and have begun to mitigate and respond to these risks. However, risk has always been evolving with rapid development processes, digital transformation, and increased connectedness of societies, coupled with new and emerging risks such as global pandemics, cyber risks, intensifying climate risks among others.

The real estate sector is one of the critical infrastructure sectors that have a significant influence on the resilience of other sectors and vice versa. Hence it is of paramount importance to unpack resilience in the real estate sector; identify drivers of resilient infrastructure development; develop solutions and guidance for the assessment of resilience (structural and non-structural); and foster learning and application of resilience approaches in the real estate sector.

The UNDRR and the Private Sector Alliance - ARISE, have been working with other private sector partners in developing a Disaster Resilience Scorecard for Industrial and Commercial Buildings that enables the establishment of a baseline for the resilience of buildings and campuses to natural hazards or man-made disasters. The scorecard assessments allow improvements to be identified and prioritized. It also allows progress to be tracked as improvements are made, as the effects of climate change become apparent, as the urban environment changes, or as the ownership and/or operation of the building changes. There are several approaches, methodologies, and tools available in assessing the risk and resilience of the built environment, which need to be further explored for its application and usefulness in specific contexts.

Discussion Objectives and Outcomes:

With the above background and in order to initiate a dialogue with key stakeholders in the real estate sector such as the developers, investors, regulators, engineers, architects, owners, and so on, the UAE ARISE Network in cooperation with the United Nations Office for Disaster Risk Reduction, Regional Office for the Arab States (UNDRR ROAS) is organizing an exploratory roundtable dialogue with the key real estate stakeholders. 

The main aim of the Roundtable is to explore the challenges and solutions in bringing disaster resilience to real estate infrastructures and their associated systems. One of the focus areas of discussion will be on exploring tools and techniques in assessing infrastructure resilience in the real estate sector.

Some of the key questions that will guide the discussion are:

  1. Understanding Resilience in the Real Estate:
  • What resilience means in the Real Estate sector?
  • What are the crosscutting infrastructures that impact Real Estate Resilience?
  • How the Real Estate Sector Resilience depends on other sectors?  

  1. How to Work towards Achieving the Real Estate Resilience:
  • Are building codes adequate enough to address issues of resilience? 
  • How tools such as building resilience scorecards can be applied in the Real Estate sector?  
  • What is required to develop a resilience assessment methodology? For example, Certifications, rating systems, etc.

In order to do so, the event will outline what needs to be done to ensure:

  • The real estate sector is disaster resilient.
  • Raise awareness about the role of the Coalition for Resilience Infrastructure (CDRI) in building resilience into infrastructure systems, more precisely in the real estate sector.
  • Nexus between regulators, investors, and real estate operators in promoting mechanism to manage real estate development in a manner that fosters resilience.
  • Raise awareness for the need for resilience rating systems within the real estate sector.
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