Emirates Environmental Group (EEG), the UAE’s inaugural environmental NGO, had its origins in a flower shop. In an interview with Khaleej Times, the organization’s co-founder and chairperson, Habiba Hassan Sultan Al Mar’ashi Al Hashimi, revealed that the bustling flower shop in Bur Dubai’s Al Bastakiya district served as her operational hub from 1991 to 1997.
“We were fortunate to receive an office space generously donated by a prominent Abu Dhabi businessperson, and I am immensely thankful to him for his support. Over time, my involvement in volunteering evolved, and I began to derive greater satisfaction from it. Gradually, I became deeply committed to this cause, and I developed a genuine passion for the work,” shared the Emirati leader, who has been driving the organization’s environmental initiatives for more than three decades.
Today, EEG stands as one of the Middle East’s most highly regarded environmental entities. Notably, it holds the distinction of being the world’s first environmental NGO to attain ISO 14001 certification. Furthermore, it is the sole organization in the UAE within its category to hold accredited status under both the United Nations Convention to Combat Desertification (UNCCD) and the United Nations Environmental Programme (UNEP).