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Aref Abouzahr

Aref Abouzahr

Chief Executive Officer, Ark Energy

Energy, Water, and Utilities expert with 24 years of North American and GCC experience in management and project development consulting, and strategic program design and PMO implementation in the energy transition industry, and conventional and renewable energy, Demand Side Management and Energy Efficiency sectors.

During his career, Aref assumed key executive management and senior advisory roles within the public and private sectors:

  • General Electric (Power and Water)
  • EY (Advisory – Utilities and Infrastructure practice)
  • Kearney (Power and Utilities practice)
  • ITT (Water and Wastewater)
  • General Secretariat of the Executive Council of Abu Dhabi
  • Dubai Supreme Council of Energy (TAQATI)
  • and currently as Founder and Chief Executive Officer of Ark Energy (Energy Transition and Cleantech Advisory)

In 2015, Aref founded TAQATI, a dedicated Program Management Office, mandated by Dubai Supreme Council of Energy to successfully implement Dubai’s Demand Side Management Strategy (DSM2030) and attain its ambitious electricity and water reduction targets. During his time as Managing Director of TAQATI, he rolled out the DSM strategy across 61 government entities, and managed the program for 4 years, saving Dubai over AED 5.2 billion as one of the most recognized Energy Transition PMOs in the region.

In 2018, Aref founded Ark Energy (, a leading Energy Transition and Cleantech Advisory headquartered in Dubai, UAE. At Ark Energy, Aref is focused on deploying his unique and hands-on knowledge with his team of highly professional energy managers and management consultants to accelerate the transition of public and private sector clients to decarbonized, digitalized and efficient energy systems through the development, funding and execution of energy transition projects in GCC and Africa, including building energy retrofit, and distributed solar projects. He has successfully grown Ark Energy practice to 12 full-time consultants and ecosystem of experts that are spread around the region, as he positions Ark Energy to be a leading Energy Transition and Cleantech Advisory in the region, headquartered in UAE (Dubai). He has acquired and rolled a state-of-the-art digital energy management information system platform arkEMIS ( to harness big data, deploy AI-enabled analytics and automated reporting with cutting edge technology, which is first of its kind in GCC. Ark Energy has so far helped save over 110 mAED per annum to its clients, and have offices in Dubai, Beirut, Cairo and Riyadh, and are supporting high-profile regional and international companies incl. Dubai Supreme Council of Energy, UNIDO, EMICOOL and others.

Aref is a keynote speaker and active panelist in many international and regional events such as WETEX, WFES, Retrofit-Tech, Smart Lighting Solutions, District Cooling Summit, Green Hotel Summit, Dubai Industrial Strategy Summit, and many others.

Aref holds an MBA from University of Texas, USA; Post-MBA from McGill, Canada; and Bachelor of Mechanical Engineering from the American University of Beirut. He is PMP, CEM, CMVP and PCFC accredited, and has been residing in Dubai since 2009.