As Qatar marches towards increased sustainable development, another new venue has opened that will make much of the world’s civic leaders green (building) with envy.

The Qatar National Convention Centre (QNCC) opened today in Doha just in time for the carbon-neutral 20th World Petroleum Congress, which opened today. Among the features for which its builders will seek LEED Gold Certification is the installation of a 3500 square meter (37,700 square feet) solar array that will net 12.5 percent of its energy needs.

The three story building also promises a bevy of high tech solutions that will make it a compelling site for large international business and scientific conferences.

For those that doubt Qatar can pull off its hosting of the 2022 World Cup and other high profile international events, the QNCC’s debut this week should help quiet those skeptics. Qatar has a ways to go before it can prove it is a leader in sustainable development, but its investment in solar and other technologies all provide a strong start. This little emirate that for now is in the shadow of the UAE will soon outshine its neighbors in the Middle East, as it has already on the diplomatic front.

Photo courtesy of the 20th World Petroleum Congress.

About The Author

Leon Kaye

Leon Kaye is the founder and editor of Based in California, he specializes in social media consulting and strategic communications. A journalist and writer since 2009, his work has appeared on Triple Pundit , The Guardian's Sustainable Business site and has appeared on Inhabitat and Earth911. His focus is making the business case for sustainability and corporate social responsibility. Areas of interest include the <a Middle East, sustainable development in The Balkans, Brazil and Korea. He was a new media journalism fellow at the International Reporting Project, for which he covered child survival in India during February 2013. Contact him at You can also reach out via Twitter (Leon Kaye) and Instagram (GreenGoPost). Since 2013, he has spent much of his time in Abu Dhabi, UAE, working with Masdar, the emirate's renewable energy company. He lives in Fresno, California.