ARLINGTON, Va. — The Air-Conditioning, Heating and Refrigeration Institute (AHRI) has opened an office in Dubai, United Arab Emirates, to further the interests of its members and certification program participants by enhancing relationships with manufacturers and governmental and nongovernmental organizations in the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) region.

“Our Dubai office further expands AHRI’s global reach and provides us with a unique opportunity to develop and nurture relationships with manufacturers, regulators, and other stakeholders in the region,” said Stephen Yurek, president and CEO, AHRI.

Headed by François Boueri, a strategic management expert with extensive experience in HVACR and energy efficiency, this office will be staffed with professionals familiar with important local and regional issues, and who speak the language of this very important region to our industry.

“I look forward to engaging our stakeholders as we work to ensure the applicability of AHRI technical solutions, standards, and certification to regional needs and regulations,” said Boueri. “Given the respect for AHRI’s offerings by engineers, specifiers, building owners, and many others across the globe, this is an opportune time for our industry to come together to deploy time-tested solutions to the region’s challenges.”

A founding partner of Sustainable Environmental Engineering Solutions and a former president and director of Daikin McQuay Middle East, Boueri will serve as vice president of AHRI’s Dubai office.

Khalil Issa, a founding partner and former managing director of ECOFAST Construction, previous managing director of ADC Energy Systems, and CEO of Energy Central Company, will be the office’s managing director.

“Initiatives underway by most countries in the region signal a clear commitment to improving the environment and increasing energy efficiency,” said Issa. “The AHRI MENA team looks forward to shaping the best paths forward for implementing minimum energy performance standards that are critical in the current regulatory environment.”

The establishment of the AHRI Dubai office follows the successful introduction of operations in China, which began in 2012, and in Canada, which were put in place in 2018, and is in keeping with the association’s focus on establishing AHRI as the source of globally relevant standards, certification programs, and technical information in key markets.

The new office will help the industry address increasing regulatory requirements and demand for AHRI standards and certification programs in Bahrain, Kuwait, Oman, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates, Egypt, and other Levant and North African countries. It will also allow AHRI to better monitor activities and identify opportunities to serve adjacent markets in SubSaharan Africa and South Asia.

The Dubai office opening is a notable accomplishment for AHRI as it works to ensure global adaptation and use of its standards and certification programs — sought by both industry and governments — to prevent costly duplicative testing and certification requirements for its 330- plus member companies. For more information, visit