The UAE started its first step towards hosting the headquarters of the International Renewable Energy Agency (IRENA) on 26 January 2009, at IRENA's Foundation meeting during which HH Sheikh Abdullah Bin Zayed Al Nahyan, the UAE Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation, announced the willingness of the UAE to bid to host the permanent headquarters of IRENA.
Since then, The UAE has exerted all possible efforts to win the bid. Therefore, the IRENA hosting campaign team was formed, presided by Sheikh Abdullah, the Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation, with a group of ministers and a working team comprising a number of state and private institutions and the UAE embassies abroad. However, other competing countries were also willing to host the agency headquarters like Germany, Sweden, and Austria, albeit the UAE campaign team intensified its bid efforts.
The UAE sought to build unprecedented support of the member states in the agency through preparing a detailed file on the UAE proposal to host IRENA headquarters and paying visits to more than 70 countries to highlight the potentials of UAE to win the bid. Moreover, a high–level UAE delegation, comprising ministers, ambassadors and officials of several entities, participated in the IRENA preparatory meeting held in Sharm El Sheikh on 29 June 2009. It was expected that the winning hosting country would be announced during the meeting. After the UAE submitted its bid to host the headquarters of IRENA, which met the support of many IRENA member states, the Chairman of the meeting announced the UAE winning of the bid to host IRENA headquarters. This remarkable achievement reflects the positive outcome of the comprehensive and well-organized collective work of various state and private entities in the UAE.