The rising cooling demand is a pressing concern for energy planners in the GCC region, contributing to higher natural gas consumption in power generation and reducing the prospects for exports. District cooling is increasingly seen as an alternative to conventional cooling due to its lower energy demand and greenhouse gas emissions. The district cooling capacity has expanded exponentially in the last decade, and regulatory frameworks are emerging across major cities in the Gulf region. The number of state-sponsored and private district cooling providers in the region is increasing, creating a competitive market. District cooling has come a long way in the last two decades, from literally non-existent capacity to one of the largest and most concentrated DC capacities in the world. In the first part of the series, we will explore how DC has evolved in the last two decades, its role in meeting persistent cooling demand without increasing energy production, and its role in GHG reduction. DC providers will share their journey, examine different challenges and barriers, innovative solutions, and milestones achieved specifically on reducing the overall environmental footprint. Regulators will share their perspectives on how regulatory frameworks have evolved.