STUDENT PAPER. The construction sector is responsible for the largest percentage of the total final energy use and carbon emissions worldwide. In the case of the United Arab Emirates (UAE), buildings account for more than 70% of the total electricity used by all sectors, including residential buildings, for cooling to mitigate the high local external temperatures. The UAE residential market sector is mainly in the form of extensive government-sponsored housing programs, and large privately funded rental developments. The dominant construction method for both government and private housing projects is in the form of a concrete post and beam structural system, with insulated concrete blockwork infill. However, in 2020 research indicates that in adequate construction quality is among several causes which lead buildings to perform differently to what was defined in the design stage, commonly referred to as the ‘energy performance gap’. Thermography has been used by many experts in the UK and Europe when buildings are in construction and in operation to illustrate qualitatively, defects in the construction fabric including unwanted air leakage or discontinuity of insulation, which can result in heat loss. This research project aims to adapt the methodology for thermography tests to measure unwanted air-conditioned air-cooling loss from residential buildings in the UAE. This paper reports on initial field work using thermography in the summer of 2020 in a residential building, Al Ain City. The outcomes of the research project will be recommendations for improvements to workmanship, and ultimately reduced energy use for cooling and associated carbon emissions in the UAE.