As part of the Dubai Green Tourism Awards, the Department of Tourism and Commerce Marketing (Dubai Tourism) recently recognised 10 hotels and tourism businesses in the emirate for their environmental and sustainable practices. Launched in 2009, the biennial awards are held to recognise those companies within the tourism sector that have demonstrated good practices when it comes to reducing the company’s carbon footprint, in efforts to promote sustainability of the tourism industry.
The main objectives of the awards are threefold: to develop guidelines that enable the tourism industry to become more sustainable; create a network on sustainability and enable sharing of best practices; and to recognise sustainability efforts and achievements within the industry.
Yousef Lootah, Executive Director, Tourism Development & Investments and Chairman of Dubai Green Tourism Award Programme said:
“In line with His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum UAE Vice President, Prime Minister and Ruler of Dubai vision for Dubai as a sustainable city, the Dubai Green Tourism Awards sets the foundation for Dubai’s tourism industry to work cooperatively to achieve better sustainability practices. The awards are also an endeavor to recognize the hard work by stakeholders who have invested in sustainable practices and to encourage and guide other tourism businesses to follow suit and shape a more sustainable tourism sector. We are delighted to have awarded 10 businesses and we will continue to work with the industry to protect and maintain our emirate so that generations of the future can enjoy all that Dubai has to offer.”
The 2015 awards saw over 81 applications – a 30 per cent increase in participation since the launch in 2009 of the Awards. Each nomination is evaluated and assessed by Dubai Tourism, Dubai Electricity and Water Authority (DEWA), and Dubai Municipality, whereby they are graded on four main criteria: environmental strategies; performance and results; education/training & awareness; and awards & recognition.
“The Dubai Green Tourism Award in its current session, shows clear support from the Dubai government to move towards sustainability by encouraging and honouring green initiatives and applications for sustainable processes in the provision of energy and water consumption, as well as reducing carbon emissions, that carry directly into creating the perfect environment for all who might use the hotels. In doing so Dubai guarantees that it will be a source of happinessthat provides services according to the highest international standards both promoting sustainable green tourism and without causing further harm to the environment,” comments Engineer Abdullah Rafee, Assistant Director- Engineering and Planning Department, Dubai Municipality.
“We participate in the Dubai Green Tourism Awards as we see its importance and active role in supporting Emirati efforts to promote sustainability across all sectors of the UAE including the tourism and hospitality sector, which has recorded year-on-year growth,” said Khawla Al Mehairi, the DEWA Vice President of Marketing & Corporate Communications. “Over the past years, the award has supported DEWA’s efforts to strengthen the foundations of environmental sustainability, rationalise electricity and water use to save natural resources and limit Dubai’s carbon footprint.”
The Awards are part of the emirate’s wider ambitions as laid out in the Dubai Government’s Green Growth Strategy to manage the overall resources within all industries in Dubai. The programme looks at addressing the root causes of the emirate’s environmental impact, with just some of the areas of focus being: solar energy; fuel efficiency within transportation; lndfill
gas capture for power production; and cooling systems.
And the 2015 winners are…
Albustan Rotana- 5 star category: All staff at the hotel encourage environmental practices and try to increase the efficiency of their green activities. They have formed an environmental department to ensure consistency, provision of resources and allocation of the required budgets. Internal Standards / SOPs were developed based on local / international standards and over 20 key performance indicators (KPIs) were selected and targets were set for each KPI. This has resulted in the successful completion of around 35 environmental projects and initiatives within the first year.
Novotel Deira City Center- 4 star category: They have a very strong commitment to the preservation of the environment, as part of the Accor’s group, they have been highly competitive in demonstrating effective, environmentally sensitive operations and management, educating guests and employees about sustainable tourism practices, supporting cultural and natural heritage preservation, and collaborating with other private and public stakeholders to promote best practices in sustainable green tourism.
Suite Novotel- 3 star category: Part of Accor and Majed Alfuttaim hospitality group, the hotel has taken several steps in order to have a positive impact on the environment, being a part of Accor’s group, the hotel has to live by the green mandate that the group has set for itself. Management throughout the hotel are encouraged to educate employees in using sustainable practices in various departments of the hotel. At the same time the hotel manages several collaborations between public and private stakeholders in order to promote the best practices in sustainable green tourism.
Ibis Deira City Center- 2 star category: Part of Accor and Majed Alfuttaim hospitality group, the hotel has taken several steps in order to have a positive impact on the environment, being a part of Accor’s group, the hotel has to live by the green mandate that the group has set for itself. Management throughout the hotel are encouraged to educate employees in using sustainable practices in various departments of the hotel. At the same time the hotel manages several collaborations between public and private stakeholders in order to promote the best practices in sustainable green tourism.
Savoy Crest Hotel Apartment – Deluxe apartments: The hotel has showed special dedication to reducing their carbon footprint which has resulted in an operational cost saving of an average Dhs 376,113 every year. With the green initiatives adopted and substantial savings made, they were able to plough the savings back into operations to make bigger green investments. The saving targets achieved gave more financial courage to the owners to make further green investments in the property.
Villa Rotana- Standard apartments: This hotel apartment establishment has showed determination in turning their hotel into one of the sustainable hotels within Dubai. The hotel’s team have taken every detail into consideration; they have changed all the bulbs into LED, installed sub meters for the kitchens and pools to monitor the water consumption within the hotel, and they purchased new buses that are more eco-friendly. In addition, the hotel regularly participates in several CSR activities within the country including World Water Day with DEWA, Earth Day Celebrations with EEG, and blood donation campaigns.
Platinum heritage – Desert Camp: Platinum Heritage has four principles for sustainable tourism: minimizing tourism’s impact on the environment; respecting the local culture; providing local employment and source of income; and providing a memorable experience for visitors. This desert camp has adopted several environmental friendly strategies for example they use natural building materials for their camps, such as goat hair, ghaf wood, and stones. They also use solar hot water and fans for cooling, in order to have a positive impact on the environment. A part from their initiatives, they also organise voluntary clean up days in the desert, and they host school field trips to educate the children about the environment and how they can have a positive impact. In addition, Platinum Heritage excels in employing local staff in order to create a local industry.
Special Recognitions Categories:
Rose Rayhaan – 4 Stars – Most improved hotel in sustainability practices: The hotel has a good record of reducing their energy consumption, water consumption, and electricity consumption. In order to achieve this, the hotel engages all staff, visitors, colleagues, and guests in promoting sustainability by educating them and using promotional materials within the hotel. The hotel management also proactively monitors and reviews the performance of the hotel in order to achieve continuous sustainable improvements.
Regal Plaza – 3 Stars – Best Innovative Ideas: Regal Plaza has taken new approaches in order to become more environmentally friendly including the fact that the hotel manager cancelled the hotel car and now uses the metro and encourages employees to do the same, in order to reduce the fuel emissions. The hotel encourages its guests to use the public transportation and metro in order to reduce the carbon footprint. The hotel has also identified ways to reduce water consumption by 35%, and have developed a way to reduce the water leakages effectively. Finally, the management showed commitment and willingness to drive environmental friendly initiatives across their group and community.
Holiday Inn Al Barsha – 4 Stars – Best Waste Management Practices: The hotel has introduced an effective waste management practice where they effectively convert 250KG of food waste into fertilizers which reduced waste by 85%, they package the fertilizer and sell it for domestic use. The revenues from the fertilizers sale go to the United Nations, World Food Programme, where the contributions go to children in poor countries. Recently Holiday Inn Al Barsha was recognized by the World Food Program as official partners.
5 star category: • Park Hyatt • Jebel Ali Golf Resort & Spa
4 star category: • Qamardeen • Novotel Diera City
3 star category: • Regal Plaza • Ibis Al Barsha
2 star category: • Holiday Inn Express Airport
Deluxe apartments: • Savoy Crest Hotel Apartment • Savoy Suites
Standard apartments: • Savoy Park Hotel Apartments