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July 6, 2009

Dubai pushes for greener hotels

Hotels to sign up to carbon scheme or face fines


Dubai’s Department of Tourism and Commerce Marketing (DTCM) is pushing ahead with an ambitious plan to cut carbon emissions in the hospitality industry by 20 percent by the year 2011.

According to a report produced by the DTCM, the average hotel in Dubai produces 6,500 tonnes of CO2 emissions per year, compared to 3,000 tonnes produced by an average European hotel. Dubai hotels use an average of 850 litres of water for each guest every year, while European hotels use just 350 litres. And an average five-star hotel in Dubai has a total energy bill of up to US$1.9 million a year.

Any hotels failing to register for the carbon-cutting scheme will face fines.

“This is a major initiative designed to encourage and acknowledge the significant efforts of the emirate's tourism industry towards sustainable tourism,” said Eyad Ali Abdul Rahman, executive director, media relations and business development, DTCM.

DTCM has appointed energy management company Avireal Middle East to monitor each hotel’s CO2 output. “DTCM’s role would be to manage and supervise the improvements of the hotels and the efforts to achieve the strategic goal of a 20 percent reduction by 2011,” said Shaikha Ebrahim Al Mutawa, director of business development at DTCM, who is overseeing the project.


Al Mutawa added the she was confident that DTCM would achieve its target reduction: “Research has shown that in existing Dubai hotels there is an energy saving potential of up to 30 percent. Considering this, we are confident that with the support of all stakeholders we can reach our goal.”


DTCM has also launched the Dubai Green Tourism Awards in line with World Environment Day, in an effort to encourage Dubai hotels to cut down on energy and water usage. The award, to be presented in December 2009, is expected to attract 200 three-, four- and five-star hotels and hotel apartments. A high-level panel of experts will evaluate the submissions in terms of their environmental strategy.



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