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Sustainable tourism in Dubai could save up to Dh436 million a year, says DTCM CEO – News


The emirate has introduced several initiatives to reduce emissions in line with the UAE’s more ambitious target of a 40% reduction by 2030.

Published: Tuesday, September 26, 2023, 5:51 p.m.

Sustainable tourism initiatives implemented by the Dubai government could save the industry up to Dh436 million each year when fully implemented. This was stated by Issam Kazim, CEO of Dubai Corporation for Tourism and Marketing (DTCM), who was speaking at the Climate Future Week that began today in Dubai.

“This journey towards sustainability is deeply rooted in the history and culture of the region, as the environment has always been a top priority for the UAE and Dubai,” he said. “We recognize the need for behavioral change among residents and tourists to ensure the long-term sustainability of the city.”

To reduce emissions, DTCM has implemented several local initiatives across the emirate. The United Arab Emirates recently announced it has set a tougher target to reduce carbon emissions with significant cuts within a decade, with the government seeking to reduce emissions by 40% by 2030.

Sustainable Tourism Seal

One such program has 19 sustainability requirements for the country’s hotels, including guest education, green events, and towel and linen management. “Dubai is the first city in the world to establish mandatory sustainability requirements as part of the hotel rating system,” said Kazim. “These promote the widespread adoption of sustainable practices within the hospitality industry to meet Dubai’s carbon reduction targets.”

Launched in July this year, the Dubai Sustainable Tourism Seal recognizes and rewards hotels that demonstrate outstanding commitment to these sustainability requirements. “The DST seal encourages Dubai hotels to actively engage in environmental practices and initiatives to combat climate change,” he said. “It is our highest recognition to hotel establishments of various classifications, creating a reward mechanism that highlights and celebrates the hotel’s commitment to sustainability.”

Hotels competing for this recognition undergo rigorous evaluations by qualified third-party evaluators and a jury committee, ensuring the credibility and integrity of the recognition process.

Dubai Carbon Calculator

The carbon calculator tracks the carbon emissions of Dubai-based hotels. Integrated with Dubai Electricity and Water Authority (DEWA) and other platforms, this calculator analyzes the carbon footprint of hotels.

“Dubai hotels submit consumption data, which is then processed by the carbon calculator,” he said. “The tool generates a customized dashboard for hotels, allowing them to understand emissions trends and compare their performance to industry averages. With this information, we can implement best practices based on carbon calculator data, thereby which can generate significant cost savings for the hotel industry.”

Additionally, Dubai College of Tourism offers a range of online courses for tourism and hospitality staff to teach them knowledge and skills related to sustainability in the tourism industry.

Dubai can

Dubai Can, a city-wide sustainability movement launched by Dubai Crown Prince Sheikh Hamdan bin Mohammed bin Rashid Maktoum, focuses on eliminating single-use plastic water bottles in various establishments including hotels, businesses and public spaces.

A case study presented by Kazim showed that a Dubai office with 700 employees managed to prevent more than 181,000 bottles from ending up in landfills, reducing 16 tonnes of carbon emissions. Similarly, a Dubai resort with 800 rooms saved Dh36,700 per month on bottled water.


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