Wednesday, June 3, 2009

DTCM LAUNCH CARBON EMISSION REDUCTION INITIATIVE FOR HOSPITALITY INDUSTRY; DUBAI GREEN TOURISM AWARD


The Dubai Department of Tourism and Commerce Marketing (DTCM) has announced the official launch of the first-ever initiative to reduce carbon emission (CO2) in the hospitality industry by 20 per cent by the year 2011 and Dubai Green Tourism Award which will be in line with the World Environment Day.



The initiatives are part of the department’s ambitious Sustainable Tourism agenda for the emirate, a sought-after tourism destination in the world.

The award, to be presented in December 2009, is expected to attract 200 hotels from three, four and five stars and deluxe hotel apartments who are eligible to compete for the annual honours.

This was announced at a Press conference held on Wednesday at the InterContinental Hotel Dubai Festival City. It was addressed by Mr. Eyad Ali Abdul Rahman, DTCM Executive Director Media Relations and Business Development, Ms. Shaikha Al Mutawa, DTCM Director Business Development, and Mr. Majid Saqr Al Marri, DTCM Director of Hotels Classification.

Mr. Eyad Ali Abdul Rahman said: “The programmes are part of the department’s efforts to introduce best practices to improve the service standards and excellence in tourism industry. This is a major initiative designed to encourage and acknowledge the significant efforts of the emirate’s tourism industry towards the Sustainable Tourism.”

The department, recognizing the issues associated with global warming, has undertaken as one of its Corporate Social Responsibilities (CSR) the initiative to reduce by 20 per cent carbon emissions within the hospitality sector by 2011.

He said the initiative focuses on conservation of natural resources and sensible use of energy, water and gas etc. as their excessive use causes degradation in the environment by disturbing the eco balance in the atmosphere.

He said this initiative is in line with vision and directives of His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice President and Prime Minister of UAE and Ruler of Dubai, to turn Dubai into a green and environmentally-responsible community. Environment conservation and protection has been emphasized in the Dubai Strategy Plan 2015.

The main objectives of the initiative are to increase awareness about the global warming and CO2 emissions and energy usage in the tourism industry, encourage environmental practices in the hospitality industry, introduce new initiatives that highlight the importance of CSR programmes and develop awareness and educational culture within hospitality sector about the sustainable tourism.

Mr. Majid Saqr Al Marri, DTCM Director of Hotels Classification, gave a presentation about the Dubai Green Tourism Award website and offered comprehensive information about the Dubai Green Tourism Award 2009 submission process. He said applications of the award can be submitted in person at a special counter being created on 10th Floor of DTCM Head Office and also online through the website being created by the department.

Ms. Shaikha Al Mutawa, DTCM Director Business Development, said submission of applications for the award will be accepted until July 7 followed by awareness workshop on Sunday, 21st June 2009. From July 8 to 22, the evaluation process will be conducted with the awards presentation ceremony to be conducted in December 2009.

She said by embracing sustainability initiatives, Dubai hotels can gain a competitive edge that would undoubtedly have a positive impact on like-minded tour operators.

In Dubai, the average hotel produces 6500 tonnes of CO2 emissions per annual and the size of the carbon footprint produced by all hotels in Dubai, is estimated to be over 500 million kilos a year - equivalent to 60,000 round-trip flights between Dubai and London.

A high-level panel of officials and experts will evaluate and assess the submissions for the award in a two-tier selection process which will be of international standard. A judging panel will also visit the participating hotel establishments. The assessment will cover the participating organisation’s environmental strategy and environmental issues that their initiatives and programmes addresses, history of environmental performance of these initiatives and education and awareness.

The award sponsors are EcoVentures, M.Can, InterContinental Hotel Dubai Festival City, and Philips. The Press conference attended by Shezan Amiji, Director and CO-founder, Eco Ventures, Louis Hakim, Vice President, Royal Philips Electronics CEO Philips Middle East, Shadi Hassan, General Manager MCAN and Steven Greenwood, General Manager Inter-continental Hotel.

DTCM appointed Farnek Averial to conduct and implement the DTCM CO2 Reduction programme.

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