Dubai’s green ambitions for tourism
Dubai Tourism is widening the scope of its Hospitality Sustainability Board Game to include more private sector partners as it continues its quest to position Dubai as the world’s leading sustainable tourism destination
Dubai’s Department of Tourism and Commerce Marketing (Dubai Tourism) is broadening the scope of its innovative Hospitality Sustainability Board Game to include more private sector entities from the hospitality, travel, environment, real estate and property sectors, to name a few.
The move comes as the government tourism agency looks to take its Dubai Sustainable Tourism (DST) initiative to the next level.
Launched last year, the Board Game is a unique educational tool designed to help Dubai’s hotel sector adopt more eco-friendly practices and efficiently manage existing resources.
The game is a key component of DST, which aims to position Dubai as the world’s leading sustainable tourism destination.
More than 300 industry professionals from 75 hotels have played the Board Game so far during events and roadshows organised by Dubai Tourism.
However, with the aim of encouraging other companies to contribute towards the success of DST, Dubai Tourism recently organised another Board Game session in collaboration with the Ministry of Climate Change and Environment (MOCCAE) at Sofitel Dubai The Palm Resort & Spa.
The event was attended by senior officials of the Tourism Development and Investments department at Dubai Tourism, as well as key representatives of the aforementioned sectors.
“We are delighted at the response we have received for the Hospitality Sustainability Board Game,” says Ahmad Khalifa Al Falasi, CEO, Corporate Services and Investment, Dubai Tourism.
“At this stage of our sustainability drive, we wish to highlight two significant developments – the involvement of the Ministry of Climate Change and Environment and the participation of companies outside the hospitality sector in the latest Board Game activity.
“The support extended by the Ministry of Climate Change and Environment and the enthusiasm shown by the new companies from the private sector is a clear demonstration of the fact that any initiative aimed at reducing energy and water consumption levels is not limited to improving the conservation methods in one industry, but it is an obligation for all of us, in both government and private sectors to work together in achieving a cleaner, greener environment for Dubai.”
In his presentation at the event, Mr. Al Rifai, senior project manager, Tourism Development and Investments at Dubai Tourism, gave an overview of DST, the mechanics of playing the Board Game and also highlighted the ways in which the private sector could play an even more active role in supporting DST.
The workshop was attended by hotel industry professionals including those who had participated in the previous two Board Game activities, to help the new players obtain a better understanding of how their establishments could benefit from sustainable practices.
“The UAE aims to transform its national economy into a low-carbon green economy based on its development of knowledge and innovation,” explains Hussain Hassan Mohamed Khansaheb, director, International Cooperation Department, Ministry of Climate Change and Environment.
“Carbon capture and storage technology adopted by the UAE is considered one of the most promising and important technologies in the field of carbon emission mitigation in industrial projects.
“MOCCAE encourages innovative and technological initiatives in the environment and climate change sector that are in line with the global direction, urging private companies to adopt corporate social responsibility programmes that aim at reducing carbon emissions,” he added.
The Board Game was developed jointly with Emirates Wildlife Society-WWF, one of four key partners of DST.
The other three leading sustainability entities that are supporting DST are Etihad ESCO, Dubai Carbon and Emirates Environmental Group.
The Board Game was designed to raise awareness of sustainability in a fun and interactive way, allowing participating teams to measure and reduce the levels of electricity and water consumption in their establishments and in the process, reduce costs.
TFG Asset Management, a division of The First Group, has played a key role in educating Dubai’s hotel community about green practices in recent years.
In 2015, the asset management firm published ‘The Hoteliers’Guide to Going Green in the UAE’ research paper, which provided hotel owners and operators with practical advice on sustainable initiatives.
The guide, which was distributed with leading industry magazine Hotelier Middle East, gave practical hints and tips on green strategies hoteliers should consider.
This was based on months of in-depth research, which saw TFG Asset Management consult with a number of industry experts.
“The TFG Asset Management team called on some of the region’s leading authorities in sustainable hospitality practices to outline the latest initiatives being rolled out across the UAE,” explains Head of TFG Asset Management, Mariano Faz.
“Today, incorporating green practices as part of the hotel operation is considered a must and we found large hotel management companies were taking the initiative to devise effective green strategies that protect the environment, improve bottom-line yields and align with the UAE government’s ‘green’ vision.”