Dubai showcases sustainability credentials in groundbreaking report

Dubai showcases sustainability credentials in groundbreaking report

Dubai’s new Sustainability Industry Report not only promotes the city’s sustainability achievements to date, but provides a roadmap for future initiatives

Renowned as one of the world’s most popular business and leisure destinations, Dubai is forging a path as a sustainability pioneer, with a raft of groundbreaking initiatives planned or underway in the city’s tourism and hospitality sectors.

These initiatives are showcased in a new report published by the Dubai Department of Economy and Tourism (DET). The Dubai Sustainability Industry Report highlights the emirate’s bid to set new sustainable hospitality benchmarks through the Dubai Sustainable Tourism (DST) initiative.

Comprehensive sustainability strategy

DST, which launched in 2021, mandates that all hotels in Dubai comply with 19 Sustainability Requirements covering areas including sustainable management, food and water conservation, and corporate social responsibility.

A key component of the initiative is the creation of sustainability committees within hotels, emphasising the importance of collective efforts. The Carbon Calculator, updated in early 2023, tracks the hospitality industry's carbon footprint, enabling hotels to report and analyse emissions from various sources, fostering energy-saving strategies.

Meanwhile, bespoke Hotel Emission Analysis reports help hotels benchmark their performance, further enhancing Dubai's status as a smart city.

DET’s 12 Steps Towards Sustainability Manual, created in partnership with the Green Building Council, provides guidance for more than 800 hotels in areas including energy and water conservation, waste management, and sustainability engagement.

It promotes the adoption of technologies like Building Management Systems (BMS) and control sensors, further aligning with Dubai’s smart city vision.

DST Stamp showcases hotel industry efforts

The Dubai Sustainable Tourism Stamp was introduced in 2023 to recognise hoteliers that have demonstrated their commitment to the DST initiative. More than 70 hotels have been awarded the stamp to date.

Ultimately, these initiatives underscore DET’s dedication to making sustainability a core pillar of Dubai's tourism ecosystem. Dubai’s commitment to sustainable hospitality is reflected in its digital reputation scores, which have consistently ranked among the highest globally. In 2019, 2021, and 2022, Dubai's hotels achieved a score of 8.4, slightly dipping to 7.8 in the first half of 2023, yet maintaining a leading position.

Dubai ranks among the industry’s leading proponents of sustainable hospitality. As the world shifts towards greener practices, Dubai’s sustainable tourism agenda serves as a benchmark for other cities, merging ambitious economic growth with a responsible vision for the future.

The First Group Hotels: Helping spearhead sustainable hospitality

The First Group Hotels, Dubai’s leading lifestyle hospitality operator, is gaining a reputation as a sustainability pioneer with innovative initiatives aimed at reducing waste, enhancing guest experiences, and protecting the environment.

The company, which owns and operates The First Collection lifestyle hotel brand and manages upscale properties including Wyndham Dubai Marina and TRYP by Wyndham Dubai, was among the first operators in Dubai to eliminate plastic bottle usage and implement ambitious water and energy conservation measures.

These initiatives have significantly reduced The First Group Hotels’ environmental footprint and operational costs. Guests have responded positively, with independent reports showing year-on-year declines in energy and water usage across its property portfolio, which also includes the Green Key-certified Citadines Metro Central and Grand Heights Hotel Apartments.

Green initiatives make real-world impact

The First Group’s comprehensive approach includes the installation of energy-saving lighting and appliances, guest information initiatives, and sustainability training for staff, resulting in real-world savings and enhanced guest engagement.

Management at Wyndham Dubai Marina and TRYP by Wyndham Dubai respectively have introduced in-house Green Teams to spearhead the implementation of sustainability initiatives in their hotels.

Meanwhile, The First Group Hotels’ Recycling First waste management programme has significantly reduced daily waste across the group portfolio while generating significant cost savings.

Other innovative initiatives include using Gilchrist & Soames’ eco-friendly Zero% range of guestroom amenities, which has eliminated more than 400,000 plastic containers annually, and replacing plastic guestroom keycards with recycled timber cards, which are cheaper and more sustainable.

Looking ahead, The First Group plans to intensify its sustainability efforts by implementing new benchmarking programmes throughout 2024 and beyond.

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