104 hotel establishments applied for the second edition of the award programme Judges panel include experts from Dubai Municipality, DEWA, WWF and EEG
The Dubai Department of Tourism and Commerce Marketing’s (DTCM) pioneering initiative to encourage hospitality sector adopt environment-friendly practices has proved to be a resounding success with 104 hotels and hotel apartments applying for the second edition of Dubai Green Tourism Award.
An eight-member judging panel of experts from the UAE Prime Minister’s Office, DTCM, Dubai Municipality, Dubai Electricity and Water Authority (DEWA), World Wildlife Fund (WWF), Emirates Environment Group (EEG) and the UAE University, has shortlisted 23 hotel establishments for the award programme. From the shortlisted properties, the judges will further evaluate the submissions in various criteria to pick up the winners.
Mr. Eyad Ali Abdul Rahman, DTCM Executive Director Business Development and Media Relations and General Supervisor of the Dubai Green Tourism Award, said the significant increase in the number of applications reflects the keen interest of the key tourism industry players in sustainable tourism and their commitment towards maintaining international standards. The annual recognition programme was expected to see participation of more hotel establishments in the coming years considering the response from the hospitality sector the second edition of the programme and the adoption of environment-friendly practices by hotels and hotel establishments, he added.
Ms. Shaikha Al Mutawa, DTCM Director of Business Development and Chairman of the Organising Committee for the Dubai Green Tourism Award, said the selection process has been made multi-tiered in order to recognise the best practices and make the programme one of the best in the world. She said the competition has proved to be tough, especially in the five and four star hotel categories, going by the submissions received for award scheme since its inception.
Mr. Majid Al Marri, DTCM Director of Hotel Licensing and Vice Chairman of Organising Committee for Dubai Green Tourism Award, said the submission process has been made electronically in order to ensure highest levels of transparency, professionalism and accuracy. This, he said, was also in line with the international best practices in terms of recognising the best contribution of the hospitality industry towards the environment protection.
The judges panel is comprised of Mr. Majid Al Marri, Director of Hotel classification, Mr. Satish Bhaskaran, DTCM Executive Director, Administration Division, Dr. Waleed Hamza, Professor at the Biology Department, Faculty of Science, UAE-University, Dr. Radhiya Al Hashimi, Advisor-Environment & Infrastructure-Policy & Strategy, UAE Prime Minister’s Office, Mr. Hamdan Al Shaer, Director Of Environment at Dubai Municipality, Amal Koshak, Senior Manager, Demand & Tariff Management at DEWA, Ms. Ida Tillisch, Acting Director General WWF and Ms. Habiba Al Marashi, Chairperson of EEG.
Launched in 2009, Dubai Green Tourism Award is aimed to reduce hotel carbon emissions by 20 per cent. The award submissions were extended to include two-star hotels and standard hotel apartments this year. Hotels and hotel apartments are assessed for a wide range of environmental, economic and social issues, including energy saving, nature conservation and community involvement.
For the 2011 awards programme, assessors from Dubai Municipality and Dubai Electricity and Water Authority (DEWA) were brought on board for the site visits to the shortlisted properties in the emirate to personally examine various features of these properties’ in terms of reducing the CO2 emissions through various initiatives.
As against the target of 70 hotel establishments in the top-end of the star rating system, the programme in the launch year attracted 79 establishments. The programme helped reduce the consumption of electricity by 10 per cent in these establishments as against the targeted 7 percent. As for water consumption, the programme’s target was 12 per cent but the hotels managed to reach 17 per cent, which is fairly good results.