Dubai hotels told to cut carbon footprint by 20 per cent


Dubai's Department of Tourism and Commerce Marketing (DTCM) along with facilities management company Farnek Avireal, has urged hotels in Dubai to cut down on their carbon footprint by 20 per cent under a voluntary environmental scheme.
The duo unveiled the DTCM environmental awareness programme at the Hotel Show’s Seven Star Conference held last month in Dubai.
The programme aims to make Dubai’s hospitality industry more aware of the need to protect the environment and conserve precious natural resources, said a DTCM official.
Sheikha Ebrahim Al Mutawa, deputy director business development, DTCM said, “We want to create a partnership with Dubai’s hotels, their engineers and energy providers. It is not compulsory to join, but reduced carbon emissions mean lower energy costs, so there is clearly a financial incentive as well as an environmental one.”
In addition, all participating hotels will receive a certificate from the DTCM to acknowledge that they care for the environment.  The announcement came at a time when many hotels are beginning to experience the new tariff or slab structure introduced on March 1 by Dubai Electricity and Water Authority (Dewa).
Farnek Avireal states that a typical five star city hotel has a total energy bill of up to Dh7 million ($1.9 million) a year. That would increase by an additional Dh4.5 million ($1.22 million). For a five star beach hotel with energy costs of around Dh15 million ($4.1 million), it will cost an additional Dh10 million ($2.7 million).
Dubai hotels still lag behind their counterparts in Europe, where the average hotel produces 3,000 tonnes of CO2 emissions per annum. In Dubai that figure is 6,500 tonnes.
Regarding water consumption, European hotels use an average of 350 litres per guest per annum, while Dubai hotels consume 850 litres per guest.
According to Farnek Avireal, the size of the carbon footprint produced by all 300 hotels in Dubai is around 500 million kilos a year. “That is equivalent to 60,000 round trip flights between Dubai and London,” stated Markus Oberlin, general manager of Avireal Middle East. Hotels will be graded, based on their size, facilities and occupancy levels so that comparisons can be made.