Dubai cheers for sustainable tourism

DTCM has announced 19 sustainability requirements in line with the Dubai Sustainable Tourism (DST) initiative for the hospitality sector.

Shehara Rizly

To enable positive change within the hospitality industry through sustainable requirements, Dubai’s hotel establishments shall comply with the Dubai Tourism hotel classification system, with the long-term objective of advancing sustainability performance across the sector. The 19 sustainability requirements have been developed to map out regulations for hotel establishments. Through improvements to internal operations, hotel establishments will in turn advance the overall sustainability performance of the sector, further enhancing the competitiveness of Dubai’s tourism linked economy.

Yousuf Lootah, Executive Director – Tourism Development & Investments, Dubai Tourism, said, “The regulated guidelines will help promote energy conservation and efficiency, as well as encourage environmentally sustainable practices across the local tourism inventory. Dubai Tourism has already hosted a number of sessions to train the industry on the newly launched sustainability requirements, supporting hotel establishments in improving their internal operations and giving them the opportunity to grow as green leaders within the community. Following the grace period, these guidelines will be enforced through a structured monitoring process and reporting mechanism to ascertain the outcome of the existing efforts and to quantify what more is required to reach the agreed targets.”

The requirements cover a variety of areas including sustainable management approaches, performance metrics, energy, food and water management plans, guest education, employee training initiatives, the presence of sustainability committees within hotel establishments and corporate social responsibility programmes for local communities. To regulate compliance, Dubai Tourism will begin auditing the performance of the hotels after an 18-month progressive implementation period, which will allow hotels to finalise their operations, with the exception of the Carbon Calculator Tool, which came into effect as mandatory from January 2017.

The DST team conducted a series of training sessions to increase awareness of the implementation of the sustainability requirements, successfully training 45 per cent of the industry to date, with further sessions planned throughout Q2.

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