EWS-WWF partners with Dubai Tourism to kick start the Dubai Sustainable Tourism Initiative | WWF

EWS-WWF partners with Dubai Tourism to kick start the Dubai Sustainable Tourism Initiative

Posted on
27 September 2016

*original announcement made by Dubai Tourism*

Dubai, UAE 25 September 2016: Dubai’s Department of Tourism and Commerce Marketing (Dubai Tourism) today announced it was partnering with four locally-based environmental entities to kick-start its Dubai Sustainable Tourism Initiative (DSTI) aimed at positioning Dubai as one of the world’s leading sustainable tourism destinations.

As part of the environmental initiative, Dubai Tourism signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) separately with Etihad ESCO, Dubai Carbon, Emirates Environmental Group and Emirates Wildlife Society - WWF to strengthen collaboration and jointly support more sustainable industry practices that provide benefits to the hospitality industry and community.

The MOUs signed with the four environmental bodies will pave the way for the successful implementation of the DSTI roadmap.  The MoUs allow each partner entity to impart their specialised skills, expertise and technical know-how into the tourism and hospitality sector. As part of the DSTI roadmap mandate, various training workshops will be run for the benefit of hotels to enhance the sustainability management methods by sharing best practices with all stakeholders in the tourism industry.

DSTI, which evolved from the Dubai Green Tourism Awards launched in 2008, is a regional trendsetter in environmental conservation practices with its free 12-steps guideline offered to stakeholders in the hospitality sector designed to significantly lower carbon emissions. 

Commenting on the partnership with the environmental entities, Ahmed Khalifa Al Falasi, CEO, Corporate Services and Investments, Dubai Tourism, said: “The signing of MoUs with major players in the field of environmental conservation represents a crucial step in our Dubai Sustainable Tourism Initiative, which is inspired by the vision of His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum UAE Vice President, Prime Minister and Ruler of Dubai to transform the emirate into a sustainable city. Dubai Tourism is proud to have pioneered this local initiative to encourage our stakeholders in the hospitality sector to contribute towards environmental sustainability, and ultimately a flourishing green economy that will help ensure a healthy emirate for future generations.

“As the Dubai Sustainable Tourism Initiative is a cornerstone of tourism development in the emirate, we would like to express our appreciation for the wholehearted support extended by these four partners as it touches the heart of our sustainability strategy, which revolves around the key pillars of innovation and collaboration.  We are confident that other environmental groups will join the Dubai Sustainable Tourism Initiative, and together we aim to prove that we can help make a difference.”

DSTI provides a platform to share best practices in environmental sustainability with the hospitality industry and the community. Among the main objectives of DSTI are to promote energy conservation, create energy efficiency services, and increase the adoption of environmental sustainable practices among the hospitality sector. 

Top officials of the four entities have hailed the partnership with Dubai Tourism to promote the Dubai Sustainable Tourism Initiative.

Mr. Waleed Salman, Chairman of Dubai Carbon, said: “We have to ensure that green practices are being adhered to by all stakeholders. We at the centre, believe that our partnership with Dubai Tourism will bring significant improvements in the consumption patterns and help organisations to take positive actions to go green. In line with the DSTI, Dubai Carbon’s green assessment tool will allow government entities and businesses to track their operational efficiency especially in the tourism and hospitality sector, thus safeguarding that Dubai’s tourism sector remains not just green, but more importantly, it will remain sustainable.”

Mr. Ali Al Jassim, CEO, Etihad ESCO, said: "Dubai Sustainable Tourism Initiative is a major step forward to make Dubai greener. Etihad ESCO has developed a vast expertise helping its clients save energy in their buildings; through signing this Memorandum of Understanding with Dubai Tourism, we are pleased and excited to be able to contribute to the initiative by helping Dubai hotels save electricity and water to make them more sustainable and efficient."

Ms. Habiba Al Marashi, Chairperson, Emirates Environmental Group, said: “We are delighted with this collaboration with the Department of Tourism and Commerce Marketing on Dubai’s Sustainable Tourism Initiative to help strengthen the sustainability agenda in the tourism sector within Dubai. In a country like UAE, where tourism is a big industry, Dubai Tourism has placed strong emphasis on environmental conservation and sustainable development within the tourism sector. Its continuous effort towards raising awareness of the importance of sustainable practices aligns with the core values of EEG. We are confident that our partnership will have a positive impact on the UAE and the tourist community. We will work proactively towards promoting sustainable consumption of resources and protection of the environment by creating best practices amongst the hospitality industry.”

Ms. Laila Abdullatif, Deputy Director General, EWS-WWF, said: “We are excited to be partnering with the Dubai Department of Tourism and Commerce Marketing to foster more sustainable practices within the tourism sector in Dubai. The Dubai Sustainable Tourism Initiative is a good example of how public -private partnerships can unite to progress the sustainability agenda in the UAE and deliver tangible results within a key sector.  The Initiative will also bring us closer to the UAE Vision 2021, supporting the government in turning its ambitious plans into reality through scaling up sustainable development and efficient resource management.”