Dubai hotels flushing US$27m down drain every year

Hotels missing boat on guests who demand sustainable hotel experience

By complying with initiatives such as the Green Globe Certification, Dubai's hotels can cut utility costs by 20%. (GETTY)
By complying with initiatives such as the Green Globe Certification, Dubai's hotels can cut utility costs by 20%. (GETTY)

Five-star hotels in Dubai are wasting around US$27 million in utility bills by ignoring carbon management initiatives and examining ways to reduce their electricity and water bills, a figure that is set to rise with increased Dubai Electricity and Water Authority (DEWA) tariffs for 2011, according to the latest findings by industry experts.

Many hoteliers have woken up to the fact that today's hotel guests are more environmentally aware than ever before and increasingly demanding hotels accommodate best environmental practice. By complying with initiatives such as the Green Globe Certification, hotels not only reduce their carbon emissions and save water, according to a survey conducted by UAE-based sustainability specialist consultant, Farnek Avireal, they can also cut their utility costs by around 20%.

"The research has indicated that the annual utility costs for the 67 five-star hotels in Dubai are around $134 million. If each hotel averaged 200 rooms, reduced energy consumption could save around $5.50 per room-night, per hotel, or $27 million collectively, not to mention 400,000 tonnes of carbon emissions that would be saved," said Frederique Maurell, Exhibition director, The Hotel Show.

"In total there are approximately 67,369 hotel rooms and hotel apartments in Dubai, imagine the dramatic effect if all of Dubai's hotels signed-up to reduce their carbon emissions," said Maurell.

Adding further weight to the business case, according to a study by Travel Weekly, 50% of prospective hotel guests said they were prepared to pay 10% more to stay in sustainable hotels, while 66% expressed serious doubts about environmental claims posted on hotel websites.

"The environmental dimension is part of the strategic vision of the best run organisations, and the hotel sector is no different," said Maurell. "The environment is now a business issue and because of increasingly demand, sustainable hotels need to differentiate themselves from the 'unenlightened'."

That paradigm shift is now being reflected by the growing number of exhibitors offering environmental solutions at The Hotel Show 2011 which takes place at the Dubai World Trade Centre from 17-19 May.

Therefore, to underscore The Hotel Show's commitment to sustainability, the show's floor plan clearly highlights a 'Green Track' which maps out any exhibiting companies presenting solutions, design or products which answer the sustainable need of the hospitality industry. There will also be references to these exhibitors in the pre and post show collateral material as well as on our website.

Furthermore with the support of the Dubai Government's Department of Tourism and Commerce Marketing a number of topics at the Seven Star Conference which runs in parallel with the Hotel Show will be dedicated to sustainability, such as waste management and energy-saving products and initiatives.

LG Electronics now in its third year of its "Greenonomics" programme, a partnership with the UAE Ministry of Environment and Water and the United Nations Industrial Development Organisation is investing $18 million into green businesses between now and 2020.

A raft of other companies, are also participating such as Canadian company NewGen which will be in attendance with a promise: using its laundry system can be up to ten times more eco-friendly than using on-premises facilities. UK-based Williams Refrigeration will be offering its Greenlogic approach to choosing energy-efficient, waste-reducing products that save energy, time and money.

In addition, new ranges of LED-based lighting technology that can reduce energy costs by as much as two thirds of previous systems, as well as sustainable proposals from ABB KNX and Andreu World will be showcased.


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