From a standing start five years ago Green Globe and its Preferred Partner Farnek Services have today certified more than 40 leading hotels across the Middle East, accounting for some of the world’s most well known hotel chains. At the recent Hotel Show in Dubai, a number of Green Globe certified hotels where rewarded for their commitment and presented with Sustainability Leader Awards.
Award winners included Mövenpick Hotels & Resorts, who were cited for their early adoption of sustainability in 2010 with all 26 hotels in the Middle East certified Green Globe. Their senior management was recognized for their consistent drive and commitment, as well as the creation of an online sustainability training program for all employees.
The Jumeirah Group was awarded for its rapid uptake, having five of their signature hotels reaching certification within one year. Leading the adoption of sustainable certification was Jumeirah Emirates Tower, which carried out many technical innovations including the installation of an adiabatic cooling system to reduce energy usage. Sister property Jumeirah Zabeel Saray was also acknowledged for having reached a certification achievement rate of 90% in its first year. The turtle rehabilitation and marine research work by Burj Al Arab and Jumeirah Beach Hotel also received high recognition.
Time Hotels were awarded for offering guests the opportunity to offset the carbon emissions of their stay, while supporting communities in Ethiopia and Sudan engaged in carbon reduction programs.
Sofitel The Palm Dubai was recognized for completing certification at 90% in a record period just 6 months post opening.
While tourism in the Middle East region has recently suffered a number of set backs, the United Arab Emirate’s tourism market has remained resilient. The World Travel and Tourism Council predicts tourism’s contribution to the UAE’s GDP will solidly grow by 3.1% pa for the next decade. And this year, investment in the nation’s tourism sector is expected to rise by a very healthy 9.7%.
Within this robust economic environment, hotel managers are factoring in sustainability strategies, acknowledging their responsibility to minimize energy and water usage, as well increase recycling of waste. Environmental pollution is also a topic of growing importance, with the hospitality sector concerned about the long term effects of development on their unique deserts, beaches and biodiversity.
Sandrine Le Biavant, Director Consultancy at Farnek Services believes hotel managers are on the front line of implanting sustainable business strategies and are utilizing the Green Globe Standard as an operational tool for directing and improving their teams’ performance.
Sandrine Le Biavant said, “Green Globe certified hotels have truly proven to have genuine sustainability practices in place with greater innovations year on year and are focused on reducing their impacts while contributing more to the communities.
“We definitely see that the commitment in the Middle East is not only to get certified, but to excel and be recognized for sustainable innovation,” added Ms Le Biavant.
Green Globe Director of Communications, Brad Cox said, “Farnek, our preferred partner based in Dubai, has been instrumental in applying Green Globe’s International Standard for Sustainability to the expanding number of hotels and resorts across the region.
“Green Globe certification is a very powerful, low cost tool, which has a high impact on employee motivation and managerial leadership by supporting continuous improvement in performance. And the most rewarding aspect is the benefits the hotel guests receive in quality service, safe facilities and unspoiled nature as well as a focus on local culture,” added Mr Cox.
Sustainable practices that protect the environment, the people and their communities will no doubt future-proof the travel and tourism industry in the UAE and in countries of the Middle East. Through partnership with Farnek, Green Globe members can now be found in the United Arab Emirates, Saudi Arabia, Qatar, Bahrain, Kuwait, Jordan, Lebanon, Palestine and Egypt. Together Green Globe and Farnek continue to transfer their knowledge and passion for sustainability to this ever-growing membership including the famous hoteliers mentioned above and others such as, Anantara Hotels & Resorts, One&Only, Staywell, Hilton, Steigenberger , JA Jebel Ali Resorts, Emaar Hospitality and most recently Ramada.