Dubai Department Of Economy And Tourism Charts Path To A Greener Future With Inaugural Sustainability Report

Dubai Department Of Economy And Tourism Charts Path To A Greener Future With Inaugural Sustainability Report

Dubai’s hospitality and tourism sectors are driving the city’s sustainability agenda, with programmes and initiatives that are helping to chart a path towards a greener future, according to a new report released by the Dubai Department of Economy and Tourism (DET) at Arabian Travel Market. The inaugural ‘Dubai Sustainability Report’ highlights the development plans and achievements that are aligned with the goals of the Dubai Economic Agenda, D33, to consolidate Dubai’s position as one of the top three global cities for business and leisure, and the best city to visit, live and work in.

With government initiatives, a sustainable ecosystem and cutting-edge infrastructure, Dubai’s plans support global objectives such as the United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goals 2030, and country-wide strategies including the UAE’s Net Zero 2050 initiatives and the Year of Sustainability, which has been extended into 2024.

Covering a wide range of topics, the report reveals how responsible tourism in rural communities, conservation areas, and historical districts, are further demonstrating the effectiveness of the city’s sustainability agenda. Dubai continues to empower start-ups to develop solutions that optimise resource utilisation, from fuel-saving flight paths to streamlined hotel bookings, reducing operational waste and environmental impact, as detailed in the report.

Another integral part of Dubai’s sustainability agenda has been inclusive and accessible travel, with the industry urged to incorporate comprehensive sustainable practices across the destination to meet the expectations and needs of People of Determination.

Yousuf Lootah, Acting CEO of Corporate Strategy and Performance Sector, Dubai Department of Economy and Tourism (DET) said:“Our sustainability objectives are aligned with the vision of His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice President and Prime Minister of UAE and Ruler of Dubai, and the goals of the D33 Agenda to further consolidate Dubai’s position as one of the top three global cities for business and leisure. The comprehensive strategy is underpinned by 100 transformative projects that will reshape the way people live and work in the emirate.

“As set out in our inaugural Sustainability Report, Dubai is committed to creating an inclusive and resilient city for future generations. The collaborative spirit of public-private partnerships has been instrumental in supporting Dubai’s sustainability ambitions, and this approach has enabled us to implement innovative solutions. With ambitious targets now set by national and global initiatives, this report lays out the bold action that has already been taken as part of Dubai’s sustainability journey.”

Delivering on sustainability goals

In an effort to further align with the D33 Agenda and UAE Net Zero 2050 strategy, the ongoing Dubai Sustainable Tourism (DST) initiative, developed by DET, provides support for the hospitality industry through various sustainability initiatives. Under DST, four pillars – Standards, Awards, Programmes and Education – play a crucial role in raising awareness and educating the sector about sustainable tourism.

In July 2023, DET launched the Dubai Sustainable Tourism Stamp, as part of the DST programme. Developed in collaboration with Dubai’s hospitality sector, the stamp recognises hotels with the highest level of adherence to DET’s ‘19 Sustainability Requirements’ and is designed to accelerate efforts towards empowering the sector to achieve its sustainability goals. In January this year, the stamp was awarded to 70 hotels as validation of their dedication to implementing sustainable practices. A key feature of DET’s sustainable tourism initiative is the Carbon Calculator, a pioneering tool that has been measuring the carbon footprint of hotels across Dubai since it was launched in 2017.

Other key efforts continue to be driven through the umbrella of the Dubai Can initiative, which is epitomising the emirate’s can-do attitude around sustainability; His Highness Sheikh Hamdan bin Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Crown Prince of Dubai and Chairman of The Executive Council of Dubai, recently inaugurated the landmark Dubai Reef project with the launch of the pilot reef modules, marking the start of the world’s largest marine reef development project. Dubai Can has already been making a strong impact through the ‘Refill for Life’ project, promoting the use of reusable bottles and encouraging people to refill via 50 water fountains established throughout the city. Since its launch two years ago, the initiative has seen the reduction of over 18 million 500ml single-use plastic water bottles.

Training and educational platforms

DET is also stepping up its sustainability efforts through the implementation of effective stakeholder and partner educational initiatives such as ‘Dubai Way’, an innovative training and engagement platform for government and private sector staff engaged in tourist-facing roles.

Managed by the Dubai College of Tourism (DCT), part of DET, the Dubai Way platform offers the popular ‘Dubai Sustainable Tourism’ course, which gives applicants the opportunity to gain knowledge about Dubai’s sustainable tourism goals and understand the role they play in helping to build a supportive tourism infrastructure. Through a series of self-paced modules, applicants can learn about the environmental, economic and social importance of working towards a sustainable future.

Underscoring the city’s unwavering dedication to inclusivity and accessibility for all residents and visitors, Dubai is on record pace towards becoming a Certified Autism Destination™. Just over one year into the process, driven by DET in collaboration with the International Board of Credentialing and Continuing Education Standards (IBCCES), the city is firmly on track to becoming the first Certified Autism Destination™ in the Eastern Hemisphere. More than 13,000 individuals have received autism and sensory awareness training via the Dubai Way platform, while more than 30 locations have earned IBCCES certifications.

To read the ‘Dubai Sustainability Report 2024’ in full, please visit: