Essay: Dubai’s Environmental Improvement Plan Study

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  • Subject area(s): Environmental studies essays
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  • Published on: July 24, 2019
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2 Introduction 2
2.1 The Paris Agreement 2
2.2 U.A.E.’s Commitments 2
2.3 Ongoing Initiatives 3
2.3.1 Components of Sustainability Efforts 3
2.3.2 Green Building Regulations and Specifications in 2011 & Dubai Strategic Plan 2015 4
2.4 Future Initiatives 5
2.4.1 Dubai Expo 2020 5
2.4.2 The Dubai Plan 2021 5
2.4.3 Dubai Integrated Energy Strategy 2030 (DIES) 6
2.4.4 Dubai Clean Energy Strategy 2050 7
3 Dubai Carbon Centre of Excellence 8
3.1 Background 8
3.2 Goals 8
3.3 Hotel industry 9
3.4 CO2 Emission Factors 10
4 Case Study: The Jumeirah Group Dubai 10
4.1 Background 10
4.2 Choice for Comparison 10
4.2.1 Dubai 10
4.2.2 The Maldives 10
4.3 Madinat Jumeirah, Dubai 11
4.3.1 About 11
4.3.2 Sustainability Efforts 11
4.3.3 Potential to Improve 16
4.4 Jumeirah Vittaveli, Maldives (JMV) 17
4.4.1 About 17
4.4.2 Sustainability Efforts 17
4.4.3 Future Plans 21
4.4.4 Potential to Improve 21
5 Conclusion 22
6 Resources 23
6.1 Appendices 23
6.2 Other References 23

“As more and more of us become carbon neutral and change the patterns in our lives to be part of the solution instead of part of the problem, we are now beginning to see the changes in policy that are needed.”1 Al Gore, former Vice President of the United States (1993–2001). Nobel Peace Prize Winner 2007 with the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change.
The message of scientists and climate change visionaries has finally resonated with the global governments and culminated in the signing of the Paris Agreement in October 2016.
“The Paris Agreement’s central aim is to;
– strengthen the global response to the threat of climate change
– strengthen the ability of countries to deal with the impacts of climate change.
Additionally, The Paris Agreement requires all Parties to put forward their best efforts through “nationally determined contributions” (NDCs) and to strengthen these efforts in the years ahead. This includes requirements that all Parties report regularly on their emissions and on their implementation efforts.”2

In line with these directives the UAE has set forth an ambitious and progressive agenda. In particular, the “strategy of economic diversification” from a predominantly oil based economy to one that “… will pursue a portfolio of actions, including an increase of clean energy to 24% of the total energy mix by 2021.”3
As a consequence, the Emirate of Dubai has embraced the commitments of the UAE under The Paris Agreement by setting out its own radical agenda.

Dubai has had a focus on issues such as energy diversification and environmental sustainability for some years, it is now aggressively pursuing its agenda through the establishment of several strategies and formation of institutions to implement such strategies.
2.3.1 Components of Sustainability Efforts

2.3.2 Green Building Regulations and Specifications in 2011 & Dubai Strategic Plan 2015

2.4.1 Dubai Expo 2020

2.4.2 The Dubai Plan 2021
The Dubai Plan 2021 encompasses six strategic pillars, with “A Smart & Sustainable City” as a major component affirming Dubai’s commitment to sustainability “…. the importance of sustainability in managing against Dubai’s future growth by ensuring the availability of clean energy sources and protecting natural resources such as soil, water, and air, and promoting sustainable consumption….”
Most significantly the Dubai Plan 2021 reaches out to the community, “Dubai Plan 2021 is a plan for everyone. It impacts the lives of everyone living in Dubai or visiting it for business or pleasure. Similarly, we each have a part to play in achieving its objective.”5 This recognizes that the participation of all Dubai residents, whether Emirati or expatriates, and businesses is essential for Dubai to accomplish its 2021 objectives.

2.4.3 Dubai Integrated Energy Strategy 2030 (DIES)

2.4.4 Dubai Clean Energy Strategy 2050

In 2011 the government of Dubai had already implemented strategies to move the country towards a low carbon emission economy, a major component was the establishment of Dubai Carbon Centre of Excellence (Dubai Carbon), setup in agreement between the United Nations Development Program and Dubai Supreme Council of Energy.
Dubai Carbon’s objective is to incentivize industry by demonstrating that environmentally sustainable solutions can monetize a liability, for example the conversion of wet food waste into “biosolid fuels.”

Since its inception Dubai Carbon has managed to successfully involve the private sector in environmentally sustainable practices, particularly the tourism and hospitality industry which accounts for about 20% of Dubai’s economy.
The Government of Dubai’s efforts in conjunction with its institutions such as Dubai Carbon have contributed to positive results. As shown below;

Activities taken into consideration when calculating CO2 emissions:
Electricity Consumption (kWh)
District Cooling Energy Consumption (kWh)
Utility Water Consumption (imperial gallon)
Waste Sent to Landfill (kg)
Petrol Consumption for Generators (liters)
Diesel Consumption for Generators (liters)
Petrol Consumption for Vehicles (liters)
Diesel Consumption for Vehicles (liters)
Refrigerants Usage (kg)*
CO2 in Fire Extinguishers (kg)
LPG Consumption (kg)
The Jumeirah Group Dubai established in 1997 is a fairly recent entrant to the hospitality industry. Some 20 years later is has become a well-known and established global brand with over 22 luxury hotels and resorts in its portfolio, which operate over 6,000 luxury rooms, numerous restaurants and spas, in addition to a waterpark, academy, and loyalty program. The importance of a large corporate, such as Jumeirah, working towards enhancing environmentally sustainable efforts cannot be emphasized enough, as the UAE maintains one of the highest carbon footprints per capita among high-income, non-OECD countries (Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development).
The Jumeirah Group successfully operates several luxury properties in Dubai as well as in The Maldives. Both countries face numerous and distinctive environmental challenges.
4.2.1 Dubai
Dubai’s geography is challenging to say the least; characterized by vast areas of arid desert, infrequent rain, and high temperatures, this makes Dubai vulnerable to the effects of climate change. Rising global temperatures coupled with rising sea levels are a direct threat to a coastal urban city such as Dubai.
Over the last 30 years Dubai has rapidly evolved from a traditional subsistence economy reliant on fishery, oasis agriculture and livestock grazing into the fastest growing city in the world. Such rapid urbanization has created various problems; pollution, depletion of groundwater, poor waste management, high energy demands due to; energy intensive processes such as water desalination, industrial and tourism energy consumption.
Dubai’s tourism sector is set for rapid expansion, aiming to attract 20 million visitors by 2020, which poses massive challenges to environmental sustainability in this Emirate as a hotel in Dubai produces about double the carbon emissions as compared to a European counterpart.
4.2.2 The Maldives
Much like Dubai, the geography of The Maldives, lowest lying country in the world, places it in grave danger due to climate change. A country comprising of nearly two thousand islands in the Indian Ocean, only about two hundred of which support a population of approximately 340,000 and the population is growing, as is the demand for energy with few natural resources to support such growth. The Maldives faces other challenges; high population density, poverty, and poor communication channels, and near total dependency on imports such as fossil fuels, large quantities of which are needed to support its primary source of income, tourism, and fisheries.
The Maldives is responsible for approximately 0.003 % of global CO2 emissions, but due to climate change and its adverse effects this country is in danger of being wiped out. The government of The Maldives understands that the countries survival depends on mitigating the extreme effects of climate change. Sadly, a lack of finances severely hinders its efforts, hence there is a need for the affluent, high CO2 polluting countries, to assist in every way possible.
4.3.1 About
The Madinat Jumeirah Luxury Resort covers over 40 hectares of land, is ideally located on a two kilometer stretch of private beach, includes four luxury hotels interconnected by five kilometers of canals and landscaped gardens. The resort has over 1000 rooms, 90 boutiques, 2 grand ballrooms, 1000 seat theatre, 44 bars and restaurants, spa with 26 treatment rooms, fitness center, tennis courts, squash courts, a waterpark and over 15 swimming pools.
4.3.2 Sustainability Efforts Green Globe Certification
In 2014 Madinat Jumeirah received the international Green Globe Certification for sustainable tourism, so recognizing Jumeirah’s commitment to making a positive impact on the environment.
“The Green Globe certification is a structured assessment of the sustainability performance of travel and tourism businesses and their supply chain partners. Businesses can monitor improvements and document achievements leading to certification of their enterprises’ sustainable operation and management.”
Continuous improvement in sustainable practices, as outlined in Green Globes “Standard Criteria and Indicators”, is required to maintain the Green Globe Certification. This is achieved through an annual review which must demonstrate that more than 50% of targets set the previous year have been achieved.
Madinat Jumeirah has worked actively to implement the guidelines as laid out by Green Globe and has demonstratively succeeded in certain areas of its operations. Strategies Implemented to Achieve Sustainable Targets
Madinat Jumeirah targets were designed according to the guidelines laid out under the Green Globe Certification Criteria.
A. Sustainable Management Policy
A first step was to create a sustainable management plan (SMP) which requires the establishment of a dedicated environmental team to oversee the implementation of the SMP’s target/KPIs (Key Performance Indicators). and provides a broad policy statement; with regard to ALL aspects of sustainability. (Appendix 1)

“Environment- We aim at protecting the environment in particular sea, coast and landscaping, while implementing strong continuous plans for energy and water saving, through the use of the best resource available. (Figure 1)
Social- We aim at providing Exhilarating experience to our community to increase their wellbeing and capacity building (personal education) potential.
Culture- To be an Ambassador of the Emirati culture and offer cultural connections to our colleagues, guest and local communities.”

Figure 1 – Targets/KPIs

B. Social/Economic
C. Cultural Heritage
Policies with regard to both these criteria are laid out as part of Madinat Jumeirah’s Corporate Social Responsibility Policy. (Appendix 2)
D. Environmental Policy
A policy document was created to clearly set out Madinat Jumeirah Environmental Policy and identifying the main areas focus. (Appendix 3)
Madinat Jumeirah recycling centers located at the Al Qasr receiving areas, in partnership with DULSCO;
– recycle large quantities of paper, cardboard, glass, plastic, and aluminum cans;
– measure and document quantities daily to benchmark.
– sort at source
– use only bio degradable bags
– collect and recycle all printer cartridges and photo copier toner bottles.
Global Purchasing Policy/ Sustainable Development
Contractors will be asked to;
– reduce packaging
– provide chemicals that are less damaging to the environment and take back or buy back if not used.
Fair Trade/Organic
– preference to local produce
– sustained foods inclusive of fish, meats, fruits, flowers, materials and forna etc

Implementation of water saving measure in all areas
Maintain landscaped gardens;
– irrigation using treated effluent water
– select only local trees and forna for landscaping.
– reduce the usage of non-essential lighting wherever possible.

– Reduce overall Madinat Jumeirah carbon emissions from previous years annual carbon footprint report.
– Ask Tenants and contractors to provide an Environmental Impact Assessment to better understand the overall effect of Madinat Jumeirah on the Environment.

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