The Reed & Mackay Groups, Meetings & Events team – which signed the Net Zero Carbon Events pledge at Cop27 – is currently venue sourcing for a financial services client attending Cop28 (the UN climate change conference). The international event takes place in Dubai at Expo City between 30 November and 12 December this year.
Part of the brief is to source sustainable venues for the client’s accommodation. The team’s extensive knowledge of venues stems from both visiting the destination and strong relationships with suppliers. We asked Events Coordinator Sneha Bhudia for her insights into choosing sustainable destinations for events, plus some of her top picks of sustainable hotels in the Emirate state.
“For a global event of this size, we would recommend ideally planning and booking at least 11-12 months in advance. Especially if you want to secure environmentally friendly accommodation,” Bhudia says.
“Firstly, consider the sustainable policies hotels have in place – such as banning single-use plastics – and the energy sources they use. To further reduce a client’s carbon footprint, identify the nearest properties to the event’s venue. Alternatively, choose accommodation close to its public transport system.”
Dubai’s Metro is electric and driverless, which significantly helps reduce congestion and greenhouse gas pollution. The Metro links directly to Expo City. And, like the Metro, Dubai’s Bus Line is fully electric.
6 OF the BEST SUSTAINABLE HOTELS 30 MINUTES’ DRIVE OR LESS FROM EXPO CITY
JA The Resort was awarded Dubai’s Most Sustainable five-star resort in 2022 by Dubai Sustainable Tourism. The property is an advocate of renewable energy and runs a green policy across numerous touchpoints, including guest rooms.
Initiatives include plastic-free straws and in-room recycling to fresh linens and towels on a ‘third-day policy’. Its solar energy meets most of the resort’s hot water needs. Other initiatives include regular beach clean ups that involve staff, guests and local communities.
One of Accor’s (the hotel group that owns Sofitel) green initiatives includes a towel reuse programme. Hotels in the group plant one tree in an area of deforestation for every five towels used. The hotel has also implemented energy-saving LED lighting. Plus the group runs a successful recycling programme for paper, plastic, cardboard and glass as well as well-monitored water management.
The Andaz hotel launched its own on-site organic farm three years ago. This means it can deliver produce to its multiple restaurants and reduce reliance on bringing in produce. This hydroponic container system of farming uses 90% less water than traditional farming.
Atlantis offers outdoor meeting and event spaces, when weather appropriate, to ensure increased use of natural lighting. The hotel uses electric buggies around the resort to reduce its gas consumption and also uses environmentally friendly products and cleaning practices.
Fairmont focuses on diverting waste from landfills. It also recycles, donates or sells used cooking oil and grease to be turned into biodiesel. It was the first hotel in Palm Jumeirah to be Green Key certified. Plus it has three electric vehicle charging stations on site.
Eliminating single-use plastics is key to the resort’s environmental policy. And, last year, it introduced an onsite water bottling plant and water filtration system. Conservation is also high on its agenda; its purpose-built lagoon is part of the Dubai Turtle Rehabilitation Project. So far around 2,000 turtles have been rescued.