Dubai’s iconic Burj Al Arab hotel has earned an international Green Globe Certification. Not as news-worthy as when Tiger Woods teed off its rooftop, or when it served as cloud-touching tennis court for Andre Agassi and Roger Federer, but this nod from a recognized green rating system is making headlines for sustainable urban tourism.
“For over a decade the stunning sail-shaped hotel has been an iconic symbol of modern Dubai and its flourishing hospitality industry. Now, with the Green Globe award, the Burj Al Arab has been recognized for its seven-star sustainability,” said Sandrine Le Biavant director of Dubai-based consultancy Farnek that performed the audit.
The hotel with its disputed “7-star” rating offers guests duplex suites with personal butler service, a fleet of chauffeur-driven Rolls Royce and airport transfers via private helicopter.
But Farnek wasn’t swayed by swank.
The sustainability audit assessed all areas of operations confirming that the hotel reduced water usage, recycled grey water, and managed energy consumption by regulating room temperatures. Health and safety, procurement and waste management strategies were also audited. Hotel management encourages employee participation in local community initiatives such as breast cancer awareness, beach clean-ups and mobile phone collections.
The hotel’s environmental efforts were also praised. Its Dubai Turtle Rehabilitation Project, launched in 2004 in collaboration with the Dubai Wildlife Protection Office and a team of specialized veterinarians, has returned hundreds of sea turtles back into the wild. The animals are fitted with satellite tags allowing follow-on study of their migratory patterns.
“We are delighted to receive this prestigious recognition that reinforces our commitment to sustainable practices”, said Heinrich Morio, general manager at Burj Al Arab.
“The certificate is a testament to Burj Al Arab’s dedication to ensuring that green policies are at the heart of our business and that they are an essential part of our long-term business strategy.”
Green Globe Certification is the worldwide sustainability system based on internationally-accepted criteria for sustainable operation and management of travel and tourism businesses.
Images taken from Burj Al Arab Facebook page.