The Dubai Department of Tourism and Commerce Marketing (DTCM) has recently announced the names of the hotels that won in the Dubai Green Tourism Award 2009. The award was launched last year to honour environment-friendly hotels that have made significant improvements to services and systems through internal and external initiatives such as waste recycling, energy conservation, and environmental awareness campaigns. The winners were announced during the concluding grand ceremony organised by the DCTM on Wednesday morning at the InterContinental Hotel in Dubai Festival City, Al Ras Hall 1. For the 5 Star Hotel Category, Park Hyatt took first place, Grand Hyatt ranked second, and Al Qasr Hotel Madinat Jumeirah secured third place. In the 4 Star Hotel Category, Qamar Eddine Hotel took first place, Rotana Towers Hotel ranked second, Marriott Court Yard Hotel, Investment Complex secured third place. As for the Three Star Hotel Category, Regal Plaza Hotel took first place, Virzales Hotel ranked second, and Princess Hotel secured the third place. Lastly, in the Hotel Apartment Category, Savoy Crest took first place, Grand Hyatt ranked second and Marriott Executive Dubai Creek secured third place. The awardees were announced last June 5, 2010 to coincide with the UN World Environment Day, with the formal awarding conducted during the grand ceremony organised by DTCM at the InterContinental Hotel in Dubai Festival City. The awarding rites were attended by DTCM officials H.E. Khalid Ahmed Bin Sulayem, Director General; Eyad Ali Abdul Rahman, Executive Director of Media Relations and Business Development Sector and a member in the panel of judges; Shaikha al Mutawa, Director of the Business Development Department and President of the Award Regulation Committee; and Majid Al Marri, Director of the Hotel Classification and Committee Vice President. Also present were a number of DTCM directors and winning establishments, members of the judging panel, and 130 directors of Dubai hotels and tourism establishments. H.E. Bin Sulayem handed out honorary certificates and armours to the winners and teams involved in hotel-led ‘green’ tourism. He also acknowledged the contributions of sponsors and members of the judging panel, including the evaluators. The DTCM head congratulated the winners and said that their achievement underlines their commitment to moulding their hotels into environment-friendly establishments that adhere to the highest international quality standards. Bin Sulayem also noted that the initiative complements the Dubai Strategic Plan 2015 announced in 2007 by H.H. Mohammed Bin Rashid Al Maktoum, UAE Vice President and Prime Minister and Ruler of Dubai, which focuses on the importance of “turning Dubai into a safe, clean and sustainable emirate through updating and uniting environment standards under international criteria, developing mechanisms needed for implementation, integrating environment-related affairs into development policies and programs, and raising the level of environment awareness.” Abdul Rahman stated that the award highlights the Department's commitment to social affairs in general and environment issues in particular, and is a public undertaking that focuses on conserving natural resources, optimising energy use, and encouraging the tourism sector to adopt best practices. He also commended the valuable role of the panel of judges who exerted exceptional effort to choose the finalists. The panel included Ms. Habiba Al Marashi, Chairperson of the Emirates Environmental Group (EEG); Mr. Ali Bin Towaih, Executive Director of the Sustainable Energy and Environment Division (SEED) and the Environment Park (EnPark) at TECOM; Mr. Majid Al Marri, DTCM’s Classification Director; Ms. Razan Khalifa Al Mubarak, Managing Director, Emirates Wildlife Society (EWS) – World Wide Fund for nature (WWF); Mr. Satish Bhaskaran, DTCM Executive Director of Administration; and Mr. Hamdan Al Shaer, Director of Environment at Dubai Municipality. Al Mutawa said that the DTCM panel reviewed and sorted out applications from participating hotels and chose 18 which best met the award criteria out of a field of 79 candidates nominated for the first edition of the award. The Evaluation Committee classified applications from 33 hotel establishments which were inspected during the second stage of the awarding process to determine compliance with award standards. Eighteen hotels will be selected for the final stage of evaluation and the naming of overall winners. Al Mutawa added that the award regulating committee adhered to high judging standards during the assessment of hotel strategies in implementing environment-related projects and activities, the impact of environmental initiatives at the public and corporate levels, resource management, and environmental awareness and learning. The committee also considered the workshops conducted by hotels to underscore the importance of protecting the environment as well as related promotional campaigns. In addition, the group evaluated reports on field visits conducted to check the compliance of participating hotels with the stipulations on the application form. The DTCM official also commended the commitment of hotels to upholding fairness in the awards since its inception, pointing out that the initiative is instrumental to transforming establishments into excellent travel and tourism destinations that maintain the highest levels of safety and environmental friendliness. She added that the award will be granted biennially to offer hotel establishments the opportunity to learn about policies and methodologies pertaining to environmental responsibility. She explained that it takes a considerable amount of time to deploy environmental programs and assured that her Department will continue to encourage hospitality firms to fulfil their social responsibilities and help achieve sustainable development for Dubai’s tourism sector. For his part, Al Marri stated that the importance of the award lies in its encouragement of the tourism sector to raise the level of its services and practices in a manner that reinforces its environmental stand and increases its activities and programs against pollution and other harmful practices. These, he pointed out, go in line with the Department's commitment to sustainable development and environmental protection. Al Shaer, one of the judges, said: “It was a pleasure to be a part of this important award and get the chance to learn more about how the hotel and tourism sectors are stepping up their sustainability and environmental protection efforts. I am quite sure that the award will contribute significantly to the environmental agendas of these sectors. I would like to commend the key role played by the Dubai Department of Tourism and Commerce Marketing in promoting sustainability and complementing the vision and mission of the Dubai Government in this respect.” “We live in a travel-conscious world that has made tourism an essential part of our daily lifestyle and business activities and a rapidly growing business sector in itself. The progress of this sector has a commensurate impact on the environment, such as the carbon emissions resulting from the use of transport fuel, high energy and water consumption in hotels and restaurants, and the environmental footprint caused by the construction and development of tourism establishments. The tourism sector plays an important role in the UAE economy and so it is imperative for it to adopt effective initiatives towards sustainable development and reduced carbon footprint. We encourage and support efforts that create a sustainable UAE for future generations,” added Al Mubarak, another judge. InterContinental Hotel is the proud official sponsor and host of the first edition of Dubai Green Tourism Award, which reflects the environmental advocacy of Intercontinental Hotel Group - Dubai Festival City. The Dubai branch is highly appreciative of the role played by the Group and other hotels and individuals in protecting and conserving the local environment. Steven Greenwood, Hotel Manager of InterContinental and Crowne Plaza Dubai Festival City, said that the award coincides with the hotel’s ongoing partnership with Phillips to replace its existing light system with a more energy efficient one. The new lights will save approximately 80 per cent of energy per annum and will last 22 times longer than traditional lights. InterContinental Hotel Dubai Festival City is the first hotel in the UAE to use the new Hyperlexis car, which uses both fuel and electricity to limit its carbon emissions. The hotel also hosts the annual Recycled Boat Race, which promotes greater environment awareness. The nominees for the 5 Star Hotel Category for Dubai Green Tourism Award program included Crowne Plaza Hotel, Jebel Ali Golf Resort and Spa, The Westin Mina Seyahi Beach Resort & Marina, Park Hyatt Hotel, Grand Hyatt Hotel, Hyatt Regency Hotel, Dar Al Masyaf Hotel Madinat Jumeirah, Mina A’Salam Hotel Madinat Jumeirah and Al Qasr Hotel. Nominees in the 4 Star Hotel Category included Courtyard by Marriott, Dubai Investment Park, Qamardeen Hotel and Towers Rotana Hotel. Nominees for the 3 Star Hotel Category included Versailles Hotel, Regal Plaza Hotel and Princess Hotel. Lastly, the nominees in the Hotel Apartments Category included Grand Hyatt Hotel, Marriott Executive Apartments Dubai Creek and Savoy Crest Hotel Apartments.
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