Madinat Jumeirah scores international sustainability certification first
The resort’s three high profile hotels, popular conference centers and souk-themed mall were given the Green Globe seal of approval following a comprehensive sustainability audit conducted by Dubai-based consultancy Farnek, Green Globe’s preferred partner in the Middle East.
Margaret Paul, General Manager at Madinat Jumeirah, said: “We are proud to show leadership in sustainable practices and delighted to share this responsibility with our colleagues and guests. We work daily to ensure we create harmony at the resort, enhance the knowledge of our local culture and preserve our environment. In addition, we ensure our colleagues are valued and engaged, our customers have exhilarating experiences and our local community wellbeing is increased.”
The successful certification includes two firsts for the region. The Madinat Conference Centre became the first of its kind to be Green Globe certified in the Middle East&Africa and Souk Madinat also scooped the same accolade as the first shopping Centre to be certified in the region.
“We were very impressed by the resort’s established track record of both employee and guest engagement and its associated achievements in the area of sustainability. Change and innovation are a cornerstone of Madinat Jumeirah’s corporate philosophy and this was a key driver in supporting the efforts of all five hospitality-related units in integrating a remarkable collection of environmental technologies over the past year, with the resort as a whole aiming for a 3% year-on-year increase in Green Globe sustainability criteria,” said Sandrine Le Biavant, Director Consultancy for Farnek, Green Globe’s Middle East partner and authorized auditor.
Madinat Jumeirah achieved extremely high scores across all areas of the operational audit. A host of ground-breaking initiatives positively impacted its performance including the Madinat Conference Centre’s successful Green Meetings programme that covers both back and front-of-house operations to address waste reduction, paperless event planning and food donation initiatives.
The trio of hotels has also been active in the area of waste management, investing in a composting machine and Al Qasr became one of the first UAE properties to implement the Bokashi Digester Compost Programme. Around 2.1 tons of composted waste per month are used to fertilize the resort’s gardens with the hotel also introducing a glass-crushing machine earlier this year.
Each individual operating unit within the resort also undergoes monthly monitoring and benchmarking using Farnek’s Hotel Optimizer programme to maximize performance and support further energy enhancement initiatives.
In addition, a new rooms management system at Dar Al Masyaf allows customers to control their own energy consumption using an iPad and Souk Madinat also implemented a new automatic door system in order to effectively partition specific areas of the operation to make further energy savings.
These examples, combined with other ongoing energy management practices have shown a 14% annual saving since 2008.
“Innovation extends beyond the implementation of technology and Madinat Jumeirah, the first audited property in the Middle East to have a dedicated Community Engagement Manager, also happens to be a UAE national and coordinates programs supporting the community related to special needs, breast cancer, tobacco and diabetes,” noted Le Biavant.
The resort has a strong focus on Emiratization and also on training in general, with its 3,000-plus employees all receiving environmental awareness and on-the-job waste management training.
Souk Madinat, which in itself represents the respect of the local architecture, is also the venue for a weekly farmer’s market targeting the local community as well as in-house guests.
The group’s Dubai Turtle Rehabilitation Project, one of its flagship initiatives, has seen the release of over 700 rehabilitated turtles back into their natural habitat over the last 10 years where, after initial treatment at the Burj Al Arab aquarium, they are accommodated at the Mina A’Salam rehabilitation pen prior to release. The resort also showcases its natural flora and fauna with a nature trail experience for guests.
Farnek has the rights to represent Green Globe, covering tourism properties within 20 different countries throughout the Middle East.
Farnek is one of the region’s foremost property and facilities management outsource companies. With a skilled workforce of more than 2,000 people, Farnek has offices in Dubai and Abu Dhabi and maintains over 2,500 properties alone on behalf of many international and regional companies.
Farnek has also signed a commitment to support myclimate an international organization that helps companies around the world manage their carbon emissions through a range of offset programs.
About Madinat Jumeirah
Set on a private beach, Madinat Jumeirah resort is an authentic recreation of ancient Arabia, capturing the natural beauty of the region. Madinat Jumeirah features two grand boutique hotels, Al Qasr and Mina A’Salam, accommodation in 29 traditional summer houses in Dar Al Masyaf, conference and banqueting facilities including two grand ballrooms, a 1000-seat amphitheater and the region’s only dedicated entertainment Centre and multi-purpose venue, Madinat Arena. The facilities are interconnected by 3km of waterways and landscaped gardens. The resort also provides extensive leisure and health facilities including Talise Spa and Talise Fitness, as well as Souk Madinat Jumeirah, a traditional retail and dining experience showcasing the best of Arabia.
About Green Globe
Green Globe is the worldwide sustainability system based on internationally-accepted criteria for sustainable operation and management of travel and tourism businesses. Operating under a worldwide license, Green Globe is based in California, USA, and is represented in over 83 countries. Green Globe is an Affiliate Member of the United Nations World Tourism Organization (UNWTO). Green Globe is also a member of the Global Sustainable Tourism Council (GSTC). For information, please visit www.greenglobe.com
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