x Abu Dhabi, UAE Friday 21 July 2017

Hotels told pollution is excessive

Hotels in Dubai produce more than twice the carbon dioxide produced by their European counterparts.

DUBAI // Hotels in Dubai produce more than twice the carbon dioxide produced by their European counterparts, local hoteliers and government officials were told at a workshop on environmentally sound tourism. Dubai's 300 hotels produce 500 million kilograms of carbon dioxide a year, said Markus Oberlin, the general manager of Avireal Middle East, a facilities management company. The average hotel in Europe produces 3,000 tonnes of carbon dioxide a year. Hotels in Dubai release an average 6,500 tonnes per year.

Mr Oberlin said hotels here pollute more because of air conditioning and the burning of oil to generate electricity. Much of Europe uses hydroelectric power. "About 60 per cent of energy use in hotels is going into air conditioning," he said. "They're going to have to start there." Hotels here also do not use simple energy-saving tactics such as switching to efficient light bulbs, or covering pools.

"There are municipalities across the world that will refuse to let a pool be built unless it is covered," Mr Oberlin said. "That's a huge energy waster. In general, awareness of environmental issues is not in the minds of the staff." The Dubai Department of Tourism and Commerce Management has told hotels to reduce carbon emissions by 20 per cent by 2011. jgerson@thenational.ae