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Ras Al Khaimah guidelines for tourism waste management

Ras Al Khaimah Tourism Development Authority (RAKTDA), which develops the emirate’s tourism infrastructure and oversees its domestic and overseas promotions, has collaborated with Ras Al Khaimah Waste Management Authority (WMA) to launch new waste management standards for hotel and tourism establishments across the emirate.

The new standard, based on international best practices, aims to increase waste recycling within the emirate’s hotels from the current four per cent to 75 per cent by 2021. The move is part of Ras Al Khaimah’s efforts to achieve goals set out in the UAE Vision 2021 National Agenda, which includes nation-wide criteria on increasing the contribution of clean energy and minimizing waste.

“This move will engage all our hospitality providers to go green and keep our emirate clean – the aim is to significantly cut waste being sent to landfill. This is a great initiative towards sustainable tourism and greener practices among the emirate’s hospitality and tourism sectors,” said Haitham Mattar, CEO, RAKTDA.

This is the first time that RAKTDA has rolled out such an initiative. The Authority has worked closely with WMA to ensure guidelines and tourism establishments effectively adopt the new standards. By the end of 2017, hotels and other establishments are required to recycle a total of 15 per cent of their waste. Targets for the following subsequent years have been set at 30 per cent and 50 per cent, before achieving its goal of 75 per cent in 2021.

As part of the roadmap in achieving targets set by the two authorities, RAKTDA has already begun guiding hotels and tourism establishments through the updated mandatory standards across the emirate.

The standards cover areas such as waste collection processes, minimum separation guidelines, implementing segregation across all departments of the establishment, as well as the creation of a Green Ambassador within all tourism stakeholders.

Assigned Green Ambassadors will be responsible for coordinating waste management activities, educating colleagues and will serve as the principal point of contact between the tourism entity, RAKTDA and RAKWMA. Green Ambassadors will also be tasked with developing annual roadmaps covering the individual waste management goals their specific establishment aims to achieve, setting waste prevention targets, and establishing reduction and recycling quantities and percentages. The initial roadmaps will be presented to RAKTDA and WMA on 30 October this year.

“By implementing these new standards Ras Al Khaimah is taking a firm step in reaffirming the emirate’s position as a sustainable destination. There are already great examples being exercised by individual entities, and by aligning all establishments to the same standards, we can work together in achieving our goals,” Mattar added.

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