The Dubai Department of Tourism and Commerce Marketing (DTCM), since its inception has been committed a series of CSR initiatives including instituting a green tourism award, facilitating special needs tourism, health and safety initiatives and a nationalization mandate through its Emiritization scheme.
Dubai Green Tourism Award
The Dubai Department of Tourism and Commerce Marketing (DTCM) has announced the official launch of the first-ever initiative to reduce carbon emission (CO2) in the hospitality industry by 20 per cent by the year 2011 and Dubai Green Tourism Award, which will be in line with the World Environment Day. The initiative focuses on conservation of natural resources and sensible use of energy, water and gas etc. as their excessive use causes degradation in the environment by disturbing the eco balance in the atmosphere.
The main objectives of the initiative are to increase awareness about the global warming and CO2 emissions and energy usage in the tourism industry, encourage environmental practices in the hospitality industry, introduce new initiatives that highlight the importance of CSR programmes and develop awareness and educational culture within hospitality sector about the sustainable tourism.
The programmes are part of the department’s efforts to introduce best practices to improve the service standards and excellence in tourism industry. This is a major initiative designed to encourage and acknowledge the significant efforts of the emirate’s tourism industry towards the Sustainable Tourism.
The initiative is in line with vision and directives of His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice President and Prime Minister of UAE and Ruler of Dubai, to turn Dubai into a green and environmentally responsible community. Environment conservation and protection has been emphasized in the Dubai Strategy Plan 2015.
Special Needs Tourism
Although special needs tourism is grossly under-developed in many leading destinations, Dubai is set to become a market leader through a series of initiatives made possible by a heightened awareness and effective partnership between the Dubai Department of Tourism and Commerce Marketing (DTCM) and the public and private sector organizations.
Dubai is fast developing itself as a destination and is accessible to Special Needs visitors with its eyes set on an estimated market of 600 million tourists worldwide.
Dubai 's hotels, travel agencies, airlines, airports, shopping malls and different modes of public transport are increasingly gearing themselves to become disabled-friendly for moral, ethical as well as financial reasons. A series of measures are being adopted and upgraded to welcome more special needs tourists into the emirate.
The Dubai chapter of the SKAL that was launched with the support of the DTCM held meetings to review the facilities that are being made available to the physically challenged and senior citizens in Dubai .
Dubai 's share of the special needs tourism market is estimated at one per of the approximately one per cent of the six million tourist worldwide and if they stay for an average of five days every year and spend $ 100 daily, the emirates total tourism revenue will be boosted by $ 3 billion every year.
In line with the department’s interest in catering to the special needs visitors market, the first edition of Special Needs brochure was released last year for the wheel chair-bound physically challenged informing them about Dubai's accessible tourism services and facilities.
The handy guide informs readers about the services available at Dubai Airport, car/transport services, hotels, heritage sites, tours, cinemas, parks and shopping centres among others.
The brochure, which is published electronically on the DTCM web site, also provides helpful tips to the physically challenged on obtaining a driving license, special equipments and hospital and medical facilities.
In addition it features the new Dubai map and a visitor response survey, which would be used to refine future editions based on feedback.
The DTCM also has in place a Special Needs Tourism Task Force that works round the year to understand the sensitivities related to special needs tourism and constantly works towards achieving those goals.
At the Dubai International Airport there is a dedicated desk for visitors with special needs and the airport has made available several electric carts to transport passengers to and from the new concourse.
Organisations of all kinds are increasingly concerned with achieving and demonstrating sound occupational health and safety (OH & S) performance by controlling their OH&S risks. One of the most effective ways to manage these challenges within an organisation and to ensure action is taken within its operations to implement occupational health and safety, and environmental management systems or HSE Management System. This strategic initiative was launched by DTCM to implement a Health Safety and Environment (HSE) management system that would meet the requirements of OHSAS18001and ISO14001. Occupational Health and Safety: OHSAS18001 helps an organisation to manage risks and susequently reduce accidents, comply with legislation and improve performance. It provides a systematic approach to identifying hazards, and then either eliminating them or reducing their risks. An OHSMS promotes a safe and healthy working environment by providing a framework that allows your organization to consistently identify and control its health and safety risks, reduce the potential for accidents, aid legislative compliance and improve overall performance Environmental impact is becoming an increasingly important issue across the globe, with pressure to minimize that impact coming from a number of sources: local and national governments, regulators, trade associations, customers, employees and shareholders. Social pressures are also building up. Future Safe, a single integrated system covering both occupations health, safety and environment requirements offers a clearly structured, systematic approach to help meet the DTCM’s occupational health and safety, and environmental aims and objectives.
Emiritisation in the tourism industry
Tourism and hospitality were not traditionally the first-choice for young nationals looking to embark on a career, however, DTCM’s through its Emiratisation drive underlined the opportunities that the tourism sector offers to young and qualified UAE nationals and plays a significant role to ensure that a vibrant Emiratisation deployment is achieved.
DTCM also launched the job-linked MAHARAT training programme launched by the DTCM’s Emiratisation Task Force for Tourism (ETFT) in association with the National Human Resources Development and Employment Authority (TANMIA) to encourage Emirati job-seekers join the fast-expanding hotel industry.
The ETFT is successfully creating awareness about the job opportunities suitable for UAE nationals in the emirate’s booming tourism industry.
Due to heightened awareness and keenness of the participating hotels in DTCM’s Emiratisation efforts, the number of UAE nationals in this sector has increased significantly. From just 15 UAE nationals in 2002, the number of UAE nationals working in the hotel industry has increased to around 300.