How to do our bit for the environment

More than 70% of Earth is covered in water, producing more than 50% of our Oxygen, and absorbing around 30% of carbon dioxide produced by humans (UN) from burning fossil fuels.

Yesterday’s World Environment Day, and World Oceans Day later in the week, draw attention to the impact we are all having on our Earth, so we need to be mindful of our actions and how we can try to help. 

Major contributors affecting our planet

From Dubai’s pearl-diving heritage through to today’s fishing industry, the UAE has a close bond with the water. Our demand from the oceans is vast, from providing the oxygen we breathe, food and water we consume, jobs for our fishermen, and the renewable energy to fuel our daily lives. 

Today, the majority of UAE’s drinking water comes from the desalination of seawater according to Tappwater, a process that consumes considerable amounts of energy. The UAE’s further demand for large quantities of water is to fuel air-conditioners, to combat extreme temperatures faced in the Emirates. 

The oceans support global warming by absorbing human-produced carbon dioxide, which raises acidity levels, severely impacting the marina-life and corals as a result of the continuous increase in CO2 being produced.

Sea levels are rising… you would have heard the statement many times before, the reason behind this is the unique function the oceans play in regulating earth’s temperature, absorbing excess heat to cool the earth resulting in water expansion, this coupled with the melting polar ice caps are raising sea levels. This sacrifice by the ocean again comes at the cost of marine life and corals.

Excessive plastic usage. Plasticoceans identified that each year 50% of all plastics produced are single-use, as much as 10 million tons end up in our oceans, leaching toxic chemicals into the water, and as many as 1 million animals are killed because of plastic pollution. 

Do your bit in 5 simple steps

Simple steps, even small ones, will make a huge difference in the bigger picture, the joint effect of individuals working towards the same goal will have a profound global impact. Here are a few starting points which you can apply right away:

1) Conserve energy – Set thermostat to 24°C and switch to auto (every degree higher consumes 5% lower AC consumption, DEWA).

2) Conserve water and prevent waste runoff – Don’t leave taps running, try drip-watering house and garden plants, and you really don’t need to wash your car 3 times a week!

3) Use fewer, or ideally no single-use plastics (use re-usable where possible). Treat yourself to a thermos and have your barista fill your daily coffee into that, this will bypass the plastic-lined disposable cups. 

4) Reduce your carbon footprint (use public transport when possible). The UAE has a fantastic infrastructure in place, so take advantage of the metro, tram or taxi service.

Additionally, shopping locally reduces the carbon footprint and air pollution created from goods shipped from afar. Local produce is fresher and supports the economy!

5) The fun one… go scuba diving! Get submerged and experience the world below first-hand, to understand the precious resource we are harming. You can support one of the many organisations operating ocean clean-up drives, collecting plastics and other man-made rubbish which ends up in the sea and harms marine life, such as disposable the face masks which fish are becoming caught in. 

To sum up

If we collectively make smarter choices in our everyday routines, we can each contribute our part in creating a favourable future. Basic considerations such as reducing single-use plastics, adjusting thermostats and being considerate with water consumption all help. 

If we can, as a minimum, understand the cause and effects discussed in this article, it creates a starting step in understanding the problem and beginning the journey to take the required action to support our planet. 

For further educational insights, tune in to the presentation on World Ocean Day (8th June) which will be held by unworldoceansday.

An article by Gautam Gajjar.


The Impact of Covid-19 on the MICE Industry

The thought of easing UAE’s Covid restrictions is a daunting concept for some, but the announcement from Dubai Tourism, to trial the reopening of social events and increased capacity weddings & hotels, comes as music to the ears of others, particularly the Meetings, Incentives, Conferences & Exhibitions (MICE) industry, who have been severely impacted by the restrictions.

When your industry revolves around assembling talent and hospitality, grounding movement of people and restricting gatherings are problematic to put it lightly, however, this was the disruptive fate of the MICE industry.

The implementation of restrictions 

The desirable luxury and services offered in the UAE are highly sought after, attracting local and international clients alike to this state-of-the-art events destination hub. However, the recent disruption of trade created a devastating void for the MICE industry, who having relied on the arrangement with the unique city and desert venues, was left helpless amid social distancing and travel bans. Eventually, this industry devastation led to financial and employment instability.

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The shutdown of conferences, weddings, and social events resulted in postponing or cancellation of bookings, many of which never re-booked, many hosts eventually required dipping into reserve funds to stay afloat. 

Possible solutions…

In some cases, workarounds were possible, and even effective, such as cloud-based video conferences, or virtual concerts such as ‘United at Home’, the iconic gig which aired live from Burj Al Arab Hotel’s helipad as highlighted by EDM. These alternative approaches were instrumental in survival for some businesses but not feasible for others, namely weddings, requiring a physical presence, so had no contingencies and were amongst the worst affected.

The dilemma now is, with the downscaling witnessed during the restrictions, could the future of weddings and other events remain smaller, low-key functions? Could meetings remain virtual? These would have drastic consequences on the industry’s profitability.

While the recent vaccination rollout and introduction of so-called vaccine passports offer businesses some assurance, it has not yet transpired into a reliable holistic development. Locally in the UAE, things appear to be moving in the right direction, unfortunately, global regulations differ from each country, creating conflicts and continuing travel limitations, therefore regaining international strength is still challenging.

The future outlook

The UAE’s strong reaction to the pandemic, with early preventative measures, is now being rewarded, their operational position today is amongst the best in the world. This regained strength in the UAE’s economy plays directly into the hands of the MICE industry, now realigned to the current conditional expectations and ready to deliver safe, secure, and reliable hospitality with every stage of lifted restrictions.  

Positively, the knowledge gained through this experience has pushed many to adapt to this new age, through forward-thinking solutions and digital innovations, for example, ‘IBTM Wired’ will be hosting their inaugural virtual industry event online, catering to those who are unable or apprehensive of non-essential travel. Closer to home, the UAE has its sights set on the 2021 Dubai Expo, continuing to lay down solid foundations in preparation for the boom in the MICE industry in the run-up to the anticipated event.


Despite this turmoil the MICE industry has endured, there is light at the end of the tunnel! These fading restrictions suggest a ‘modern version’ of normality is not far away. This continued forward momentum can potentially create a busy summer for the MICE industry, don’t you think?

If you have been affected or similarly impacted by the topic discussed, we would love to hear from you and understand the actions you chose to respond with, so please reach out or comment. You can also follow us for further market insights and discussions.

An article by Gautam Gajjar.