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Ras Al Khaimah Tourism Development Authority, (RAKTDA), Ras Al Khaimah Waste Management Authority (WMA) and Ras Al Khaimah Public Services Department, (PSD) came together this week to unveil the latest developments and significant milestones related to its sustainable tourism and waste management vision for the Emirate at its annual Hotel and Hospitality Sustainability event.
The event was attended by H.E. Eng. Ahmad Mohamed Al Hammadi, Director General of Public Services Department of Ras Al Khaimah, Eng. Sonia Nasser- Executive Director of Waste Management Agency at Ras Al Khaimah and Haitham Mattar, CEO of Ras Al Khaimah Tourism Development Authority along with Ras Al Khaimah’s hotel representatives, Green Ambassadors and government entities who are directly involved in the Emirate’s sustainability agenda. The event agenda highlighted the latest updates in the recycling waste management initiatives set for the Emirate, shared best practices and key learnings in this sector, and announced the new targets and criteria planned for next year that will serve the overall goals of the Emirate.
In 2016, the concerned government bodies of Ras Al Khaimah, comprising RAKTDA, Public Service Department in Ras Al Khaimah, represented by RAK Waste Management Agency, collaborated to launch new waste management standards for hotels and tourism establishments across the Emirate. As H.E Eng. Ahmad Mohamed Al Hammadi said: “This is indeed an important occasion for all of us involved in public environmental issues because it allows us to draw the attention of the hospitality sector yet again to one of the most important concern in modern times.”
The new vision for the Emirate incorporated the world’s best practices in the sustainability arena, with the aim to increase waste recycling within the Emirate’s hotels from four per cent to 75 per cent by 2021. The move was 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 minimising waste.
On this occasion, Haitham Mattar, Chief Executive Officer of Ras Al Khaimah Tourism Development Authority, said: “As part of the roadmap that we set for the Emirate, our target was to recycle 30% of the waste of hotels and tourism establishments by end of 2018. Today, we are proud to announce that 26 hotels in Ras Al Khaimah have either met or exceeded the targets placed for them, which is an incredible development in such a short period. We are working closely with WMA to do a yearly inspection to monitor the waste management practices of the hotels to ensure that the best practices we set from them comply. Our next target is to focus on the guidelines which we announced recently to ensure food waste treatment and the usage of cooking oil in the in the Emirate complies with or exceeds global standards.”
Eng. Sonia Nasser- Executive Director of Waste Management Agency at Ras Al Khaimah: “We have been monitoring and recording the weight of food waste, recyclables and general waste collected and calculating the diversion rate from 2018 for the hospitality industry in Ras Al Khaimah. Since the launch of the Hotel recycling initiative, we have increased the generation of recyclables from hotels from 60 tons monthly to 130 tons monthly: an increase of 120%. Such positive results give us confidence in our capability to achieve our optimistic vision and we look forward to reaching our ultimate targets of achieving the 75% recycling diversion rate by 2021.”
In recognition of hotels that have made significant accomplishments in their waste managements and sustainable practices, Ras Al Khaimah awarded 10 hotels out of 26 who exceeded their targets and demonstrated excellent waste management practices. In addition, 13 hotels were recognized for their good waste management practices, who met their targets whilst 3 hotels were identified as needing to improve their waste management.
Moreover, earlier this year, Ras Al Khaimah announced a five-year Memorandum of Understanding (MoU), which was signed between signed between the following government entities: Ras Al Khaimah Tourism Development Authority (RAKTDA), the Ras Al Khaimah Waste Management Agency (RAKWMA), Ras Al Khaimah Wastewater Agency (RAKWA) and Ras Al Khaimah Municipality (RAKMUN), to ensure that the cooking oil used in the Emirate complies with or exceeds global best practices in health, safety and waste disposal standards as part of an ongoing focus on sustainable tourism development of the Emirate.
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