Dubai Desert Classic
The Dubai Desert Classic has been running since 1989 Image Credit: Supplied

The Hero Dubai Desert Classic (HDDC) has become GEO Certified for the second consecutive year, highlighting the event’s dedication to environmental responsibility and position as a leader in sustainable golf events.

GEO Certified, the widely regarded, credible distinction for responsible golf events is overseen by the international non-profit organisation GEO Foundation for Sustainable Golf, dedicated to support and recognition for sustainability and climate action in golf.

Criteria cover aspects of event staging as well as awareness-raising efforts and lasting legacies, with continual improvement points for future events an integral part of the process.

This year’s consecutive second accreditation has been awarded following continued and increased efforts to minimise the environmental impact of this prestigious DP World Tour event and oldest golf tournament in the Middle East.

Key initiatives include the wide use of solar power, extensive recycling to limit landfill waste, the 100% use of B20 biodiesel throughout the event, a park and plant initiative and reduced use paper through digital only tickets and daily magazines.

“This second successive GEO certification is a milestone moment for the Hero Dubai Desert Classic,” said Simon Corkill, Executive Tournament Director of Hero Dubai Desert Classic.

“Having become the first event in the Middle East and in the DP World Tour’s Rolex Series to have earned this prestigious status, this latest certification emphasises our long-term commitment to create a sustainable golf event.

“We are delighted that the Hero Dubai Desert Classic is playing a part in Dubai’s wider ambitions of building a greener city for generations to come.”

Key achievements from recent events also include:

· 80% of the area between the 11th and 15th holes powered by solar panels and wide use of solar power in the Media Centre

· Park and Plant – charge for parking on site funded the planting of three trees per car

· Achieving a remarkable milestone, the event diverted 100% of waste from landfills (up from 53% the previous year). Dulsco’s effective waste streams resulted in 25% of materials being recycled or composted.

· 5 tonnes of glass recycled – enough energy to power a laptop for 312 days

· Emirates Flights Catering sourced salad greens from Dubai’s largest vertical farm, promoting sustainable food choices.

· Free water refill points have helped divert 120,000 single-use plastic bottles from landfill since 2022

· High-quality filtered water dispensers provided by Liquid of Life and Al Laith minimised single-use plastic

· 100% B20 biodiesel used throughout the event, supporting Dubai’s Clean Energy Strategy 2050 target of using 75% clean energy

· World’s finest golfers transported by an expanded fleet of BMW electric vehicles

· Credibly offset unavoidable emissions via the Rolex Series portfolio with the Gold Standard, supporting the Central Mozambique safe water programme, alongside local Mangrove ecosystem restoration project

· The Sustainability Corner in Tournament Town hosted environmental activities for all ages, including an Urban Farming workshop

· Digital ticketing and programme to reduce paper waste

· Supported Heroes of Hope, introducing people of determination to golf via organised clinics with the Academy at Emirates Golf Club

· Event partner Aggreko won ‘best sustainability initiative’ award for its involvement in HDDC 2022 and 2023 at Middle East Event Awards June 2023

Last month, the HDDC completed planting 1,750 mangrove trees at Dubai’s Jebel Ali Wildlife Sanctuary, as part of sustainable initiatives for next January’s tournament. The ‘Park and Plant’ scheme was funded by visitor parking fees to help offset the tournament’s carbon emissions.