Simon Corkill
Simon Corkill, Executive Tournament Director of Hero Dubai Desert Classic, led the efforts Image Credit: Supplied

The Hero Dubai Desert Classic has completed the planting of 1,750 mangrove trees at Dubai’s Jebel Ali Wildlife Sanctuary in partnership with Emirates Marine Environmental Group (EMEG).

The trees were funded from visitor parking fees to help offset the tournament’s carbon emissions through its ‘Park and Plant’ initiative, underscoring the Hero Dubai Desert Classic's commitment to environmental responsibility and community engagement.

Visitors to January’s Hero Dubai Desert Classic, won for a record fourth time by Rory McIlroy, were encouraged to travel to the tournament by the Dubai Metro. Those driving to the event took part in the ‘Park and Plant’ initiative where each visitor paid a fee to park on site. These fees have now been used to plant 1,750 mangrove trees, helping to offset the tournament’s carbon emissions via the mangrove’s natural storing of carbon.

Simon Corkill, Executive Tournament Director of Hero Dubai Desert Classic, expressed his support for the initiative, “We are thrilled to have planted 1,750 mangrove trees at the Jebel Ali Wildlife Sanctuary. As the first GEO-Certified event in the Middle East, and the first in the DP World Tour’s Rolex Series, we are committed to reducing our environmental impact and work hard to deliver a truly sustainable event. This initiative is part of Dubai’s relentless pursuit of sustainability and our commitment to engaging the community in meaningful conservation efforts. Together, we are taking clear steps towards a greener, more sustainable future for all.”

The mangrove planting event took place at Jebel Ali Wildlife Sanctuary, led by Corkill and his team.

Mangrove trees, deeply intertwined with the UAE's coastal heritage, serve as crucial allies in the fight against climate change, absorbing carbon dioxide and play a vital role in climate regulation. Additionally, they provide essential habitats and food sources for diverse marine and bird species, while also acting as a natural buffer against coastal erosion and flooding.

In addition to the 'Park and Plant' initiative, the Hero Dubai Desert Classic has incorporated a series of sustainable practices, including engaging eco-friendly activities at Tournament Town, offering free drinking water refill points, and installing over 400 solar panels around the venue, plus developing a new app and digital ticketing to reduce paper waste, plus much more.

These sustainability efforts are part of the HDDC’s ‘Go For The Green’ initiative aimed to encourage and inspire people to be more eco-friendly, and reaffirm its commitment to protecting the planet. Furthermore, these initiatives collectively demonstrate the tournament's dedication to fostering a greener, more sustainable future for all. It also contributes to this event being the first GEO-certified mass event in the Middle East.