From desert conservation reserves, to sustainable restaurateurs and eco-hotels, to cultural pursuits and eco-tourism attractions, DET is shining a light on 50 of the city’s pioneering initiatives in environmental conservation and sustainability

DUBAI: Dubai Sustainable Tourism (DST), part of Dubai’s Department of Economy and Tourism (DET), is celebrating sustainable practices across the city to mark the 50th World Environment Day, as it strives to further enhance Dubai’s position as a leading sustainable destination.

From desert conservation reserves, to sustainable restaurateurs and eco-hotels, to cultural pursuits and eco-tourism attractions, DET is shining a light on 50 of the city’s pioneering initiatives in environmental conservation and sustainability across the tourism ecosystem on the occasion of World Environment Day, that was created by the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP), as “a global platform for inspiring positive change”.


Dubai’s unique ecosystem has made for generations of sustainable conservations and a distinctive connection with nature. From Bedouin practices, to nature reserves and safaris, Dubai has long had a harmonious connection with its surroundings. Environmental protection is ingrained into the very DNA of Dubai’s natural landscape and is something that continues to be enhanced and celebrated.

Dubai Can Initiative

Sheikh Hamdan bin Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Dubai Crown Prince and Chairman of The Executive Council of Dubai, launched ‘Dubai Can’, a citywide sustainability initiative to turn the tide on plastic and inspire mass action to actively reduce the use of single-use plastic bottles. There are currently 40 free drinking water fountains placed across the city.

Dubai Integrated Energy

The Dubai Supreme Council of Energy has formulated and launched the Dubai Integrated Energy Strategy 2030 in 2011, with the purpose of diversifying sources of energy and increase the clean energy share. Dubai aims to increase the share of clean energy to 29 per cent and the Emirate’s energy demand by 30 per cent by 2030.

Dubai Desert Conservation Reserve

The DDCR is the UAE’s first national park, which is a carefully planned rehabilitation centre for nature, to preserve and tend to the city’s beautiful desert habitat.

Ras Al Khor Flamingo Sanctuary

Ras Al Khor Wildlife Sanctuary is one of the few protected urban areas, located in the heart of Dubai Creek. There are tens of thousands of flamingo birds. This expansive sanctuary offers a space for the birds to breed and a safe reserve for other plants, fish and mammals to thrive. The Sanctuary is the first area recognised under the Ramsar Convention on Wetlands in the country.

Jumeirah Turtle Rehabilitation

This project addresses the threat facing the turtle population in the Arabian Gulf, focused on rescuing, rehabilitating and releasing turtles back into the wild.

Emaar Hospitality Waste Management

Emaar group aims to reduce food waste and food waste carbon footprint in hopes of a more sustainable future in Dubai. They aim to push for food and water waste reduction across hospitality sectors, through championing best practices and monitoring hotels and eateries across the city.

Al Marmoom Desert Conservation Reserve

The first unfenced nature conservation reserve in the UAE, this desert habitat is a sustainable and man-maintained home for Arabian oryx and wild Arabic birds. This conservation allows for the preservation of local animals and provides a safe and natural space for them to thrive and multiply.

Wadi Al Safa Wildlife Conservation

This sustainable desert conservation spot allows for animals to roam and be surrounded by their thriving natural habitat.

Hatta Mountain Conservation

This dam is a popular spot for tourists and a magnificently sustainable location, allowing a budding spot for surrounding wildlife.

Ghaf Tree Planting Activity – declared as the national tree of the UAE

This fun and interactive outdoor tree planting is available to the public for a way to boost team building whilst protecting the environment. This initiative is an amazing way to do your bit for the future of our planet whilst having fun.


Hotels across Dubai are constantly striving to become more green and demonstrate respect for the planet, in line with careful guidance from DST and the continual sustainable strides of the city’s government. As well as remaining in line with current tourism trends, many resorts and hotels in the city have an enduring commitment to sustainability and are making positive strides across the hospitality industry. The city’s hotels are currently implementing a series of sustainability requirements set by DST as part of continuing efforts to position the city as a leading sustainable destination.

The Ritz Carlton, Dubai in JBR – Vertical Farm, The Ritz-Carlton, Dubai in JBR

The Ritz-Carlton, Dubai in JBRhas launched a vertical farm, in order to create hyper-local dishes and inspire food security and regenerative farming practices across their F&B outlets, while also offering freshly made ingredients to their guests.

Andaz Hotel The Palm

The luxury hotel is taking further steps towards its green initiative with harvesting their very own hydroponic produce on-site to be utilised throughout the hotels multiple dining establishments.

Al Maha – a Luxury Collection Hotel

This desert resort and spa takes a unique approach to sustainability with its on-site desert conservation which has reintroduced indigenous fauna into the area, and to protect native plants from the grazing of camels, goats and donkeys.

JA Resort

JA Resort is one the city’s leading allies in the ‘Dubai Can’ imitative, with refillable water bottles and accessible water stations throughout the hotel. The plastic saved has then been implemented to the on-property water stations.

Mandarin Oriental Jumeirah

With its reputation as one of the most popular luxury hotels in the city, their eco-friendly initiatives place them as pioneers in the industry, especially with their green procurement practices and ensuring that social and environmental impacts are factored into all of their purchasing decisions.

Sofitel, The Obelisk

This hotel situated in Healthcare City are additional allies of the Dubai Can initiative, aiming to inspire others to make positive changes in hospitality and make for a better future for the planet.

Waldorf Astoria, The Palm

The hotel has been focused on its sustainability promises by inviting guests to attend a beach clean-up activity, to both achieve their commitments to environmental action and to raise awareness for guests to adopt good practices and avoid littering. It also highlights the importance of maintaining a clear beach by avoiding single-use plastics.

Waldorf Astoria, DIFC

To mark World Environment Day 2022, this luxury DIFC venue will be organising a mangrove planting activity at Al Zorah Nature Reserve in Ajman to contribute to the thriving ecosystem in the UAE, under the theme of “Living Sustainably in Harmony with Nature”.

Bulgari Hotel & Resorts

This hotel offers a sustainable interpretation of luxury developed according to the best practices in sustainable design set by BREEAM (BRE Environmental Assessment Method), the leading and most widely used environmental assessment method for buildings.

Radisson Blu Dubai Creek

This hotel has been awarded the Green Globe certification following its undertaking of several initiatives pertaining to its green agenda, including recycling, conserving water & electricity as well as attention paid to food waste


Dubai’s gastronomy scene is fast evolving and continually striving to be more sustainable, with vast technological updates to farming and management of food waste. Restaurants across the city are shifting towards utilising locally sourced ingredients to both drive sustainability promises and offer guests more authentic experiences.


This modern European eatery is a home-grown Dubai concept showcasing all the amazing things that can be grown in the desert and highlighting that it is far from a barren landscape. In addition to their locally sourced ingredients, their meat & fish are from local suppliers and their practices are driven by innovation and sustainability.

Arabian Tea House

This restaurant full of old-world charm, allows you to be transported into the past and offers traditional tastes of the UAE. With dishes inspired by family recipes using the best local ingredients, this café plays a huge role in preserving the Emirati culture and cuisine.


This environmentally friendly eatery brings food waste down to almost nothing, using all disregarded ingredients and offcuts to then create alternative products, such as sauces, syrups and soups.

Reif Japanese Kushiyaki

Founded by famed Dubai based chef, Reif Othman, who is a champion of sustainability in the hospitality industry. This dining destination prioritises reducing water and plastic waste, with metal straws provided to guests as well as tap filtered still and sparkling water.

The Sum of Us

This café is a special local eatery which prioritises the planet above all else. With its vast vegan options and focus on minimal food waste, it is a model venue for best practice.

One Life Kitchen

The healthy venue is an advocate for sustainability, offering reusable bottles and crockery for diners, while utilising local ingredients to ensure a reduced carbon footprint.

Sanderson’s Café

This earthy café provides high quality healthy food with zero guilt. The food served at this restaurant is all sourced from local suppliers and looks to continually innovating in order to achieve minimal water and food waste.


Seva is a laid back venue with a relaxed atmosphere and an extensive and tasty vegan menu. The focus on veganism at this eatery is a mark of their strive for sustainability.

Wild & The Moon

This café uses local, seasonal and ethically sourced organic ingredients, with instagramable elements and colourful raw dishes which push their core messaging which is centred around sustainability.


Lowe has been awarded the Sustainability Restaurant Award by MENA’s 50 Best Restaurants through their continual efforts to reduce waste and focus on the locality of their ingredients.


Across Dubai’s many leisure, health and fitness pursuits available to tourists and residents alike, there is a constant drive for more sustainable and environmental practices. Such outlets provide sports equipment generated from recycled materials, as well as a range of spa treatments and snacks from ethically sourced, sustainable ingredients.

The Hundred Wellness Centre

This luxurious wellness centre in Jumeirah 1, offers a vast array of treatments, with all ingredients in the treatment offerings locally sourced products with zero waste and natural remedies to empower physical, mental and emotional health.

Sea Salt Spa

This decedent ladies spa located in the exemplary Sustainability City, uses the natural and powerful tools of the sea to treat individuals and create an atmosphere of absolute relaxation. Using sustainably sourced ingredients from the ocean, this spa soothes the mind, body and soul with a focus on being green.

Yoga at Aura Skypool

This sustainable activity on The Palm is perfect for the green conscious wellness lover in Dubai, with vegan options at their post-yoga breakfast and zero waste promises, this activity is perfect to soothe the mind and soul with a clear conscious.

Wellness getaway at The Lighthouse Retreat

Just outside the city, surrounded by the opulent desert landscape, this retreat offers a range of therapies, coaching, meditation, yoga and more all whilst being sustainable in their practice.

Sonara Camp

This luxurious getaway desert camp is both elegant and sustainable, in all of their pursuits. With live entertainment inspired by Bedouin practices with locally sourced ingredients and traditional sustainable practices used at every point.

Sultana Spa Hammam Dubai

This traditional Arabian practice, located in Al Wasl, is the perfect way to cleanse the body and the mind, with new and improved eco-aware practices to carry out the experience.

Balance Wellbeing 360 Spa

This spa in Oasis Mall offers a 21st century approach to wellness, with sustainability at the forefront of all of their actions, making effective and healthy lifestyle choices available green and organic processes.

Smart Wellness Organic Spa

With all of their treatments and offerings being vegan, sustainable and cruelty free, this Business Bay salon and spa is a sustainable option for all relaxation and beauty needs.

Spa InterContinental

This spa offers a chance to connect with nature with the chemical-free, organic body wrap and a soothing sugar body exfoliation treatment. They also offer sustainable and organic deluxe Just Pure organic facial.


At Desert Palm Polo Club, this zesty, laid back spa offers sustainable and organic signature treatments, with intuitive properties which get to know the skin and allow for the best possible outcome.


Many cultural activities and Dubai based recreational facilities pay homage to the city’s long-standing sustainable past, and look towards its pioneering sustainable future. From old town city tours, to inspiring exhibitions focused on Dubai’s sustainable future, the city is rich in cultural and educational experiences both sustainable in their very nature and content.

Museum of the Future

This new and exciting element to the Dubai skyline offers a vision of Dubai’s sustainable future and a chance to explore what years to come will look like for Dubai as a green city.

Al Shindagha Museum

Along the historic waters of Dubai Creek, this thought provoking museum allows an insight into ‘old Dubai’ and how the original settlers of the city lived and all of their sustainable practices.

Majid Al Futtaim (MAF) Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design

Across their numerous leisure outlets and properties throughout the UAE, MAF are striving to become more green in building a rating system that appraises design, structure and overall operations rated on their sustainable practices, inspiring a greener future.

Al Qudra Cycling Track

This popular destination for adventure seekers with 86km of track through the Dubai’s Desert Conservation, is a sustainable opportunity for individuals to soak in all of the natural magnificence of the desert, whilst observing the local wildlife on route.

The Sustainable City Dubai

This prime location for sustainable culture is a model for green practices with numerous outdoor activities, animal sanctuaries, gardens and water conserves.

Desert Safari

With multiple options for sustainable desert safaris across the outskirts of the city, tourists and residents alike can enjoy magnificent views of the Arabian desert and connect with nature for a greener day out.

Dhow Cruise Dubai Marina

These traditional boats which have live entertainment with an Arabic buffet, offer an opulent view of the Marina with sustainable operations. Through their repurposing of traditional boats, right to their rejection of fossil fuels, these cruises are the perfect option for a green afternoon activity.

Mushrif National Park

This free and fun Dubai activity is a peaceful and sustainable day out, where individuals can observe beautiful birds and indigenous wildlife.

The Green Planet

This indoor Amazonian rainforest is a spacious reserve offering fun activities and a chance to explore the rainforest top to bottom, making for an exploratory and green leisure pursuit.

Hatta Hiking Trails

Dubai is surrounded by world famous hiking trails, particularly in Hatta, which is a perfect way to bask in the stunning nature outside the city and enjoy an entirely sustainable day out.