Top speakers billed for green hotels conference

Expert speakers from around the world including Hospitality and Green Building pioneers, top consultants and senior managers from the IT and Building sector are among the confirmed speakers at “The Growth of Green Hotels Conference” which will take place on the 14th of December, 2008 at the Abu Dhabi National Exhibition Centre. The conference will be held on the opening day of Equip’Hotel Middle East, the capital’s first hospitality trade show, being organized by Reed Exhibitions Middle East, from December 14 to 16. Equip’Hotel Middle East is organised with the support of Abu Dhabi National Hotels and the National Corporation for Tourism & Hotels.

“The concept of a ‘green hotel’ is completely new in this region but our studies have shown there is a very real need for the hospitality sector here to pay urgent attention to ‘going green’” said Naji El Haddad, Deputy Show Manager of Equip’Hotel Middle East.

“The excellent line-up of speakers and range of topics at next month’s Green Hotels Conference will provide delegates with a solid understanding of the issues, trends, solutions and opportunities that are on offer. Reed has created this industry platform to benefit the hospitality sector and related sub-sectors, and we would welcome the participation of all stakeholders in this conference.”

Wen I Chang, one of the world’s leading personalities in the ‘green hotels’ industry and President of the Atman Hospitality Group is one of the key speakers at this conference. Chang will present a case study on Gaia Hotels and Spas, a worldwide chain of green hotels that he has pioneered. 

“The green hotels industry is making steady progress. Whereas the construction costs to make the first of my hotels ‘green’, was 12-15 percent more, the second one cost an additional 6 percent to build while the third was only 3-5 percent more. There are more and more suppliers available today while developers are also getting smarter in evaluating items necessary to make their project truly green,” Chang said. 
Mario Seneviratne, Director - Green Technologies FZCO, Founder & Secretary to the Board - Emirates Green Building Council will address the topic “LEED Hotels”. Mario, who has spent over three decades in Dubai, has been actively involved in the design and construction of many industrial and commercial buildings which have energy conservation and / or sustainable features.


The financial pay-back of going green will be handled during a panel discussion “Greener Hotels, Greater Profits”. The discussion will feature Ralph Noblet, Director of ECOS Hotels, the Middle East’s first environmentally-friendly budget brand; Alka Patel, Environmental Chairperson, Fairmont Dubai; Markus Oberlin, General Manager of leading hospitality sector consultancy, Farnek Avireal Middle East; and Andrea Boeing-Spiess, CEO of Eco Crown Hospitality. They will engage in an in-depth discussion on developing and operating Green Hotels by discussing Costs vs. Benefits and strategies used by Green Hotel specialists to save money and ensure return on investments.

Richard Smith, Technical Director at Atkins, and Geoffrey Sanderson, Principal, Green Concepts Landscape Architects, will address a session titled “Green Hotel Architecture and Design.”

Anas Sawaf, Real-Estate Vertical Manager at Cisco will speak on “Solutions and Technologies for Green Hotels” while Michael Hartmann, Senior Vice President, at Siemens will present his findings on how resource limitations can potentially influence the tourism market in 2030.

The conference is expected to be of great interest to architects and interior designers, planning officers, investors, distributors and importers, engineers, restaurants & catering operators, food and beverage directors, contractors, consultants and real estate developers.