Why hotels across the Middle East are embracing LED

As outside temperatures soar above 50 degrees in many parts of the Middle East and entertainment moves indoors, hotel establishments are once again feeling the pinch of higher energy bills.

While energy consumption within the hospitality sector is highly diversified and often difficult to break down, there is little doubt that much of it comes from lighting.

Energy-efficient lighting, therefore, is one of the most impactful and easiest ways of cutting costs. And many hotels can attest to that.


A design consideration

Sofitel The Palm Dubai, which opened in July 2013, took the opportunity to cut costs from day one by incorporating sustainable technologies into its initial design drawings. These included solar panels, motion sensors, and energy-efficient lamps.

Sofitel The Palm Dubai has embraced low-energy lighting

‘One of the initiatives that we implemented was the replacement of high wattage halogen lamps with LED lamps for all lighting that is operational 24/7,’ says Rohit Salunke, director of engineering at Sofitel The Palm Dubai, part of the Accor Group.

To date, the Polynesian themed resort has saved more than one million kWh using LEDs and CFLs, equivalent to around $136,000.

‘We planned the project in a phased manner, starting with the replacement of all 24/7 lit halogen lamps in areas such as guest corridors, art works, and public toilets. In the second phase, we installed LED lamps in meeting rooms and landscaping areas,’ Salunke says. Replacements are now ongoing in the resort’s 361 guest rooms.


Less than three years’ payback

Sofitel The Palm is not an isolated case. Among the first movers in Dubai was Radisson Blu Dubai Media City. Often catering to business travellers thanks to its location, the four-star hotel replaced 95 per cent of its lights with LEDs in 2009, reducing its energy usage by 81 per cent.

Dubai's Grosvenor House Hotel has replaced thousands of halogen lamps with LED

More recently, the Grosvenor House Hotel in Dubai Marina rolled out a multifaceted green initiative that entailed the replacement of more than 24,000 halogen lamps in its guest rooms and common areas with LED lamps from GE.

Completed in late 2014, the project is making savings of around 80 per cent and should pay for itself in just 18 months.

Over the long term, return on investment depends on the project and country. But Praveen Sharma, product general manager for the Middle East, Africa and Turkey at GE Lighting, says GE’s clients are typically achieving a payback period of below three years.

‘In guest rooms, where you typically have halogen or incandescent lamps, it is possible to save up to 80 per cent against a GLS or halogen lamp. You’re also saving on air conditioning cost because you don’t have that much heat generated compared to traditional technologies such as halogen and incandescent.’


The LED trend

Meanwhile, Jumeirah Emirates Towers, one of the most stunning architectural landmarks on the Dubai skyline, aims to use LED lighting throughout the entire hotel.

The Wyndham Grand Regency in Qatar

More than 80 per cent of the 56-storey tower already uses LED lighting, which resulted in a 1.63 per cent year-on-year reduction in electricity consumption in 2014. Encouraged by this achievement, the hotel is working to increase LED contribution to 100 per cent in 2015.                                                                                                                   

In the neighbouring state of Qatar, the world's richest country per capita, hotels have spared no effort in upgrading their lighting systems. In 2013 alone, Wyndham Grand Regency, Crowne Plaza Doha, and the InterContinental all retrofitted parts of their establishments with LED systems from GE.

Crowne Plaza’s project was particularly challenging because the hotel was seeking exterior façade lighting that looked elegant, could lower maintenance costs and withstand extreme weather conditions.

For this requirement, the hotel used 2,400 metres of flexible LED lights that can be moulded on site to fit the shape of architectural features. Today, the system is providing energy savings of up to 40 per cent compared to the neon lights traditionally used on façades.


Enormous savings

Outside of the Arabian Gulf region, Jordan’s Zara Investment Holding plans to enhance operational efficiency across its hotel portfolio, which includes the Mövenpick Resort and Spa Dead Sea, InterContinental Jordan, and Grand Hyatt Amman.

Crowne Plaza Doha

Several Zara hotels have already switched to energy saving LEDs in common areas, according to chairman Sabih Masri. ‘In 2014, we carried out ongoing efforts to protect the environment where we operate as well as to mitigate the risks inherent in the ballooning energy costs.’

On the other side of the region, Mövenpick Ankara in the Turkish capital city has replaced halogen lighting in its façade, gardens, and indoor swimming pool with LEDs.

Atakan Turhan, general manager at the Mövenpick Ankara, says: ‘It made a big difference as we moved from 1,000W halogens to 210W LEDs. 70W guestroom work desk lamps were replaced with 12W LEDs and 18W lamps in the fire-exit stairs were replaced with 12W LEDs.’

‘We replaced both halogen and incandescent lamps with LED lamps as LED technology offers the best energy efficiency’ adds Turhan.

Altogether, the LED retrofit projects are saving the hotel around $4,310 annually.


Not just about cost

Cost reductions are obviously a fundamental driver for hotels making the switch to energy-efficient lighting. However, the desire for recognition is also a major impetus. One of the sought-after accreditations in the hospitality sector is the Green Globe Certification, which is based on internationally accepted criteria of sustainable operation of tourism businesses.

The Mövenpick Ankara

The system is fairly straightforward: Green Globe auditors assess the sustainability performance of member hotels and provide them with third party verifications that they have met the certification criteria.

Since Green Globe standards are updated every year, businesses have to be re-certified on an annual basis, which maintains a healthy level of motivation among the hotels.

Moreover, the certification serves as an independent evaluation that ensures the hotel is performing to the highest environmental standards. This leaves a positive impression on guests and can even improve a hotel’s chances of receiving other awards, as was the case with Jumeirah Beach Hotel.

‘Green Globe has really helped us to achieve the highest quality and be awarded the Dubai Quality Award for the third time,’ says Mahmoud Sakr, the hotel’s general manager.

Mövenpick Ankara, too, came a long way by achieving the certification for the second time in 2015, having been operational for eight years.

Whether it’s the recognition, financial savings, or aesthetic improvements, Middle East hotels have plenty of reasons to make the switch to energy efficient lighting, and for the time being, this trend is here to stay.

All photos were supplied by GE Lighting except for those of Sofitel The Palm Dubai and Mövenpick Ankara, which were provided by the hotels

Comments 1

I'm married for more than 5years, my relationship with my husband was so terrible because my husband was really cheating on me and was looking for a way to quick divorce, we broke-up before 3 months back and we came back again after so much begging with nice gifts of love. I love my husband so much. I don't want to loose him to another lady I couldn't have done anything to hurt him or make him feel bad about me anymore.. i just wanted him back home to loving me forever. My explained this my relationship crisis to my friend and she advised me to rather contact the help of love spell caster called Dr.Oduduwa from afrikana nation, that he has Powerful gifted charm to bring back love and trust into any marriage relationship, I believed and gave it try, i send message to Oduduwa email address as given to me by my friend as (dr.oduduwaspellcaster@gmail. com), he replied my mail and said he can help me bring back my husband home to love me more than ever before, i was very happy to find this man to help me, i followed all his instructions and he told me what to do at my home during night prayers love portion activation. i did all love spelling enchantment procedure carefully and it work for me. My husband came back home to apologize to me, he said he was so sorry for cheating and hurting my feelings, i was so surprised how love magic portion is working on my husband positively, today we are both living happily together.i love him so much. My point is, I'm greateful and thankful to this great man Dr.Oduduwa. I was at first having fear of doubt, but i give it a try and it work for my good. I'm certain this will work for you as well more better if you can give it a try to communicate with Dr.Oduduwa today,100% guarantee instant result in change of love and care from your love partner. contact him through his personal amail {herbalisthome01@gmail. com} Dr.Amiso is like a father, a spell casterof all kind, and mentor to me, he told me he can also restore the following relationship issues;- * Love Spells Win-Back Ex lover partner within 2 days * magic Charm (Talisman ring for Success & promotion) * Love portion to discover True-Love, LONG LIFE PROTECTION * fertility magic - FRUITS OF WoMB, AND FIBROID REMOVER. * decreeing magic, Lotto, LOTTERY & WIN-GAMES SPELL Information is power, please share this information on social media, you are helping someone to restore back love and trust into marriage/ relationship crisis are over with immediate charming love spell portion. it work for me, i belive it will work for you today if you give it a try. Dr.Amiso personal email: {herbalisthome01@gmail. com}

Leave your comment