DP World Tour's Hero Dubai Desert Classic Announces Sustainability Award

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Source: David Cannon/Getty Images, with permission

Rory McIlroy tees off at the Hero Dubai Desert Classic

Jul. 17 2023, Published 8:20 p.m. ET

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Dubai’s Hero Dubai Desert Classic (HDDC), the longest running tour in Middle Eastern golf at 34 years old, has become the DP World Tour’s first event to achieve GEO Certified® Tournament status.

Awarded by the international non-profit Geo Foundation, Geo Certification is an elite international standard that recognizes golf facilities, developments, and tournaments for realizing their environmental and social commitments.

Specifically, the HDDC has been singled out for its efforts in the field of emissions and waste reduction, characterized by the Dubai tournament’s use of green energy, recycling initiatives, and a ban on single-use plastics and other environmentally damaging materials, amongst other measures.

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These initiatives have seen the HDDC power the entirety of its annual event on biofuels, as well as planting 2,000 indigenous Ghaf trees across the UAE in 2023 thus far to support carbon offsetting and enhance biodiversity.

Regarding waste reduction, the Classic confirms that it has diverted 80,000 single-use plastic bottles from landfill since 2022.

Simon Corkhill, the HDDC’s Executive Tournament Director, highlighted that the Classic is now the first golf event in the Middle East to be GEO Certified®, describing the award as an ‘important distinction and milestone’ that reflected his Dubai-based team’s ‘strong dedication to tackling priority environmental and social issues.'


Also speaking to media this week, Head of Sustainability for the European Tour Andrew Lynch encouraged every tournament under the tour’s banner to follow the HDDC’s example in becoming a ‘true showcase for sustainability’.

The HDDC’s progress in the field of sustainability is widely seen by industry stakeholders as a reflection of Dubai and the UAE’s own efforts in climate change mitigation and the protection of biodiversity.

Dubai has marked 2023 as its ‘Year of Sustainability’ and the emirate is making good progress towards an ambitious goal of generating 100% of its power production from clean energy sources by 2050.

In addition, $10.9 billion is reportedly being invested into electricity and water projects by 2028 to maximize energy efficiency and reduce waste.

The next HDDC will take place in January 2024, following on from Dubai’s hosting of the COP28 climate summit this November – a pivotal event for the realization of progressive environmental commitments at the global level.

Indeed, this is clearly an important period for the Middle East’s broader environmental agenda, of which Dubai is taking a noticeable lead.


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