This report seeks to develop a comprehensive, effective, and actionable sustainability policy for Burj Al Arab Hotel found in Dubai as one of the emirates that make up United Arabs Emirates. In an attempt to understand the performance of the hotel in regard to sustainability, the report has evaluated the existing literature to identify the existing criticism that should be considered in light of developing the policy. In essence, the mission statement has been evaluated in the report with the aim of developing the guiding principles when developing the policy bearing in mind that the plan should be consistent with the mission of the hotel. Some of the critical findings that were established included the social degradation of morals among the citizens of Dubai as caused by the western visitors, environmental pollution, and water shortage among other aspect that concerns sustainable hospitality. While considering the conceptual framework for the development and implementation of the sustainability policy, hexagonal balanced score card was used as the basis. In addition, the ISO 26000 principles were used in great details to develop the comprehensive sustainability policy for Burj Al Arab. Having created the sustainability policy, the plan for implementation was provided to show how each of the aspects contained in the policy should be implemented.
Aims and Objectives
Aim of the Report
The main aim of this report is to develop a comprehensive sustainability policy alongside its implementation plan in order to promote sustainable practices in the hotel when providing the hospitality services.
Objectives of the Report
Sustainability is one of the most crucial aspects of development that is being considered in all fields of social, economic, and environmental concerns because the present generation ought to initiate development without compromising the opportunities of the posterity (Freedman 2010). The hospitality industry is not an exception to the effort of fostering sustainable development given that it affects the social, economic, and environmental aspects of human lives (John 2014). Particularly, the management of hotels within the hospitality industry has become a critical point of interest bearing in mind that the construction of these hotels have various implications that should be evaluated to ensure that they do not compromise welfare of humanity and living organism. When considering the some of these hotels, Dubai has been identified as being among the fundamentally robust countries that have made proficient step to develop the hospitality industry. The emirate has invested heavily on the hospitality whereby they have built modern hotels to provide beautiful sceneries for tourist from all parts of the world (Asalami 2010). One of these hotels in known as Burj Al Arab built within the sea thus creating amazing scenery for the tourists who visit this hotel (Ali 2010). This essay will seek to conduct an evaluation based on the SWOT analysis in order to make a sustainability plan for the hotel in light of developing a sustainability policy and implementing it.
The mission statement articulates the aims of the hotel to become the most luxurious hotel which has a team committed to offer proficient personalized services, and exceed the expectations of the customers by providing typical Arabian experience in the hospitality (Ali 2010). From a critical point of view, the mission statement expresses the hotel’s objective to provide quality products by offering services that are correspondent to the needs of the customers. This is based on the premises that they provide personalized services implying that the hotel offers products in accordance to the requirement of the customer. In another critical view, it cannot be disputed that the needs of customers are not limited to provision of food, but also an environment that is sustainable to their health and socially conducive. In addition, the mission statement seeks to exceed the expectations of customers in light of providing the hospitality services in the hotel. In essence, exceeding the customers’ expectations and providing quality services are some of the most crucial components of the hexagon scorecard as well as the ISO 26000 guidelines that will be discussed under the sustainability development and implementation plan.
One of the pertinent theoretical aspects that will be used in this report is the Hexagonal Balanced Scorecard. The Hexagonal BSC is based on six aspects, including Learning and development for employees, internal process involving contractors, suppliers, as well as distributors, customers’ interests, environmental concerns, and social aspects. In regard to learning and development, hexagonal BSC focused on the employees’ working conditions, socially-oriented communication, their health, and development in terms of skills. These aspects are aimed at creating a favorable and effective working team that essentially meets the needs for the organizations. When it comes to the internal processes, the key element of concern is how the company is position in terms of value chain. In order to pursue the ideologies of the organizational objectives effectively, the organization must focus on the effectiveness of the suppliers in terms of quality assurance. In addition, it must determine whether the distributors are capable of reaching as many customers as possible in order to maintain the business. While considering the social issues the hexagonal BSC is interested with the local community since an organization should not operate in isolation; instead, it should be a part of the larger community where it helps to uphold the morals and ideologies of the community. In terms of the financial perspective, it purports that an organization must ensure economic progress such that the social and environmental concerns does not impede its effectiveness (Schulz 2008). Indeed, financial perspective is the most critical aspect of a business so that an organization that does not prosper in relation to its financial capacity ends up failing.
Since the hexagonal BSC deals with stakeholders, it necessitates the use of the stakeholders’ theory that advances an argument with words to the effect that the stakeholders should be interested with the advancement of the company. From a critical perspective, this implies that the development of sustainable practices is a concern of all the stakeholders who are pertinent to the organization. Indeed, it should not be left to the management based on the opinion that they are charged with the responsibility to improve services and products of the company. If the employees do not participate fully in the process of implementing the ideologies of the management, it is essentially difficult to deliver the services sustainably (Friedman & Miles, 2006). In addition, it cannot be disputed that an organization can only achieve sustainable management systems if the employees and customer share in the vision. Otherwise, if they do not have a common objective, there is the menace of having the conflict of interest that can ultimately destroy the coordination of the personnel and lead to poor results.
The Burj Al Arab is built amidst the sea thus offering beautiful scenery for tourist attraction (Bellini & Daglio 2008). In essence, it has popularized the Dubai's modern architecture all over the world so that most people are concerned about visiting these postmodern hotels and enjoying their services. The sixty-six feet comprise of luxurious rooms that enable the tourists to view the marine life while still in the housings and hence make them more vulnerable to receiving more visitors (Bennett 2010).
Considering that there are very few hotels that have been built within the sea using the modern technology, it cannot be disputed that the design becomes a great strength when it comes to the attraction of tourists. This is found on the fact that the visitors seek to visit the hotel for the purpose of curiosity and exploration. This implies that, besides the idea of having general leisure in a hotel, Burj Al Arab has an aspect of modern architecture that amazes potential visitors (Campbell & Lee 2008). Indeed, this is one the reasons as to why most of the tourists could choose the hotel as a tourist destination rather than other hotels and areas around the world.
Besides the architecture and design of this hotel, it is also evident that the Dubai has been known of constructing amazing hotels with complex, but innovative hotels for the purpose of developing the tourism industry. This implies that the whole emirate enjoys a general fame in regard to the types of designs within the entire area. This being the case; the hotel has many potential tourists who could probably visit in the process of visiting Dubai as a tourist destination (Davidson 2008). As a result, the hotel management needs a little marketing effort in order to woe these customers to visit their premises and use the services.
In accordance to the reviews that have been presented by most of the customers and potential customers, the general costs of services has been a great challenge that affects the decision of most customers. Understandably, it is evident that the most crucial determinant of demand for services is the prices set for those particular. If the prices are too high, the affordability of those services, no matter their standards and proficiency, reduces because people are mush directed by the money they can afford rather than the quality they seek to get. Essentially, it has been noticed with a lot of concern that the hotel has only been targeting people with a high level of income because a single room per night goes at $1500 (Benlamri 2012). This is a price that is essentially difficult for the average tourists to afford bearing in mind that they incurs other costs such as flight charges from their original countries. In addition, it discourages the local tourists who could be willing to visit the premises. It has been established that the hotel lacks distinct and strategic price planning to cater for the financial capability of potential tourists and uphold the essence of economic sustainability (Hazbun 2008). This condition has thus presented a situation that must be controlled in order to attain sustainable levels in the hospitality industry and particularly in the hotel itself.
After a close evaluation of the Burj Al Arab hotel, it is evident that it presents a great danger to the existence and welfare of marine life that include plants and animals. It was discovered that the construction of the hotel amidst the sea was an undertaking that replaced many plants and marine animals such as the fishes. In essence, environmentalists suggest that the hotel disrupted the ecosystem by interrupting the routes of animal movement and the destruction of crucial coral reefs that are found rarely (Morse 2010). Once disrupted and destroyed partially, such reefs could suffer profound reduction and possibly become extinct. It, therefore, poses a critical challenge to the overall and general marine life hence requires diligent attention.
In addition, it is evident that the hotel is made of artificial sand manufactured by the construction industries for the purpose of building highly resilient structure in the water. When this sand is introduced in the water during construction, it disposes chemical components in the water leading to pollution of water (Wells 2013). In essence, the marine life is used to living in an environment of natural sand where some of them obtain their foods. As a result, introducing artificial sand in the ecosystem becomes tricky especially when it contains minerals that are harmful to the marine animals and plants.
Generally, tourism has become an accepted aspect in the modern way of life. Most people are searching for excellent and new places to explore every day for the purpose of having fun and interacting with the outside world (Mosedale 2011). While this is the case, Burj Al Arab is one of the most innovative hotels providing excellent services in the world. This implies that it has a great opportunity to capture the vast existence of potential tourists and convince them to visit the hotel for the services. If the management captures the opportunity in good time and with the required robustness, it is possible to woo most of these tourists and transform the mentalities of the people who are not tourism-minded to indulge in realm of exploration.
Having evaluated the stipulation of ISO 26000, it was evident that the issues faced by the Burj Al Arab are consistent to the hexagonal scorecard which is based on six distinct elements as discussed in the subsequent paragraphs.
Learning and Development (Employees)
In accordance to the ISO 26000 In essence, it is evident that among the five key elements of sustainable management human development and training is a critical aspect to consider as an organization. In the context of this hotel, it is evident that water shortage can be partly caused by the misuse of water by the employees when preparing products or offering the services. In this regard, employees’ training on the importance of responsible usage of water could be of great significance when it comes to eliminating the menace of water shortage. In addition, they could be critical players in terms of passing the same understanding to the customers and hence help to achieve sustainable management easily.
Internal Processes (Contractors, Suppliers, and Distributors)
In the theoretical framework, it was evident that stakeholders’ theory applies to this report in the sense that all the stakeholders should have the interest on the prosperity of the company. In the context of this paper, the stake holders should be interested about the attainment of sustainable management systems. While considering the internal processes, the pertinent stakeholders are the suppliers, contractors and distributors. The suppliers can be encouraged to supply the raw material using materials that can be recycled and reused in order to reduce the concentration of waste materials occasioned by the hotel. On the other hand, contractors, who are mostly concerned with construction, should be committed to building structures that purport environmental conservation by reducing the use of electricity and Carbon IV Oxide production.
ISO 26000 stipulates that an organization should encourage fair marketing, proficient sharing of information, customer service, and terms of privacy. In regard to the context of this report, customer care services and terms of privacy are essential to providing the solutions for the problems encountered in the hotel. First, the customer care services should provide comprehensive details on the conduct of customers in regard to their social conduct. Particularly, they should give information about the authority’s policies on the wearing of Bikinis along the beaches only. In regard to the customers’ privacy, the hotel management should ensure that it does not affect the freedom of the customer by banning their lifestyle within the hotel. Instead, they should only illegalize that lifestyle in the streets since it could affect the morals of citizens negatively.
Environmental Perspectives (NGOs and Regulators)
In essence, Burj Al Arab has little control over the environmental issues affecting the emirates especially water shortage and Carbon IV Oxide release (Polo 2012). However, it has a mandate to stipulate and implement strategies that curb these environmental dangers as discussed below.
- The hotels should be fitted with water meter gauges in order to control the amount of water being used as well as enable the DCTM to oversee the usage of water and impart the necessary measures.
- Use waterless urinals and toilets to reduce the amount of water used for disposal of waste materials
- The hotel should invest in a photovoltaic plant to tap solar energy that can reduce the electrical energy for air conditioning. This will reduce the amount of Carbon IV Oxide produced from the building and curb pollution.
- The hotels should also use ventilation systems rather than relying on the air conditioning technology.
Social Issues- Local Community
In accordance to the stipulations of ISO 26000, a company does not exist in isolation, but it is responsible for the impact that it causes in regard to social development. As a result, the hotels can solve some of the social problems identified in the SWOT analysis in the following ways.
- The tourists from western countries should be allowed to wear the Bikinis and miniskirts within the hotel premises only, but not the streets.
- The government and hotel administration should discourage prostitution by imposing fines and criminal charges on the offenders who are found guilty.
Financial Perspective- Shareholders
The hexagonal Balance Score Card and ISO 26000 recommend that organizations should consider their financial position when executing any strategy. In this context, shareholders are pertinent to the stakeholders when it comes to finances. One of the financial problems conjoined to the hotels, is the high prices that reduce the number of customers and affect the profits obtained by the shareholders. In order to eliminate this menace, the hotel management should restructure their pricing plans in order to allow the local and low-income earners to access the hotel services. This will ensure that all the people in the society have equal chances to the facility.
According to Cheng et al. (2010) the hexagonal balance scorecard provides guidelines on the implementation of policies. In this regard, it is stated that the preliminary implementation involves planning for the strategy and then informing the relevant levels of operation. Then, the management should come up with indicators to show how the implementation process will be assessed. In the next step, the implementation is evaluated in accordance to these indicators so as to determine whether the objectives are achieved or not. Lastly, the involved personnel and groups are given feedback so that to enable further planning that triggers the entire process until the policy is implemented completely.
It is evident that Burj Al Arab has various environmental, social, and economic problems that face the hotel. In regard to the environmental issues, a shortage of water has posed profound difficulties when attempting to purify sea water and use it for human consumption (Horner & Swarbrooke 2004). In this case, a lot of energy is needed for the purpose of purification, and the subsequent cost is essentially high due to the use of electricity. For the social issues, sex tourism and introduction of western cultures have distorted the culture of Dubai’s citizens. This should be discouraged by both the hotel authorities and the government in equal measures as well as commitment. However, it is established that the Dubai does not tax the Burj Al Arab hotel such that they incur very little cost of operation. It is thus an opportunity that the hotel should take to improve its income.
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