Emirates Central Cooling Systems Corporation, popularly known as Empower, has announced that it registered a 30 per cent growth in hotel customers at end of April 2012, compared to same period of last year. The company, on the occasion of The Hotel Show 2012, called for greater awareness to implement district cooling by hotels in the region, as this will bring benefits to hotels themselves, their customers and the entire society and economy. Ahmad bin Shafar, CEO of Empower said: “We support specialised exhibitions like this one in order to spread awareness on DC to hotels. To date, 26 hotels in Dubai use DC services from Empower.” We are optimistic that more hotels will move towards this emerging technology which offers great advantages over conventional cooling offerings. While considering the growth rate of hotel rooms in the UAE during this period, Empower’s growth in the segment exceeds the hotel industry rate,” he added. Dubai Department of Tourism & Commerce (DTCM) has mandated that all hotels must reduce their carbon footprint and opt for environment friendly amenities and supplies. This is where district cooling fits in, according to Bin Shafar. He emphasised that district cooling is ideal for hotels as it is environment-friendly, cost-effective and hassle-free. It helps save on cost of cooling, maintenance, installation and capital expenditure. Bin Shafar added: “The current market tendencies give more room to adopt district cooling technology for hotel buildings, especially where initial capital investment is a deciding factor. District Cooling saves the customer from investment on plant room, chillers and equipments, water tanks, cooling towers, sub stations, additional drainage facilities, civil structure, cabling works, control and instrumentation, additional space, manpower requirements and maintenance. This will enable hotel financiers to divert more initial funds to other areas of the venture.” Demand for district cooling has been increasing rapidly in the last decade. In the UAE, it was first used in the 1970s at the Dubai International Airport. It began to be adopted commercially in 1998 with the real estate boom in the country. The adoption rate in this technology has remarkably increased in the past five years especially amongst large scale projects. District cooling technology provides all the benefits of out-sourcing the technology and facilities instead of bearing its establishment cost.