UAE: How concerts and live events are becoming more eco-friendly

New partnership between Emirates Nature-WWF and Live Nation Middle East aims to deliver more sustainable events


Ashwani Kumar

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Published: Sat 21 May 2022, 6:01 PM

Last updated: Sat 21 May 2022, 6:12 PM

UAE-based entities have launched a first-of-its-kind initiative to boost sustainability of concert tours and live entertainment events.

The new partnership between Emirates Nature-WWF and Live Nation Middle East will see increased focus on all aspects of live events, i.e., flights, ground transportation, hotel accommodation, merchandise, venue operations, among others.

Laila Mostafa Abdullatif, Director General, Emirates Nature-WWF, said the partnership aims to transform the live entertainment sector and deliver more sustainable events in the UAE and globally.

“It is critical to the future enjoyment of live music and the betterment of people and the planet. We look forward to facilitating our joint ambition to reduce carbon footprint and be the catalyst for market transformation in the live music event industry,” Laila told Khaleej Times.

Earlier this month, a pilot study was done during Maroon 5 concert by following best green practices. So, Maroon 5 band members flew onboard Etihad Airways’ all-new A350 aircraft, which offers 25 per cent reduction in fuel burn and emissions. On the road, they travelled in all-electric cars – a dedicated fleet of Porsche Taycans. Etihad Arena, the official venue partner, is in the natural habitat of Yas Island and integrates various energy and water efficient building systems. Eco-rooms and reduced plastic items were provided by The W Hotel, where Maroon 5 stayed. Now, with the data collected from the study, a science-based guideline will be created to ensure sustainable practices for upcoming concerts and tours.

“It was the first time the entire ecosystem of a live performance has been examined from flights to cars, hotels and then finally to the performance. We have had incredible support from pioneering businesses from our pilot study – Etihad Airways, Porsche Centre Abu Dhabi & Al Ain, Ali & Sons, Etihad Arena and The W Hotel who have already started helping us pave the way to in this study on transforming the live entertainment industry. Their partnerships will aid in reducing the carbon footprint of live events,” she said.

Laila underlined the initiative is in line with the UAE’s target to reduce carbon footprint by 23 per cent by 2030.

“Further, with the UAE being the host for the forthcoming COP 28, the project will provide a case study of the behaviour changes required to create standards in wider market transformation of the event industry and start a new chapter in sustainable live performances sector and beyond.”

Live Nation recently completed a global sustainability study, which found that 82 per cent of live musicgoers strive to maintain an environmentally sustainable lifestyle.

James Craven, president, Live Nation Middle East, said: “This initiative will give us the data we need in order to provide artists and fans with more sustainable options for touring going forwards and will build on the global commitments Live Nation has made. With concerns around climate change never more at the forefront of our minds, it is crucial that we all look at where we can make an impact,” Craven noted.

Joint efforts of Live Nation’s Green Touring Programme and the Emirates Nature-WWF Green Entertainment Initiative will now extend to other live entertainment events.

Photo 5: Etihad Arena, the venue on Yas Island, includes several sustainable design strategies.

Laila said: “It will be carried out in partnership with Live Nation and other green supporters. As for concerts, we have a very exciting line-up of renowned artist live performances. Our goal is to transform the live entertainment industry across the Emirates, regionally and beyond. Therefore, there will be a variety of venue operators, airlines, on-ground transportation that we will be looking to partner with.”


She added that such an initiative is the need of the hour.

“The time for transformation is now. Consumers locally and globally are motivated to be more environmentally conscious and exercising their power and voice through the products they buy and the events they attend. Established artists are also publicly stating their requirements for cleaner concerts. Climate change is at the centre of the industry’s narrative and the world must be ready,” Laila underlined.

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