The Middle East is home to some of the world’s most stunning landscapes, from vast deserts to rugged mountains to expansive coastlines. As tourism continues to expand in the region, there has been a growing focus on ecological and sustainable travel.
An increasing number of hotels are being designed and built with the environment in mind, adopting eco-friendly features and practices to reduce their carbon footprint. These spectacular eco-hotels allow travelers to experience the magic of the Middle East, while supporting the area’s unique environments and natural beauty.
In this article, we highlight some of the most breathtaking and sustainable hotels across the Middle East, including an in-depth look at one of the region’s leading eco-friendly urban hotels, The Saul Hotel located right on the beachfront promenade in Tel Aviv.
Eco-Friendly Hotels in the Middle East
Al Badayer Oasis (Dubai, UAE)
Nestled deep in the Dubai desert, Al Badayer Oasis is one of the most luxurious and eco-friendly retreats in the UAE. This stunning desert resort implements sustainable practices across its operations to protect the surrounding environment.
The property was designed to blend seamlessly into the natural landscape, with architecture featuring traditional Arabian designs and materials. Al Badayer has an innovative gray water system which filters and reuses wastewater for irrigating the lush palm gardens and mangroves on site. They also harvest rainwater during the limited rainy season to supplement their water needs.
The hotel has a state-of-the-art sewage treatment plant which safely processes wastewater without chemicals before being used for landscaping. Organic waste is composted and used as a natural fertilizer in their vegetable and herb gardens. Al Badayer maximizes energy efficiency with optimized construction materials, natural ventilation systems, and motion sensor lighting.
Guests can enjoy guided nature walks through the desert or bird watching at the on-site sanctuary. Al Badayer provides an opportunity to experience Dubai’s striking desert scenery alongside sustainable accommodations designed to protect the fragile surrounding ecosystem. Staying at this eco-oasis allows travelers to reducetheir environmental impact while taking in the natural beauty of Dubai.
Feynan Ecolodge (Wadi Feynan, Jordan)
Hidden away in the starkly beautiful Dana Biosphere Reserve, Feynan Ecolodge is a model for sustainable tourism. This one-of-a-kind eco-lodge is owned and operated by the Royal Society for the Conservation of Nature, with all profits going towards preserving Jordan’s ecosystems.
The 26-room lodge was constructed using local and environmentally friendly materials like stone, wood and mudbrick. Feynan is completely solar-powered, with panels providing electricity needs even during the remote area’s frequent power outages. They also have a passive cooling system and domed roof architecture to maintain comfortable temperatures.
Water conservation is crucial in the arid desert climate. Feynan utilizes grey water recycling and harvests rainwater to irrigate their organic garden. Composting minimizes waste and provides fertilizer for the date palm groves.
Guests can participate in hiking, bird watching and archaeology tours highlighting the area’s natural beauty and history. Night skies are ideal for stargazing in the minimal light pollution. Feynan provides an opportunity to experience an evocative desert landscape while directly supporting its conservation. Staying at this one-of-a-kind eco-lodge allows travelers to reduce their footprint and be immersed in the serenity of the Jordanian desert.
Ksar Char-Bagh (Marrakech, Morocco)
Nestled in the foothills of the Atlas Mountains, Ksar Char-Bagh is a luxurious eco-friendly hotel combining Moroccan style with sustainable design. This boutique hotel and spa is located just 10 minutes from the medina in Marrakech.
Ksar Char-Bagh was constructed using local materials like stone and brick in the traditional Moroccan kasbah style. The hotel buildings are designed to be energy efficient through passive solar heating, natural ventilation and daylight harvesting. Other sustainable features include solar water heating, water recycling systems, and organic waste composting.
The hotel grounds contain biologically diverse vegetable and herb gardens nourished by composting and graywater irrigation. More than 90% of the produce served in the restaurant is locally sourced from their own gardens or nearby farms.
Guests can dine on organic Moroccan cuisine, relax by the solar-heated pool, or indulge in a hammam spa treatment. The rooftop terrace provides stunning views of the High Atlas peaks. Ksar Char-Bagh offers a luxurious hotel experience with Moroccan style and charm, paired with an eco-friendly outlook focused on sustainability.
The Saul Hotel – An Urban Eco-Friendly Hotel in Tel Aviv
The Saul Hotel, Eco-Friendly Hotel in Tel Aviv, Located right on the beachfront promenade in the heart of vibrant, aims to reduce its environmental impact without sacrificing modern luxury. This boutique hotel combines sustainability and community consciousness with its prime urban location.
The Saul made eco-friendly updates during a recent renovation using local and reclaimed materials. Solar panels on the roof provide renewable energy to heat water for guest rooms. Energy-saving LED lights are used throughout the hotel along with natural lighting when possible.
Guest rooms feature eco-friendly building materials, in-room recycling bins, and toiletries in refillable containers. The Saul has eliminated single-use plastics and implemented in-house soap recycling. They also offer bike rentals for carbon-free transportation around the city.
The chef-driven restaurant uses locally grown, seasonal ingredients for its Mediterranean-inspired cuisine.The rooftop pool bar provides views over the Tel Aviv coastline and is heated sustainably with solar panels.
Through its sustainable initiatives, The Saul is deeply committed to protecting the local environment while embedding itself within the surrounding community. Guests can experience Tel Aviv’s vibrant culture knowing their stay supports responsible tourism practices. The Saul proves that a modern, design-focused hotel can still make sustainability a core value.
Eco-friendly hotels are on the rise across the Middle East, showing that sustainability and luxury can go hand in hand. Properties like Al Badayer Oasis, Feynan Ecolodge, Ksar Char-Bagh and The Saul Hotel demonstrate the creative ways hotels can reduce their environmental impact through renewable energy, efficient design, water conservation and waste management.
These green hotels allow travelers to immerse themselves in the magnificent landscapes and rich cultures of the Middle East, while supporting the preservation of these environments and communities. By staying at sustainable accommodations, guests can reduce their own footprint and be part of the growing regional efforts to develop eco-tourism.
The hotels profiled in this article offer inspiration for how the Middle East’s hospitality industry can adopt greener practices, while creating unforgettable travel experiences.
Frequently Asked Questions About Eco-Friendly Hotels in the Middle East
What types of sustainable practices do eco-friendly hotels have?
- Solar panels or wind turbines for renewable energy
- Energy efficient design and construction
- Water reduction like low-flow fixtures and graywater systems
- Composting and recycling programs
- Locally sourced and organic cuisine
- Eliminating single-use plastics
Do eco-friendly hotels provide the same luxury experience?
Yes, most eco-friendly hotels in the Middle East aim to provide the same high-end, luxury accommodations while integrating sustainability. These hotels show that being environmentally conscious does not mean sacrificing comfort, amenities or service.
Are eco-friendly hotels more expensive to stay at?
Not necessarily. While some may have higher rates, many green hotels in the Middle East have competitive pricing, especially when booking direct. Focusing on sustainability does not always increase room rates.
Do I have to give up activities to stay at an eco-hotel?
No, most eco-friendly hotels offer the same or similar excursions, activities and amenities like pools, restaurants and spas. The main difference is these activities may be modified to have less environmental impact through things like tour group sizes, low emissions transportation etc.
Are eco-friendly hotels only for eco-tourists?
Absolutely not. While eco-hotels appeal to sustainability-focused travelers, they aim to provide an experience that appeals to any guest looking for high quality accommodations in a beautiful destination. You do not have to be an ‘eco-tourist’ to appreciate and enjoy a green hotel.