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Volkswagen, Siemens and Rotana Team up in Desert Cleaning Drive

Dubai, UAE 11 March 2012 – Two world–class German brands, Siemens and Volkswagen, and Rotana, the leading hotel management company in the Middle East and Africa, have joined forces in an environmental awareness drive. The 'Clean the Desert' initiative aims at raising public consciousness of the littering problem in the desert, the grave consequences it has to local wildlife and the importance of a clean environment. On Saturday 17 March the three companies will take teams of volunteers out into the desert to clear an area of trash, disposing of it in a safe and environmentally friendly manner.
Commenting on the initiative, Stefan Mecha, managing director, Volkswagen Middle East said: "The 'Clean the Desert' project focuses on preserving the desert and actively taking care of local wildlife, believing that it is the everyday small actions that can bring about the big changes the environment needs. It is great to team up with Siemens and Rotana on this initiative as both companies share our concern about the serious issue of littering and the need to do something about it."
Siemens and Volkswagen have had a long history of collaboration in the development of parts, technology and processes, and focusing on ecofriendly initiatives. In their most recent joint initiative Volkswagen provided mobility solutions for Siemens employees that help drive environmental awareness and behavioural changes in the Middle East.
"The 'Clean the Desert' campaign emphasises our commitment to raising awareness, encouraging the public to be more environmentally conscious in the sensible disposal of garbage and waste," said Erich Kaeser, CEO of Siemens Middle East. "Wildlife is greatly affected by the changes in the ecosystem of the desert and through this initiative Siemens and Volkswagen are reinforcing their commitment to a cleaner and safer environment in the desert.
"Siemens' philosophy has always been underlined with a devotion to sustainability and developing the next green technology, which is apparent in our close work with Masdar City and in our new offices featuring the latest in energy saving technology", Erich Kaeser added. "Everyday a tragedy is taking place in our deserts, along the beaches, and in the mountains of the UAE. Camels, sheep, goats and cattle, as well as the protected Arabian Oryx, the Sand Gazelles and other wildlife are dying after ingesting plastic and other waste materials that are being dumped in the desert," said Thomas Tapken, Area Vice President, Rotana Dubai & Northern Emirates. "Rotana has a long standing commitment to sustainable practices and environmental awareness for the aim to maximize benefits and minimize harm to our earth," concluded Tapken.
The campaign will be supported by the PlasticNotSoFantastic initiative, the online community, averda international recycling, KTM and Uschi Musch's camel farm.

For this press release


Ms. Heba Abd El-Hamid

Siemens AG