These projects now span the UAE, Australia and soon, the Seychelles.
It began with the Dubai Desert Conservation Reserve (DDCR). Along with the Dubai Government, Emirates developed this reserve that is now the largest environmental park in our country. It was the first UAE conservation area officially protected with a constitution and environmental law dedicated to ensuring its operation as a National Park.
The DDCR, which also houses the conservation-oriented Al Maha Resort & Spa, is almost 5% of Dubai’s total land mass (in the United Kingdom, this would be the equivalent of Northern Ireland being entirely national park). Apart from protecting several endangered species, such as the Arabian and Scimitar-horned Oryx, the DDCR is a major contributor to both local scientific research and conservation efforts.
100% of all visitor revenue from DCCR is spent on conversation and wildlife care, with Emirates also sponsoring a dedicated conservation team of eight.
The Al Maha Resort & Spa has also been a pioneering environmental development in the Middle East. The property, which has a small footprint in the overall reserve, has had over 6,000 indigenous trees planted around the resort and conservation area.
After five years of planning, Emirates is developing the 4.000 acre Wolgan Valley Resort & Spa – one of Australia’s first luxury conservation resorts.
Nestled in the Wolgan Valley beneath sandstone escarpments, this environmentally sensitive resort is in keeping with the unique wilderness of the Greater Blue Mountains World Heritage area in New South Wales. Wolgan Valley is about a two and a half hour drive from Sydney and the resort is due to open in the second half of 2009. Set next to the Wollemi National Park and Gardens of Stone National Park, guests will enjoy a true wilderness experience during their stay. Emirates regards this project as an important way to assist in the conservation of Australia’s unique biodiversity.
The properties now owned by Emirates Hotels & Resorts were previously used for cattle grazing. These have now been de-stocked and will be used for the conservation of the region’s endangered species and the reintroduction of native flora and fauna. Many species are missing from the greater Blue Mountains area. As most of these species are small, less than 7kg, they fall victim to introduced predators. Emirates’ research into predator control and protecting the habitats of these species will help conserve them for future generations. Recent sightings have included Red-headed Flying Foxes feeding on flowering eucalyptus trees and a large number of Bronze-winged and Wonga Pigeons. There have also been sightings of Honeyeater and Spotted-tailed Quolls in the tree lines along Carne Creek at night. This species (pictured) is at risk, not only from the fox and feral cat but also from baiting. This year has seen the Red-rumped Parrot increase in numbers along with the Eastern Rosella and other parrots. With more medium sized parrots available, the Peregrine Falcon will have more food for its young.
Already Emirates has planted thousands of native trees and shrubs and is removing feral animals and introduced plant species.
Emirates is also developing the Cap Ternay Resort & Spa in the Seychelles which will feature a multitude of environmental initiatives including a maritime sanctuary. Along with our Al Maha and Wolgan projects, Cap Ternay will feature solar supplemented energy and an energy-saving design.
Environmentally-sensitive materials and equipment will be used as well as environmentally safe and biodegradable products. Reforestation works will be conducted, as well as the planning for habitat and endangered species protection.
Cap Ternay Resort & Spa will offer guests a taste of one of the worlds' most exotic and beautiful destinations. Ecologically one of the purest locations in the world, the Seychelles is the unspoiled jewel in the India Ocean crown.
Located within a protected area of the main island, Mahé, this resort is planned to provide a complete experience of the Seychelles, combining the traditional beach holiday with a taste of the exotic forests, towering granite mountains and streams, and the unique wildlife and birdlife of this Indian Ocean sanctuary.
The resort forms an integral part of a marine reserve and island wildlife sanctuary. The resort not only contributes to, but creates an intensively managed wildlife reserve aimed at conserving not only valuable marine life but the many unique and threatened land species found on these islands. Jointly managed with Seychelles' Department of Environment, the Cap Matoopa Reserve and Marine Sanctuary will provide guests with access to a wide range of landscapes and tropical forests and some of the islands' most beautiful locations right on their doorstep. Guests will actively be able to participate in, and contribute to this important work.