Emirates rolls out desert conservation resort plans
The first internationally-recognised and fully-protected conservation area anywhere in the Middle East is now being established in Dubai and visitors will be able to stay at the heart of the reserve in luxurious surroundings.Dubai's new Desert Conservation Reserve will be centred at the Al Maha Desert Resort, the Emirates Group's hotel outside the city, in a major initiative emphasising Emirates' commitment to corporate responsibility and environmental protection policies. The nature reserve around the present Al Maha Resort will be expanded almost tenfold to form the heart of a new 225 square kilometre conservation reserve, safeguarding nearly five per cent of Dubai's land and desert habitat. Carefully-planned improvements will be centred to the Resort, opening a new chapter in its development. They will ensure it retains its place as one of the unique hotels of the world, while allowing a small rise in the number of guests able to sample the Al Maha experience. The new multi-million dirham project was unveiled recently at Berlin's ITB, the world's largest travel fair attended by thousands of worldwide tourism industry executives. Shaikh Ahmed bin Saeed Al Maktoum, chairman of the Emirates Group, explained: "This ambitious project represents a major endorsement of Dubai's commitment to conservation and will protect our unique and unspoiled natural desert heritage, which is a top attraction for visitors".