Al Maha Desert Resort and Spa yesterday has been named the region’s leading sustainable eco-tourism development by a collective of environmentalists, academics and government officials who met for an environmental conference this week.
Organised by the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) and the UAE Ministry of Environment and Water, the Sustainable Eco-Tourism in Desert Ecosystems conference in Dubai was arranged to discuss sustainable development, conservation of natural resources and tourism growth.
A benchmark in discussions was the Dubai Desert Conservation Reserve (DDCR); the first and largest protected wildlife conservation area in the UAE, formally recognised as a Protected Area by UNEP and also home to Emirates Hotels and Resorts’ Al Maha property.
In 2003, the Government of Dubai took the decision to create the conservation area and charged Emirates with its management and protection.
Since then, Emirates has invested over AED 10 million (US $2.7 million) in support of wildlife conservation programmes, scientific research and protection of this 225km² area.