VIP guests join Jumeirah for latest turtle release

World Economic Forum delegates among observers at Madinat Jumeirah

The turtles were released today at Madinat Jumeirah
The turtles were released today at Madinat Jumeirah

Delegates from the World Economic Forum, gathering in Dubai for the Summit on the Global Agenda 2014, were among the guests at Madinat Jumeirah today for the latest successful release of turtles from Jumeirah Group’s Dubai Turtle Rehabilitation Project (DTRP).

A decade on from the launch of the flagship CSR project, which is carried out at Burj Al Arab Jumeirah and Madinat Jumeirah, ten turtles were released into the Arabian Sea.

Among the guests were ministers, government officials, members of the Global Agenda Councils and CEOs of global travel and tourism companies. Hotelier Middle East was among a small contingent of media invited to observe the event.

Addressing guests before the turtles were released, Jumeirah president and group CEO Gerald Lawless, who also serves on the Global Agenda Council on the Future of Travel, Tourism and Aviation, explained the importance of CSR projects like DTRP.

“Travel and tourism actually is a force for good in the world and we’re trying to demonstrate this today to show that really it’s through these tourism projects that we become involved in conservation projects," he said.

“We can make the world a better place by getting people to travel, to get to know each other, to interact and indeed to get huge economic benefit from rich countries to developing countries through travel and tourism.”

The latest batch of released turtles included a 70 kilogramme loggerhead and four young hawksbill turtles, all with satellite tags, in addition to two green turtles and three hawksbill turtles. The progress of the tagged turtles can be tracked online.

Today’s event was also attended by French-American explorer, filmmaker and diver Celine Cousteau, grand-daughter of conservationist Jacques Cousteau, who sits on the Global Agenda Council on Oceans.

“Travel and tourism industry has a tremendous power to enable and help conservation projects and I would go further than that to say it has a responsibility to do so,” she said.

“We have the ability to reach hundreds and thousands of people through tourism, to educate them and impart knowledge, but also to get people to participate.

“I really commend the work you are doing with Jumeirah in helping with this turtle conservation project and we can utilise this, I believe, as an example of what each one of us can do to support organisations or entities that are doing these kind of projects.”

Based at Burj Al Arab and Madinat Jumeirah, DTRP is run in collaboration with Dubai’s Wildlife Protection Office, with veterinary support provided by the Dubai Falcon Hospital and the Central Veterinary Research Laboratory.

A dedicated aquarium team at Burj Al Arab manages the day-to-day running of the project and the animal husbandry.

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