More than 150 associates from Marriott International hotels in the UAE gathered atAl Wadi Desert, Ras Al Khaimah, a Ritz-Carlton Partner Hotelto plant trees for the "Give a Ghaf - Heritage Forest" pilot project in the heart of the Al Wadi Nature Reserve.
The "Give a Ghaf - Heritage Forest" pilot project is a new initiative which aims to make the UAE greener and more sustainable. Participating organisations include Al Wadi Desert, Ras Al Khaimah, Goumbook and the Ras Al Khaimah Tourism Department Authority. After years of experience planting Ghaf trees, the UAE's National tree, through its "Give a Ghaf" initiative, Goumbook provided more than 150 Ghaf tree saplings to officially unveil the "Give a Ghaf - Heritage Forest" pilot project in the Al Wadi Nature Reserve and establish a benchmark for green desert ecosystems in the UAE.
Marriott associates took part in a desert-cleaning and tree planting activity held within the 500-hectare Al Wadi Nature Reserve, aiming to raise awareness on sustainability and environmental responsibility, supported by officials from the Ras Al Khaimah Tourism Department Authority and the Ras Al Khaimah Waste Management Authority. The event was held under the umbrella of the Marriott Business Council UAE North.
Al Wadi Desert, Ras Al Khaimah general manager Amit Arora said in statement: "This initiative is a fantastic way to gather all our associates from the region in one truly inspiring and meaningful activity that unites all of us. We live in the desert and therefore we are all responsible and committed to making it a more sustainable and responsible place to live in."
The "Give a Ghaf - Heritage Forest" is inspired by the vision established by His Highness the late Sheikh Zayed bin Sultan Al Nahyan, founding father of the United Arab Emirates, to "green the desert" in the early 1970s.
"Since starting our "Give a Ghaf tree planting program" in 2011, Goumbook has planted 30,000 seeds across the UAE," said Goumbook founder and MD Tatiana Antonelli Abella. "With 2017 being declared the "year of giving", we are thrilled and thankful to collaborate with Al Wadi Desert, Ras Al Khaimah, a Ritz-Carlton partner hotel, and Marriott International. By aiming to plant 4,000 more trees by 2020, the "Give a Ghaf Heritage Forest" will also provide a strong legacy for future generations to enjoy."
Speaking about the initiative, Marriott International president, Middle East & Africa Alex Kyriakidis added: "We are thrilled to see so many passionate professionals coming together to create a sustainable future for the next generations of hoteliers. The Heritage Forest is a unique project that will have a significant impact on biodiversity conservation in our region."
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