Although the idea of sustainable tourism is a somewhat recent idea in Dubai, the local government is doing their best to get on board and both participate and offer different eco-friendly options for tourists. In 2008, Dubai was the host of the Global Travel & Tourism Summit which had its focus on sustainability.
Dubai’s premier resort and spa is one eco-tourist destination that is owned by Emirates Airlines. The Al Maha Desert Resort & Spa is meant to recreate the feeling of living as the Bedouin (desert dwelling Arab ethnic group) do and is located amongst some of Arabia’s most beautiful dunes and deserts.
There are also plans of building a very eco-friendly skyscraper in Dubai that will get all of its energy through renewable means. On top of the tower itself will stand a 200-foot turbine that will create wind energy and the outside of the building will be covered with 161,459 square feet of solar panels, creating even more clean, green energy. Inside the building, the main cooling system will draw on ground air in combination with seawater to cool the building to a comfortable 64.4 degrees Farhenheit (that’ll feel good, seeing as Dubai reaches temperatures as high as 122 degrees F!).
In 1997, Dubai’s first national park was created. The 87 square miles that make up the Dubai Desert Conservation reserve were purchased by Sheik Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, who helped replenish the fragile ecosystem (which was being destroyed by its use as a camel farm), which made the area an attractive destination for the life that once inhabited it, like Arabian gazelle, Ethiopian hedgehogs, and a variety of cats and snakes. It is open to tourists, who can be lead through by a guide who ensures that visitors respect the reserve.
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