Posts tagged with "United Arab Emirates"

JA RESORTS, 360 MAGAZINE, TRAVEL

JA Manafaru Resort Team Cleans Up Nearby Island

in Support of Parley Maldives Initiative

JA Manafaru Resort in the Maldives collaborated with local partners, guests and the community to undertake a plastic removal and sustainability initiative on a neighboring island

JA Manafaru Maldives recently collaborated with a local school and their ocean activity partner, Best Dives Private Limited, to collect more than 23 jumbo bags of waste from a neighboring island and Marine Protected Area; Gallandhoo for recycling through Parley Maldives. 

Parley Maldives is the Maldives branch of Parley for the Oceans, a global collaboration network with a new approach to environmentalism. The mission of Parley is to end today’s major ocean threats through creativity, collaboration and eco-innovation. The private island resort of JA Manafaru itself is spectacularly beautiful and unspoilt, sitting in the crystal-clear waters of the most northern point of the Haa Alifu Atoll. Although the ocean and beach areas surrounding the award-winning resort are pristine examples awe-inspiring nature, other islands in the Maldives have issues with waste, particularly non- biodegradable materials like plastic.  

Best Dives Maldives, a local diving, excursion and ocean activity company partnered with the JA Manafaru Resort and a local school – Hoarafushi School, to undertake a monumental task in cleaning up the western coastline of Marine Protected Area (MPA), Gallandhoo. The JA Manafaru Environmental & Sustainability team planned the clean-up with Best Dives, informed guests and arranged resort boats to collect volunteers heading to the island to clean the area. Together more than 50 staff, guests, students and parents filled over 23 jumbo bags of waste in one hour. Marine biologists asserted that Gallandhoo Island looked strikingly different after the team efforts and considerable potential damage to marine life was averted. All the plastic waste collected will be sent to Parley.

To address the fast-growing threat of marine plastic pollution, Parley have devised a strategy that can be scaled across private households, schools, businesses and governments: Parley AIR — Avoid, Intercept, Redesign. Guided by these pillars, they advocate avoiding the use of single-use plastics and promoting responsible disposal of single-use plastics. The goal in the Maldives is to boost the protection of the marine ecosystem through collective change. In collaboration with plastic interception partners, Parley has now exported 48 containers of plastic waste from the Maldives, preventing over 800 tons of plastics from entering the oceans. These plastics are recycled and upcycled to help create a new economy of eco-innovation and collaboration, beginning with reducing the use of raw virgin plastics in production processes.

School students and guests were presented with certificates of appreciation for their participation in the JA Manafaru event, and when asked why there was such an issue with plastic waste on Gallandhoo, the students explained there are low levels of understanding for many people regarding the disposal of plastic waste and of the environmental damage it causes. New General Manager, Karen Merrick commented;

JA Manafaru in collaboration with our ocean activity partner Best Dives is committed to improving upon and reducing our environmental footprint here in Haa Alifu, one of the most uninhabited atolls in Maldives. We are honored and humbled to live and work as custodians of this beautiful part of the world and assist with such initiatives whenever/wherever we can.  Every day we continue our internal mission to ensure education and awareness play a part of life here at JA Manafaru’.

In order to preserve the coral reef, beautiful beaches and sea life, the JA Manafaru team has an ongoing commitment to environmental awareness and sustainability. The hotel no longer uses plastic bottles for drinking water and instead have their own glass bottling plant, which results in a huge reduction in plastic waste. The JA Manafaru ‘House Reef Cleaning’ also invites guests to give back in a fun snorkelling and underwater reef-cleaning exercise, which certified divers can join. All items collected are logged so that any notable pollution can be immediately addressed. Other initiatives in planning at JA Manafaru include upgrading the water desalination plant for residual water to be used for landscaping, solar panel installation and a campaign for associates that raises awareness about reducing energy consumption.

JA Manafaru Maldves Hosts Island Clean Up.jpg
Plastic debris in the protected area.jpg

About JA Manafaru

JA Manafaru is an idyllic 5-star luxury island resort fringed with exquisite powder beaches in pristine, lagoon-ringed Haa Alifu Atoll, at the northern tip of the Maldives. Accessed by private seaplane, the chic tropical hideaway features 84 luxurious beachfront and over-water villas and bungalows, each with their own private plunge pool. Seven scenic dining destinations provide a culinary journey with traditional Indian Ocean cuisine, international fare and seafood feasts. China’s most renowned chef, Da Dong, brings his Michelin acclaim to White Orchid Asian restaurant with a collaborative menu launched in 2019. World-class recreational facilities include Calm Spa, a fully equipped dive, water sports and excursion centre, plus a Marine Research Centre to conserve local ecology. Once-in-a-lifetime wedding and honeymoon celebrations are also a specialty at JA Manafaru, which has been recognised as the Indian Ocean’s Leading Honeymoon Resort (2019 World Luxury Hotel Awards). ‘Legend’ hotels by Preferred Hotels & Resorts are the ultimate collection of extraordinary properties in the world’s most remarkable destinations and JA Manafaru is the only property selected in the Maldives. Ranked among the World’s Ten Best Hotels (TripAdvisor Travellers’ Choice Awards 2019), JA Manafaru is a tropical paradise where unique experiences can become unforgettable memories.

For more information on JA Manafaru, please visit;

https://www.jaresortshotels.com/en/maldives/ja-manafaru

About JA Resorts & Hotels

A legacy UAE brand, JA Resorts & Hotels was born in 1981 and has a widely recognised reputation for excellence, in the management and operation of award-winning resorts and hotels. Taking its name from the original Jebel Ali (JA) Beach hotel, JA Resorts & Hotels portfolio now features 8 distinct properties across the UAE and Indian Ocean, each dedicated to curating unique experiences and creating unforgettable memories. Tropical escapes include JA Manafaru, the idyllic luxury island resort in pristine, lagoon ringed Haa Alifu Atoll, at the northern tip of the Maldives and JA Enchanted Island Resort, an ultra-luxurious hideaway of 10 exquisite villas on a private island, in the middle of the protected Saint Anne Marine Park. Within the UAE, guests can choose from the five-star JA Ocean View Hotel, as well as the deluxe hotel apartments of JA Oasis Beach Tower, both located along ‘The Walk’ in Jumeirah Beach Residence.  Other attractive options include the acclaimed JA The Resort – Dubai’s largest experience resort, with 1 million square metres of thrilling activities and 3 unique hotels offering 795 suites and rooms between them– JA Beach Hotel, the all-suite JA Palm Tree Court and JA Lakeview Hotel, a stunning new Golf Course adjacent property due to open in September 2019. The JA Hatta Fort Hotel completes the portfolio as Dubai’s only mountain resort, a secluded getaway amidst the stunning Hajar Mountains landscape. JA Resorts & Hotels is a member of the Global Hotel Alliance (GHA), the world’s largest alliance of independent hotel brands, bringing together more than 30 brands with over 550 hotels in 78 countries.

For more information on JA Resorts & Hotels, please visit;

www.jaresortshotels.com 

Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/jaresortshotels

Twitter: http://www.twitter.com/jaresorts

Instagram: https://instagram.com/jaresorts 

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2019 Standard Chartered Dubai Marathon

Former champions Lemi Berhanu and Worknesh Degefa will be among the powerful elite line-up when the Standard Chartered Dubai Marathon celebrates its 20th edition on the streets of the UAE on January 25.

The two Ethiopians – winners in 2015 and 2017 respectively – are key figures in the roll of honour of the Middle East’s biggest mass participation event, the only IAAF Gold Label Marathon in the region.

Lemi has performed well on the global stage but his best performances have always been on the flat and fast streets of Dubai. As well as winning the title four years ago in a time of 2h:05m:28s, he set his personal best at the event when as defending champion he finished runner-up in 2016 in 2h:04:33.

Still only 25, Lemi has also competed at World Championship level and at the Rio Olympics in 2016. Like an increasing number of elite runners, he has also prospered at the marathon distance in China, winning the Hengshui title with 2h:08m:51s in September 2018, the Xiamen Marathon in 2017 (2h:08m:27s) and the 2014 Taiyuan Marathon (2h:13m:10s).

Held under the patronage of HH Sheikh Hamdan bin Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Crown Prince of Dubai, and staged under the aegis of the Dubai Sports Council, the 2019 Standard Chartered Dubai Marathon will welcome a number of the world’s best athletes as the marathon celebrates its 20th anniversary with elite fields in both the men and women’s races.

Among the leading elite women in the line-up, Worknesh Degefa who stunned the athletics world in 2017 by winning on her marathon debut in Dubai. The Ethiopian caused quite an upset beating a strong field of experienced marathon runners in a time of 2h:22m:36s although she was disappointed 12 months later.

Running in the defence of her crown Worknesh set a new personal best 2h:19m:53s yet failed to break into the top three as the Standard Chartered Dubai Marathon once again proved its strength in depth with four women breaking the 2h:20m – the first time the feat has ever been achieved in one race.

“It’s very unusual that a runner will break the 2:20 mark and not win a marathon,” said Event Director Peter Connerton. “But that just shows how deep the quality runs in our elite fields. Last year we had seven men break 2h:05m – a unique result in marathon history – so the athletes competing in Dubai know they have to be at their very best to get among the medals.”

The elite marathon athletes will get their race underway at 6am on January 25, five minutes after the wheelchair athletes take to the course. The mass marathon field will face the starting gun at 7am with the 10km Road Race beginning at 8.30am and the 4km Fun Run at 10.30am. Runners looking to register can still do so by visiting the official website www.dubaimarathon.org.

In addition to Standard Chartered as title sponsor, the Dubai Marathon is supported by the Dubai Sports Council, adidas, Dubai Eye 103.8FM, Aquafina and Gatorade, Dubai Holding, Dubai Police, Dubai Municipality and the RTA.

AL BAIT SHARJAH × SHARJAH, UAE

A Family Guide to Sharjah with Al Bait Sharjah

Sharjah is the hidden gem of the UAE, a destination well known to the art connoisseurs that visit for the Art Foundation Biennial every other year. For families looking to explore an authentic destination, Sharjah is the region to visit now as it celebrates an exciting cultural renaissance.  Sharjah will be hosting the first Fringe Festival on the Arabian Peninsula. The inaugural Sharjah International Fringe Festival will take place in January 2020 and will host music, circus, comedy and theatre productions aimed, primarily, at families and children, together with an extensive street theatre programme.

Here are five top experiences for families in Sharjah:

Discover MLEIHA Archeological Site 

Visit Mleiha for an adventure deep into the deserts of Sharjah where you can uncover the secrets of the region’s ancient Bedouin culture. Get your adrenaline rush by exploring the beautiful landscapes of Mleiha on a dune buggy visiting Camel Rock, the Faya Dunes and the Mleiha Desert. Pay a visit to the Mleiha Archaeological Centre where you can learn about life in the region in years gone by as well as take a closer look at the wide variety of artifacts on display.

Spend a day at Al Majez waterfront

The unique Al Maraya Art Park is located here. At this outdoor art exhibit, adults can observe artists work from international destinations in the Sculpture Park while their kids learn and explore in the Children’s Art Park. The Children’s Art Park is specially designed to introduce young kids to the world of art through sculptures, educational activities, and games. Also at Al Majez waterfront is a mini splash park where kids can cool off and play in its tunnels while watching the aquatic displays.

Play at Al Montazah Water Park

Al Montazah Water Park is the first of its kind, offering electronic games along with water rides and a go-kart race track for kids and adults. The water park has a wide range of pools appropriate and suitable for kids of different ages. For added fun, an amusement park is conveniently located next to the water-park. The parks contain 35 attractions with state of the art facilities all around the grounds and a picnic area.

Reflect at the Islamic Botanical Garden

Located in Sharjah Desert Park, this garden allows visitors to take in the horticulture of this exotic destination. With over 100 varieties of plants, you and your family will be mesmerized by the incredible biodiversity present. The gardens are a peaceful environment designed to promote reflection through paved walkways, ornamental pools, and narrow waterways. Before or after strolling through the grounds, be sure to take time to visit the interpretation center and Arabic cafe. 

Learn at the Sharjah Natural History and Botanical Museum

Take your family through these exhibits to unveil the complexity of the emirate’s aquatic life, animals, fauna, and flora. You will be able to learn how Sharjah’s massive sand dunes were created along with viewing a collection of meteorites. Kids will be entertained throughout their visit to the museum by digitally erupting volcanoes and prehistoric fossils in addition to the dinosaur models on display.

Where to stay in 2019: Al Bait Sharjah

The Heritage House at Al Bait Sharjah is the perfect place for families. It offers 4 Al Bait Heritage Rooms and 2 Al Bait Heritage Suites, allowing guests an entire house and full privacy.  Al Bait Sharjah which translates to ‘The Home’ is set to raise the bar for luxury resort accommodations in the United Arab Emirates’ (UAE). Located 20 miles or 16 km (10 miles) from Dubai in the UAE’s most ambitious historical restoration project known as Heart of Sharjah, the resort will be home to 53 luxury guest rooms and suites. The resort facilities and amenities at the boutique property will include a museum, library, ice cream shop, pool, and an array of dining offerings spotlighting local and international cuisine. The architecture and design will sensitively reflect Arabic culture, in tune with its surroundings and blending harmoniously with the heritage buildings in the district. 

About Sharjah:

Sharjah is located on the southern coast of the Arabian Gulf and is one of the seven emirates that form the UAE. The emirate of Sharjah comprises the capital city of Sharjah and smaller towns including Khorfakkan, Kalba, and Dibba Al-Hisn.  Ruled by the Al Qasimi family, it is bordered by Dubai to the south and Ajman to the north. Sharjah is a diverse destination with many layers that represent chapters in the emirate’s rich and varied history, from the atmospheric streets in the Heart of Sharjah to the ancient archaeology sites deep in the desert. These riches have led to the city being named the 1998 Cultural Capital of the Arab World, the 2014 Capital of the Islamic Culture and the 2015 Capital of Arab Tourism.

Sharjah Waterfront City

By Amardeep Singh

New Waterfront City to Rock the UAE

It’s usually Dubai that earns the name for developing illustrious projects that claim world records and massive reception. The same can be said for the rest of the Emirates as well. The United Arab Emirates’ history is interspersed with its geography that extends from the longest shorelines to the highest dunes in the Gulf region. Residents and inhabitants will commonly find themselves immersed in these natural formations. Such is the philosophy behind the Sharjah Waterfront City which is being proclaimed as a destination of beauty.

True to its title, the project has captivated investor interests for its lucrative design which has combined the best and beautiful aspects of a natural foundation set aside a coastal creation that can only be described as ‘out of this world’.

The Dh25 billion project is split over six phases over eight natural islands. Phase I consists of 321 villas on Sun Island which have already been sold out- a testament to Sharjah’s rising
position as a real estate haven. The islands will consist of 1500 three, four, five, and six-bedroom villas as well as 95 mid-rise and high-rise towers, 14 hotels and serviced apartments.

Dusit and Kempinski are two hotel brands that have been roped in to set up world class destinations. Sun Island will occupy 205592.9 sqm of total area while the villas will take up 95566.09 sqm of area. The Crystal Lagoon water theme park will also be a part of the mixed use development.

Phase II will see the construction of commercial units and two hotels. The Waterfront City is Sharjah’s next step in providing state of the art living accommodations for a rapidly growing populace that drives the economy of the Emirate. To further augment the living experience and to cut down on environmental damages, all units have a solar water heating system, aluminum shade parking, home automated technologies and holocron roof slabs.

Anticipated for completion by the end of 2018, Phase I will just be the beginning of what is being called the third biggest real estate project in the Middle East, bringing something amazing for residents, shoppers, nature lovers, sports junkies and luxury heads.

Abu Dhabi x World Ocean Summit 2019

Government of Abu Dhabi Announced as Host of World Ocean Summit 2019.

This year’s World Ocean Summit, held in Playa del Carmen, Mexico, has brought together over 500 leaders from the private sector, civil society and government to explore the development of a sustainable ocean economy through innovative financing and technologies as well as bold new efforts to implement the world’s sustainability commitments. It is the largest World Ocean Summit yet, and underscores The Economist Group’s doubling down on this topic, in no small part through announcing the launch of the World Ocean Initiative, an effort that will translate the momentum and focus of the World Ocean Summit into a year-round programme on the ocean that leverages the full capabilities of The Economist Group.

Carrying this momentum forward, The Economist Group is pleased to announce the Government of Abu Dhabi as the host of World Ocean Summit 2019. Abu Dhabi has a close relationship with the ocean, through its history as a centre for pearl diving, its resilient coral reefs and its mangroves sea grass meadows that provide valuable services in the face of climate change.

Bringing the World Ocean Summit to Abu Dhabi presents a unique opportunity to amplify the conversations on the sustainable development of the ocean in the Middle East and the wider region, and equally provides a platform for Abu Dhabi to share its innovative approaches to conservation, and developing a vibrant and sustainable ocean economy, with the rest of the world.

The challenges facing the ocean are global, and the World Ocean Summit 2019, which will be held March 5th-7th, will bring the bold discussions and diverse audiences that characterise the World Ocean Summit into a new part of the world, and host stimulating conversations on the topics of ocean financing, governance and innovation. A key priority for World Ocean Summit 2019 will be to foster greater cooperation and collaboration between different groups, and to serve as a bridge between the development of economic policies and protecting the marine environment. It intends to build a truly global community for the creation of a sustainable ocean economy. Through the World Ocean Initiative, The Economist Group will build a programme of work across these topics and themes throughout 2018 to ensure that we continue to play a role in fostering progress against the global community’s commitments on the ocean.

 

To know more about World Ocean Summit 2019 in Abu Dhabi, watch video here.

14 MINIMALIST TRAVEL POSTERS

Minimalism is all the rage at the moment thanks to writers like Fumio Sasaki, so why not apply that approach when planning your next vacation? There’s so much information out there that it can seem overwhelming when you start researching places to go, with so many offers, travel guides, blogs, photos, videos, podcasts and all the rest. Sometimes you just need to drown out the noise and focus on what’s important.

That’s why Expedia has created these minimalist travel posters to help you see the essential elements on 14 of the top vacation destinations in the world. They’ve picked out the most important aspects of each destination, namely where you should go first, what food you should eat and where you can get that one stunning and shareable photo for your Instagram or Facebook page.

If you go to Berlin, for example, a whistlestop tour using these posters would take you to the aptly-named Panoramapunkt for a panoramic view of the TV Tower, followed by a trip to the past at the historic Brandenburg Gate. For food options, currywurst is a spicy taste of Berlin life and culture, while you can finish your stay with an energetic and symbolic bike ride down the Mauerweg, which follows the route of the old Berlin Wall.

Swapping Germany for South Africa, Cape Town has plenty to offer, even in the snapshot form of a minimalist visit. Speaking of snapshots, Bloubergstrand is the place to go to get that iconic photo of Table Mountain while you’ll also want to keep your camera to hand when you’re at Boulders Beach so you can get a shot of the penguins. Yes, there really are penguins there. The Neighbourgoods Market in Woodstock is a good place to get souvenirs, while the recommended dish of the trip is potjiekos, a traditional meat stew.

As you’ll have seen from these two examples, there’s so much you can fit into even a minimalist travel poster if the destination is as exciting as Berlin or Cape Town. Others getting the minimalist treatment include Havana, London, Paris and even the Serengeti and Siam Reap, the Cambodian home of 800-year-old temple Angkor Wat. You can probably guess what the iconic photo from that trip would be.

So check out all 14 of these minimalist travel posters from Expedia and see which of the legendary destinations captures your imagination. Given that you can take in all the sights in just one day, you could even do a tour…

 

FERRARI WORLD

by Amardeep Singh
FERRARI WORLD: WHERE AUTOMOTIVES MEET CARNIVAL TYPE RECREATION

“IF YOU CAN DREAM IT, YOU CAN DREAM FOR IT”. Picture this. Stalls and booths of classic and supercars parked in rows with kids testing them out. Miniaturized renditions of famous racetracks where you get to drive. A rollercoaster designed with Ferrari in mind considered to be the fastest in the world. What might seem like every gear head’s dream is actually one of the star attractions that shines across the landscape of Abu Dhabi. 


The automotive amusement park is home to the Formula Rossa that has an acceleration: 0-240km/h in 4.9sec, 0 -100km/h in 2sec with a G-Force of 1.7Gs, matching that of an actual Ferrari supercar.

But that’s just the beginning. You could enjoy an ebullient change of speed and explore miniature Italy in a small-scale Ferrari 250 California, circa 1958 adorned with cityscapes to famous landmarks and racing venues like Portofino and the Amalfi Coast, Monza Racetrack, the Colosseum di Roma, Venezia, and of course, Maranello.

The amusement park was inaugurated in the year 2010 and is the world’s first Ferrari themed park as well as the largest indoor theme park. The design of the park itself is a homage to the classic double curve side profile of the Ferrari GT body. The United Arab Emirates has a tendency to overdo in terms of world records and even here there seems to be no stone unturned. The Ferrari logo that sits at the complex’s center, a stunning 65m x 48.5m logo,  is the largest Ferrari logo ever created.

Top must see attractions are all centered around Ferrari’s extensive history including the V12, a flume ride, the G-Force tower, which takes visitors to a height of 62m, and the Pit Wall, where participants can make race-day judgment calls. Racing and driving simulators are available as well that might cause visitors to burn away some cash but its entirely worth it.  

For the really adventurous, Ferrari World also includes the Paddock, which puts you into the shoes of a Ferrari pit crew on a Grand Prix day, and a museum that tracks the history of the car brand from its earliest days to its current unmatched dominance.

For car lovers and history lovers, UAE is a definite destination to visit and explore. And Ferrari World is just one of the several major setups that deserves a worthy mention. So why wait? Head on down to the heart of a country that rose from the desert to shine at the Arabian Gulf.

ferrariworldabudhabi.com