APRIL 2014	 				 hospitalitybusinessme.com
hose of us, who have been in
Dubai a little longer, might
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Green Hospitality: The story of Dubai's most famous green garden


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Iconsulthotels' CEO, Martin Kubler, is an active member of the editorial board of HBME (formerly Hospitality Business Middle East). In April 2014, he contributed an article about Dubai's most famous green garden at the JA Jebel Ali Golf Resort.

The article describes the resort's green gardening strategy and explains how, in the middle of the desert, JA Resorts & Hotels runs a profitable bio-gardening scheme that benefits the resort's guests, the environment, and the local community.

Would you like Iconsulthotels experts to write for you, too? Have a look at http://qoo.ly/3ntq9

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Transcript of "Green Hospitality: The story of Dubai's most famous green garden"

  1. 1. APRIL 2014 hospitalitybusinessme.com 62 TREND TALK T hose of us, who have been in Dubai a little longer, might remember that in 2007 there was a lot more free space around the city than there is now. We all know how successful Dubai has been in filling this free space with world-class attractions, iconic residential and commercial developments, and even the occasional park. Mark Brettsworth, the late General Manager of what was then the Jebel Ali Golf Resort & Spa, located seemingly far outside the growing city, had a different idea when it came to making use of free space in 2007: He turned an area of unused land at the resort into the city’s first bio garden. Over the past seven years, Dubai has grown a lot bigger, and so has the bio Heartfelt Hospitality & Bio Gardening – A Perfect Hole in One! The story of Dubai’s most famous green garden garden of what is now the JA Jebel Ali Golf Resort. An easy 30 minutes drive away from Dubai Marina, a full-time gardener and lots of enthusiastic volunteers, grow a large variety of fruits, vegetables, and herbs – all 100% organic. Just like Dubai, the garden is set to grow even bigger in the coming years with the addition of a greenhouse and more space for further organic produce. Fredrik Reinisch, the resort’s current General Manager, makes a convincing business case for the company’s bio gardening activities: It’s good for the environment, good for the resort’s guests, and good for the company’s bottom line. No pesticides are used in the resort’s bio garden and the resort’s CO2 emissions are reduced, because less produce has to be shipped in from outside. The hotel’s bio gardening activities also reduce the amount of waste shipped off to landfills, because the gardening team makes its own compost using waste materials from the resort’s several kitchens. The resort also installed a water recycling system that reuses water used to irrigate the resort’s golf course to water the growing bio garden. Last year, the company went a step further and unveiled a new aquaponics system that combines conventional aquaculture (raising aquatic animals such as snails, fish, crayfish or prawns in tanks) with hydroponics (cultivating plants in water) in a symbiotic environment. Aquaponics gardening is an amazingly productive way to grow organic produce, while providing the added benefits of fresh fish as a safe, healthy source of protein. JA Jebel Ali Golf Resort’s bio garden now satisfies all the resort’s herb needs and the vegetable needs of two restaurants – the savings on not having to buy herbs from outside suppliers alone amount to approximately AED 5,000/month. Interestingly, the bio garden is virtually self-funding – the used oil from the resort’s kitchens is converted into diesel by an external company. The money raised from diesel sales pays for the full-time gardener and all tools and seeds needed to keep the garden growing. Guests at the resort not only get to enjoy locally grown, organic, produce, but are also encouraged to visit the bio garden and learn more about where the food served in the resort comes from or just relax by the watering pond in the middle of the garden and enjoy the tranquil atmosphere and the aroma of fresh herbs. The resort’s kids’ club even holds weekly gardening sessions and the company is also keen to involve local schools in its bio gardening efforts. Savings in buying quality produce from outside suppliers combine seamlessly with priceless PR value at the resort. In 2012, it was awarded the first ever Dubai Green Tourism Award, and it enjoys high profile locally and regionally amongst environmentalists and green enthusiasts. In a city that often vies for attention with “artificial” attractions such as indoor ski slopes or sprawling water parks, JA Jebel Ali Gold Resort, chose a more natural and sustainable path and is seeing its efforts pay off handsomely. Martin Kubler Founder, Iconsulthotels FZE