Emirates has announced the start of a major habitat regeneration project at their first luxury Australian conservation resort, Wolgan Valley Resort & Spa. The first step in the long-term conservation programme commenced with the planting of over 1,000 indigenous trees. The reforestation project aims to regenerate ecologically sensitive areas within Emirates’ Wolgan Valley Reserve and is part of Emirates Hotels and Resorts’ carbon offsetting initiative and its commitment to the protection of biodiversity.
The first resort to be developed by Emirates Hotels & Resorts outside the United Arab Emirates, Wolgan Valley includes an extensive conservation programme which will reintroduce indigenous species to the 4,000 acre site.
International volunteers and local residents gathered to begin planting over 1,000 native trees indigenous to the area at a former cattle ranch, which will become the Wollemi Grove. The Wollemi Grove will feature one of the world’s rarest trees, the Wollemi Pine. Previously known only through fossil records, the Wollemi Pine was re-discovered in 1994, deep within the neighbouring Greater Blue Mountains World Heritage Area.
Emirates’ conservation team has worked closely with Mr David Noble, New South Wales National Parks and Wildlife Officer, who discovered the Wollemi Pine, to create the Wollemi Grove. A range of other native species will be planted alongside the Wollemi Pine to ensure a new and stable habitat, which will attract and support a number of local wildlife species previously under pressure.
Commenting on the latest developments, Tony Williams, Senior Vice President of Emirates Hotels & Resorts said, “Having recently completed the first phase of our conservation programme, with the removal of invasive noxious plants, weeds and non-indigenous flora, we can now enter the positive phases of the programme with the planting over a thousand native trees. The Wolgan Valley is an important site; not only is it extraordinarily beautiful, but it is also environmentally important from a conservation point of view.”
He continued, “The Wolgan Valley’s position along the Great Australian Divide, at the heart of a World Heritage Area, has both historic and conservation significance for Australia. It also continues Emirates Hotels & Resorts’ philosophy of sustainable development and threatened species protection. This location and the resort itself will provide future guests and visitors with an unparalleled experience of Australia’s wildlife, history and aboriginal heritage - all of which we have committed to preserve."
The Wolgan Valley Resort & Spa is Australia’s first luxury conservation resort. Nestled deep in the heart of the Wolgan Valley beneath breathtaking sandstone escarpments, only two percent of the 4,000 acre site will be developed as part of the Resort. The remainder is dedicated to conservation, and forms a wildlife reserve.
Emirates Hotels & Resorts, owner of the Wolgan Valley Resort & Spa, has become a recognised world leader in blending intimate and personalised luxury resort facilities with important conservation work and environmentally sensitive design. The concept for the Wolgan Valley resort is modelled on Emirates’ highly acclaimed and award winning Al Maha Desert Resort & Spa in Dubai.
Due to open in late 2009, the Wolgan Valley Resort & Spa will offer its guests a true wilderness experience, complimented by unparalleled luxury in accommodation and services, with 40 individual villas, each with its own pool, world-class spa facilities and the very best locally sourced food and wines.
About Emirates Hotels & Resorts
Emirates Hotels & Resorts is Emirates Airline's premier hospitality management division, an ambitious concept, where unrivalled exclusivity in service and luxury is combined with unique and truly breathtaking locations.
Emirates Airline currently operates 49 flights per week from Dubai to Australia. These include double-daily services to Sydney, Melbourne and Perth and a daily service to Brisbane. To coincide with grown demand for flights to Australia, Emirates' services to Australia will increase to 70 flights per week in 2009.
Chiara Sarzi Amadè
Emirates Corporate Communications
The Emirates Group Headquarters
P.O. Box 686
United Arab Emirates
(+9714) 708 2171
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