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JA Resorts & Hotels: Laying Down Our Values

May 13, 2014 Luxury Hotels No Comments Email Email

From demonstrating a passion for green initiatives and with heartfelt hospitality at its core, JA Resorts & Hotels is a company keen on doing its part for the environment and local community.

It is the underlying principle apparent at every property within the JA Resorts & Hotels portfolio.

On a daily basis, the company manages several projects through its properties, with a constant goal to become even more eco-friendly and supportive to community initiatives. Efforts to save energy, increase recycling, manage resources, reduce carbon footprints, be involved in charitable projects and enhance marine life are just a few examples of the company’s steps toward making a difference.

“Looking after our guests is as essential to us as looking after the environment and especially the community they enter and experience,” said David Thomson, Chief Operating Officer of JA Resorts & Hotels who has ardently introduced many of the company’s CSR projects since joining the company in 2001. “We take great pleasure in the projects we have managed to implement thus far, as well as the awards that have been kindly extended to us in recognition of these efforts. Corporate social responsibility is a continuous process and we always have an eye on the next initiative we can support to positively impact the world we live and work in,” Thomson continued.

The team of JA Resorts & Hotels follow a simple yet integral ethos that states ‘be the change we want to see in the world and regardless of how small our impact is, we still aim to make a positive difference’, words initially spoken by David Thomson himself. By dividing time and resources between earth related projects, marine life driven initiatives and further community involvement, there is no end to the company’s efforts in creating a better place, a better home.

Environmental Initiatives

  • Recycling – of various resources like paper, cans, water and organic waste.
  • Reduced consumption – of water and energy through installation of saving devices.
  • ‘Clean up the World’ campaign – company associates participate in one of the largest worldwide volunteer projects by collecting rubbish from beaches and desert environments.
  • Bio Garden – in 2006 JA Jebel Ali Golf Resort started a 50 sqm garden which is now over 1,000 sqm and supplies the resort with many of the herbs and vegetables used in its restaurants.

Water irrigation dripping lines, bamboo poles and nets for the protection of the herbs were funded by the sale of the kitchen’s discharged cooking oil to an organisation that produces bio fuel. It is also an environmental education venue, with schools visiting and young resort guests participating in seasonal planting projects.

  • Aquaponics – implemented this revolutionary scheme for growing organic vegetables, herbs and fruits by fertilising them with the waste water from fish at JA Jebel Ali Golf Resort. It is more  productive and uses 90% less water than conventional gardens.
  • Tourism Environmental Training workshops – hosts and support DTCM workshops that are part of the long-term Green Economy initiative of H.H. Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, launched in 2012 to maintain a sustainable environment that can support long-term economic growth.
  • UAE Green Festival – a great initiative which JA Jebel Ali Golf Resort is honoured to support. The campaign highlights the importance of preserving the environment. The event acts as the first major stepping stone in creating a greener environment for both the  residents and tourists of Dubai. JA Jebel Ali Golf Resort believes in respecting legal requirements, adhering to sustainable purchasing, reducing carbon footprint and nurturing a responsible culture, steps necessary to creating a brighter future in line with UAE Green Festival’s vision. 

Marine Initiatives

  • Fish Releases – in collaboration with the EHS and the Marine Resource Centre of MOEW (Ministry of Environment and Water), releases fish into the Arabian Gulf to assist sustainable fishing.
  • Reef Ball Placement – partners with Al Boom Diving to assist the redevelopment of marine life by placing reef balls within JA Jebel Ali Golf Resort’s safe swimming area, encouraging the growth of safe habitats for fish and other sea creatures.
  • Great Gulf Turtle Race – sponsored ‘Tamara’ and ‘Speedy’, endangered hawksbill turtles that were released into the wild with trackers, allowing experts to monitor feeding and nesting patterns for the benefit of marine development and conservation projects. Part of the EWS-WWF’s Marine Turtle Conservation Project.
  • Endangered species protection – our restaurant menus do not include foods derived from species that are endangered or threatened in their natural environment, like Bluefin tuna, Chinook salmon, Hammour, dolphin, whale or shark. 

Community Involvement

  • Emiratisation – in 2003 the company formed a dedicated, corporate Emiratisation department in order to develop sustainable, long-term employment of UAE nationals within the company’s UAE hotels.
  • Charity support – hosting special events, making donations and sponsoring venues for fundraising events to support charities like the Al Noor School for Children with Special Needs, Breast Cancer Association, Centre for Autism and Foresight.
  • UAE National Day – creating an extensive exhibition with interactive guest events to showcase Emirati traditions and culture.
  • Fair trade products – Properties use products like fair trade coffee which means among other things, that fair prices were paid to primary producers or farmers, especially in developing countries.
  • All As One – A non-profit organisation close to the JA Resorts & Hotels family that takes care of underprivileged children in the war torn country of Sierra Leone. They sponsor each child’s education, welfare and basic necessities on behalf of all its own properties and the company’s key clients.

JA Resorts & Hotels has recently been recognised for its ardent involvement in green initiatives and has been awarded:

  • Green Globe Certification – awarded to JA Jebel Ali Golf Resort in 2013 after passing a certification process based on 337 compliance indicators that cover 41 criteria for sustainability. A biannual audit assists certified hotels and resorts to keep track of their progress and future plans to become increasingly environment and community friendly.
  • Blue Flag Accreditation – in 2012, JA Jebel Ali Golf Resort became the first resort in the UAE to receive this globally recognised accreditation for both its beach and marina. Blue Flag recognizes and awards beaches and marinas for sustainable development, measured by strict criteria including the quality of the water, environmental commitment and management and all-round safety policies.
  • Dubai Green Tourism Award – awarded to JA Jebel Ali Golf Resort by the DTCM (Dubai Department of Tourism and Commerce Marketing) in 2012, recognising the resort’s environmentally friendly practices and enrichment efforts in the five-star hotel category.

JA Resorts & Hotels aims to provide genuine experiences where guests are rewarded with genuine heartfelt hospitality and an array of unforgettable memories. It is therefore imperative that these experiences are offered on a foundation of social responsibility that ensures long-term sustainability of the planet’s resources.

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