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UAE-ECOTOURISM
Abu Dhabi gets major boost with Al Futaisi Islands Resort

Att.Editors: The following item is from the Emirates News Agency (WAM)



ABU DHABI, Apr. 5 (WAM) - The much awaited AI Futaisi Islands Resort was officially launched on Monday night. The Resort is all set to serve the ecotourism needs of both domestic and international tourists with its repertoire of natural and man-made facilities as it was declared open to public yesterday.

The number one United Arab Emirates (UAE) ecotourism destination, under the patronage of Sheikh Hamad bin Hamdan Al Nahyan, is a unique harmony of fun, health, education and environmental awareness.

The resort, located on Al Futaisi Island, is situated about 15 minutes off the Abu Dhabi coast and is easily accessible. Covering over 50 sq kms, the resort incorporates a lovely stretch of beach sand skirting the placid waters of the Gulf, mystic mangroves and unspoilt wilderness where gazelles roam around in gay abandon.

Forty exquisitely appointed chalets welcome the visitors to a luxurious stay in communion with nature, complete with multi-cuisine F&B facility. There is also a fort meticulously recreated to reflect the country's traditional character and heritage.

A major highlight of the resort is the massive environment-awareness programme designed to accelerate the UAE's greening drive through people participation. This unique programme is named "My Tree...Our Forest". Land has been earmarked for this purpose and the public is being invited to plant a tree in an individual's name, either the person's own or in the name of a person they love. The saplings planted will be nurtured and cared for and will carry the name tag of the person.

The idea is to create a green belt involving the maximum number of people, thereby promoting the concept of environment friendliness and afforestation among them at large. It is also planned to be entered into the Guinness Book of World Records as the largest public participated afforestation programme.

Other facilities include water sports complex, swimming pool, 18-hole golf course and clubhouse, angling amenities, petting zoo, amusement park for kids, horse riding, and convenience store.

Future plans include a marine museum, nature care and yoga centre, an international standard health club and spa, spice village, agro-fish farm, turtle farm and nursery.

Fortnightly theme festivals and a monthly workshop on eco-related topics are also on the anvil to promote global goodwill and environmental conservation.

The promoters aim to transform Al Futaisi Island into a premium holiday and leisure resort in a phased manner, converting Abu Dhabi into a major spot on the world ecotourism map, quite in line with the emirate's avowed commitment to the green cause. (WAM)

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