Oasis Eco Resort
July 5, 2018, 1:14 pm
With so much of the UAE a beautiful, natural desert environment, it’s no surprise that an organisation has chosen to build an eco-resort. And not just any eco-resort; the largest and greenest eco-resort of its kind in the world.
According to information published by Eco Resorts Group, the entity behind Oasis Eco Resort in Liwa, the UAE expects to welcome some 45 million visitors to its shores. Believing visitors should make the most of the natural beauty of the country, while minimising the impact of their visit on the environment, the group aims to transform the rapidly growing tourism sector into a largely green economy by creating the world’s greenest eco-resorts.
With a mission of developing low-impact eco-friendly tourism in the UAE and wider MENA region, Eco Resorts Group works with internationally renowned consultants to deliver resort solutions that are sustainable, as well as being creative, appealing to visitors and unique. Oasis Eco Resort is being designed by local architecture firm Baharash, which specialises in designing sustainable buildings and resorts.
Oasis Eco Resort in the Liwa region is the group’s first flagship project. The Liwa region, an area featuring towering dunes, date-palm plantations and natural water springs, was decided to be the perfect location for the Oasis Eco Resort.
The resort features one such natural spring at its heart. The spring – which meant the resort could make use of groundwater extracted from a deep well – was discovered during the very early stages of the project, providing a natural link to the history of the region. Water, and such a well, was critical to Bedouins for trade and transportation routes, and the same desert groundwater will now be used for crop irrigation, fish farming and recreational activities. The spring will also form a natural habitat for the various wildlife living in and around the resort, and landscaping will focus on local plants and trees requiring minimal amounts of water.
All accommodation – 84 interconnecting suites of various types, all of which provide stunning views and an outdoor terrace from which to enjoy the natural landscape – and functional areas are centred around the spring.
Some of the sustainable features of the resort include an on-site waste water recycling process, enabling all grey waste water – excluding toilet water – to be used for irrigation, as well as on-site waste management including the use of organic waste for compost. A strict zero emission zone will be in place, and some 157,000 square feet of solar panels placed on a ribbon-like roof planned for optimum efficiency will provide all of the energy requirements of the resort, which will be stored in batteries. Sustainable passive cooling techniques including extra wall insulation and triple-glazed windows will also reduce the need for air conditioning. This air conditioning will be provided by an evaporative system that uses 70% less energy than a conventional air cooling system.
Ensuring food supplies are as sustainable as possible, the restaurant and bar will offer guests organic ingredients grown on-site, as well as sourced from farms in nearby villages. The restaurant’s menu will also include indigenous delicacies for an authentic taste of the region, and for a truly sustainable dining experience, guests will be able to pick their own organic produce from the onsite allotments and catch their own fish from the spring, then – with the help of a chef – incorporate their freshly obtained ingredients into a meal. Products used at the resort’s on-site spa will also feature organic ingredients.
To make sure guests have access to a wide variety of information and education on the local environment, flora and fauna and their natural habitat, a number of wildlife biologists and conservation staff will be on hand to answer questions and offer educational sessions on how desert plants and animals have adapted to the harsh climate of the UAE.
Even guest arrival at the resort will be as sustainable as possible. Guests will reach the resort via remote-controlled, driverless electric cars or buses, with an electric shuttle from Abu Dhabi and possibly other points in the UAE also in the pipeline.
The final element of sustainability at Oasis Eco Resort is that of sustainability within the local community. The resort will provide economic and socio-cultural benefits, creating job opportunities for the local population and therefore a more diversified economy. The facility will also help preserve the region’s heritage, and offer more opportunities for greater interaction with people native to the UAE.
Photo Credit – www.tilalliwa.danathotels.com