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Paradise in Abu Dhabi…going, going, hopefully not gone

Paradise in Abu Dhabi…going, going, hopefully not gone

Hurrah! Hotels are popping up in Abu Dhabi like mushrooms! Hopefully, someone’s looking after the flora and fauna of the emirate as these projects are constructed around them.

September 25, 2011 4:03 by

During a weekend of kayaking in Abu Dhabi’s mangroves (an activity we heartily recommended for everyone), Kipp saw a lot of sea life and nature—much of which was evidently shadows of their former selves. The Blue Crabs were few and far between, the mangroves where less dense and the water was not as clean and calm. Most disturbingly there was garbage even in the remote areas of the mangrove, which our kayaking guides picked up whenever they could.

We live in a society that has been mostly nonchalantly about the environmental effects of the industrial progress this county has made so far. Yes, the Rulers have spearheaded projects for sustainable living and environmental awareness. However, at ground level little implementation is to be seen.

At the construction level for example, while Kipp has followed the creation of Estidama (a kind of LEED regional counterpart) and has seen the Masdar projects evolve from overly ambitious to more pragmatic, there are still some examples that show not everyone is playing ball.

One of our kayak guides, for example, pointed to an ongoing construction near the mangroves. The project will be called Mangrove Resort and Spa. According to the guides, the construction area has blocked much needed circulation of water, and therefore, nutrients, from the nearby mangrove. This means less food for the plants, and a more precarious situation for the animal life that depend on the mangrove for food and shelter. As our guide said, it was ironic how the hotel is named after the very thing it is damaging.

Now with Ritz-Carlton planning to open a second hotel in the capital, Kipp hopes that better regulations will be in place for the protection of the flora and fauna of the city. After all, what’s a hotel room without a natural view?

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