Jumeirah Hotels celebrates  20th Anniversary of its amazing Dubai Turtle Rehabilitation Project

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Jumeirah recently celebrated the 20th anniversary of its Dubai Turtle Rehabilitation Project (DTRP), by hosting a vital panel discussion on the collective efforts needed to protect the ocean. TheGlitz reports.

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Jumeirah & World Sea Turtle Day

Entitled ‘Out of Sight is not Out of Mind: Our Collective Responsibility to Preserve our Ocean’, the panel took place in Dubai in the morning ahead of World Sea Turtle Day on Sunday, 16th June. Led by a group of esteemed global experts, including Her Excellency Razan Al Mubarak, President of the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN); Barbara Lang-Lenton, Director of Aquarium at Jumeirah Burj Al Arab and DTRP lead; Jo Ruxton, Founder and Director of Ocean Generation; and Dr. Juan Antonio Romero, Mission Blue Scientist, Marine Biologist, and Filmmaker, the discussion delved into the most pressing challenges facing our ocean today.

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The panel underscored that marine conservation is a shared global challenge requiring collaboration among governments, organisations, businesses, and individuals. They also shared examples of innovative solutions and best practices for ocean conservation, highlighting the critical role of education, awareness-raising, and youth engagement in shaping a sustainable future for the ocean.

Her Excellency Razan Al Mubarak, the global leader in biodiversity who has spearheaded progressive environmental protection and species conservation around the world, commented: “Over the past twenty years, the Dubai Turtle Rehabilitation Project has demonstrated the powerful role of corporate responsibility in the sphere of environmental care. I commend their ongoing commitment to the health and vitality of marine life, which is crucial for maintaining our ecosystems’ balance.”

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Commenting on the significance of the 20-year anniversary, Barbara Lang-Lenton said: “I am incredibly proud to celebrate two decades of the Dubai Turtle Rehabilitation Project. Not only is it an important milestone for Jumeirah, it is also a testament to Dubai and the wider UAE’s efforts in enhancing biodiversity through conservation programmes.”

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She added: “As coastal and maritime tourism flourishes, the importance of preserving our ocean has become even more apparent; marine life needs to thrive in order to fulfill its vital role in the ocean ecosystem, which impacts us all in many different ways. With global travellers often preferring coastal destinations for vacations, and at the same time increasingly aware of responsible travel options, the strain on our marine ecosystems is growing. There is therefore an increasing obligation on the industry to be proactive custodians of ocean and conservation. It is crucial that we unite efforts to safeguard and preserve our invaluable marine life for the benefit of future generations.”

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Speaking to the importance of connecting people to the ocean and educating them on how they can make a difference, Jo Ruxton said: “My mission is to bridge the gap between people and the ocean. Everyone needs to understand how vital a healthy ocean is to our survival; it supports all life on our blue planet. The ocean is also our biggest ally when it comes to climate change, yet we recklessly exploit and damage this fragile ecosystem. By empowering individuals to take collective action daily, we can drive significant positive change. We need to come together to protect and preserve our ocean for both current and future generations, which is why discussions such as these are so important.”

Emphasising the need for immediate action and the impact of increased awareness efforts, Dr. Juan Antonio Romero said: “In order to protect ourselves and the world as we see it today we have to protect the ocean. Without the ocean, there would be no life. Education, public awareness, and science are part of bridging the gap between the ocean and us. Providing tangible ways in which individuals can support this cause is also paramount in our mission to preserve and protect these precious ecosystems. Together, through heightened awareness and collective action, we can make a difference and ensure a sustainable future for our ocean and all marine life.”

Jumeirah

Prior to the event, Jumeirah, together with community members, guests and partners, released 63 rehabilitated turtles back into their natural habitat. This included Hawksbills, Green turtles, and Loggerheads, bringing the total number of turtles released by the DTRP to more than 2,175 since its launch in 2004. Among the turtles released was Barney, a 31kg young adult male Hawksbill turtle who was discovered in March in the Jebel Ali Area with an injury on his plastron – or shell as more commonly known. After receiving dedicated care and treatment, Barney made a full recovery and was returned to the ocean to rapturous applause.

Looking ahead to World Sea Turtle Day this Sunday, a range of sea turtle conservation activities have been organised across Jumeirah’s portfolio. In Abu Dhabi, Jumeirah Saadiyat Island, in partnership with the Environment Agency – Abu Dhabi (EAD), The National Aquarium, and Yas SeaWorld Research and Rescue, hosted an intimate release of 50 sea turtles on its pristine beach. Additionally, guests at Jumeirah Olhahali Island in the Maldives will enjoy a mix of complementary and bookable turtle-themed experiences.

These will include a marine talk from the in-house marine biologist, guided snorkelling around Olhahali Island’s house reef, sand sculpture making, sustainable seafood dinners at its all-day dining pool-side restaurant, Glow, yoga sessions with turtle-inspired poses at Talise Spa, and unique room decorations, all aimed at promoting sea turtle conservation and awareness.

Earlier this month, Jumeirah Al Naseem unveiled a special turtle-inspired stay experience to kick start DTRP’s 20th anniversary month and further support the project’s efforts. From turtle-inspired welcome amenities to a behind-the-scenes look at the remarkable work of the project and a brand-new ocean-themed four-hands afternoon tea concept – plus a portion of the stay rate is donated to the cause – every aspect of the experience has been designed to provide an unforgettable and meaningful stay.

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