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Dubai's first eco-tourism resort.

Now open to guests, Dubai's Al Maha is being marketed as the United Arab Emirate's first eco-tourism resort. This US$12.5 million project aims to offer guests a taste of Arabian culture and heritage in a natural desert setting, "blending the beauty of nature with ultimate luxury".

Indigenous desert fauna and flora, including the Arabian oryx and the sand gazelle, have been reintroduced into the resort's 16-square-kilometre nature reserve. The resorts owners, which include Emirates Airline, fenced off the reserve last year. This allowed them to clear unwanted debris, but also prevented the camel herds of local Bedouin from grazing there.

Overgrazed areas have been irrigated with the help of solar-powered water pumps, and in time, claim the owners, the vegetation will be sufficient to sustain the needs of reintroduced herbivores.

All water at Al Maha is purified, recycled, refiltered and used for ecological rehabilitation purposes and irrigation, and much of the resort's power requirements will be harnessed from solar energy.

It's a fact: there were an estimated 799,200 conceptions in England and Wales in 1997, two per cent fewer than in 1996

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Author:McWilliam Fiona
Publication:Geographical
Date:Jun 1, 1999
Words:185
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