Six Senses Zighy Bay Unveils Initiatives for Community Welfare and Environmental Preservation

Six Senses Zighy Bay Unveils Initiatives for Community Welfare and Environmental Preservation

Beach clean ups leading to 1,047 kgs of waste being collected from the Zighy beach

Located just a short 2.5-hour drive from Dubai, Six Senses Zighy Bay finds itself situated in an area with limited educational opportunities.

However, in a ground-breaking move in 2023, the resort not only confronted these challenges head-on but also revolutionised the landscape by leading comprehensive community development and educational initiatives.

This bold step has not only helped transform the local area, but also established a new benchmark for social responsibility within the hospitality industry.

Undeterred by environmental threats, the resort also remained deeply committed to environmental conservation and protection, further strengthening its reputation as a beacon of sustainability in the region.

Six Senses Zighy Bay embodies the core values of the Six Senses brand, showcasing a profound dedication to nurturing the people, cultures, and ecosystems that define its surroundings.

Supporting the Zighy & Dibba Villagers

Maher Alriyami, the Sustainability Assistant Manager at Six Senses Zighy Bay and overseer of all community-related initiatives, collaborates closely with Maryam Al Shehhi, the resort’s recently appointed English and Sustainability teacher.

Together, they passionately share their expertise and dedication by engaging with two local schools in the nearest town.

In a bid to empower the younger generation, Maryam dedicated her entire summer to teaching English and Arabic to the eager minds of Zighy. Twice a week, for three months, Maryam engaged with 37 children, delivering a total of 49 teaching hours.

To commemorate the culmination of the summer programme, the resort organised a small celebration, complete with cakes and the distribution of reusable water bottles to all participating children.

The aim was not only to reward their dedication, but also to instil eco-conscious habits, urging them to not use plastic water bottles and motivate them for next year’s classes.

The hard work became evident on November 19th during the resort’s weekly beach clean-up. This time, the Zighy children enthusiastically joined in, turning the clean-up into a spirited game of garbage collection.

For the first time in two years, their voluntary participation signalled the beginning of a shift in mindset, promising a brighter future for the environment.

In total, Maryam shared her knowledge with 572 girls, contributing 110 hours of teaching, while Maher contributed 64 teaching hours to the cause. In addition, the resort demonstrated its commitment to a local community by allocating funds to support families in need and elderly without income.

Empowering Women’s Economic Independence

In late 2022, the resort launched a new experience for hotel guests in partnership with the Dibba Women Association titled, Sense of Oman, through a Woman's Eyes.

This immersive journey invites guests to immerse themselves in the rich tapestry of Omani women's lives, offering culturally crafted experiences that engage all the senses.

From the tactile art of date palm weaving to the intricate designs of pottery decorating and henna painting, guests are treated to an unforgettable exploration of local traditions.

Not only does this experience enrich the guest’s stay, but also contributes to the association's infrastructure development projects, including vital facilities for local children. Since its inception, the hotel has proudly donated 5,070 USD to the Dibba Women Association.

In a remarkable show of support, one of Six Senses Zighy Bay’s esteemed guests was deeply moved by the meaningful endeavours of the resort. As a testament to their appreciation, they generously contributed a donation of US$ 50,000.

Inspired by the impactful work being done, these funds were allocated toward the renovation of the Early Learning School through the Dibba Women’s Association, as per the ladies' request.

The renovation efforts focused on revitalising the children's playground, ensuring it was safe and inviting. Additionally, new toys and rubber mats were procured, enhancing the learning environment for the young students.

The remaining funds were allocated towards essential upgrades, including fresh coats of paint and the installation of new AC units, ensuring a comfortable and vibrant environment for everyone.

Moreover, the Ladies of the Dibba Women Association were invited to join Six Senses Zighy Bay’s first Zighy Bazaar, which took place twice in 2023. Showcasing their talents and artisan crafts, the ladies captivated Zighy’s guests, collectively generating more than US$ 2,080.

Promoting Environment Protection and Animal Welfare

In collaboration with the Ministry of Agriculture, Six Senses Zighy Bay facilitated the vaccination of 685 Zighy Goats in 2023, in comparison to just 100 goats in 2022.

This significant achievement underscored a shift in mindset, driven by the proactive approach of two farmers who chose to vaccinate their goats in 2022. Their initiative resulted in zero losses among their herds.

Encouraged by this success, the remaining 10 farmers, who had previously experienced goat mortality, sought the resort’s assistance in vaccinating 100% of their Zighy goats last year.

In addition, 80 goats benefited from improved nutrition, receiving fresh bread daily, whilst vitamins and antibiotics were also generously donated twice throughout the year to support the overall well-being of these animals.

Recognising the importance of animal welfare beyond goats, the resort took proactive measures to address the local cat population. Eleven cats from Zighy Village were compassionately caught, neutered, and vaccinated, contributing to population control, and alleviating their suffering.

Additionally, the resort serves as a sanctuary for 33 adopted stray cats from the village, exemplifying its steadfast commitment to safeguarding all life on land near the resort.

Sustainable Coastal Conservation and Responsible Fishing Initiatives

In 2023, the resort's dedicated hosts contributed a remarkable 389 volunteer hours to beach clean ups, resulting in the removal of 1,047 kg of waste.

The highlight of their efforts was the clean-up of a bay, now named Smugglers Bay, located just a short hike or boat ride away from the resort, marking the largest clean-up in Six Senses Zighy Bay’s history.

In total, 43 hosts devoted 4 hours each to the task, diligently filling 96 bags with garbage and ultimately removing 786 kg of waste from the ocean. Thanks to their hard work, guests can now revel in a rejuvenated experience at Smugglers Bay.

Building upon the momentum of previous years, Six Senses Zighy Bay’s hosts alongside Davide Panarese, the resort’s Marine Biologist, continues to monitor bycatch in Zighy Bay by assisting the villagers in pulling their nets.

Any animals inadvertently caught in the nets, other than fish, are promptly released back into the ocean. In 2023, the dedicated team successfully freed 13 sea turtles and 83 rays from local fishing nets, further demonstrating their dedication to marine conservation.

Mohammed Saleh and Mohammed Al Dahouri, pivotal figures within the Environment Authority based in Dibba, under the esteemed leadership of Khasab and Muscat, have played integral roles in fostering a successful partnership with Six Senses Zighy Bay.

Together, they have orchestrated two massive underwater clean-ups, removing a total of 1 ton of ghost gear, fishing nets, and fish cages from the ocean floor.

Furthermore, collaborative efforts extend to supporting Oman Vision 2040 through tree planting initiatives in Musandam areas, as well as prioritising the livelihood of fishermen and promoting awareness of sustainable fishing practices.

Revitalising Coral Ecosystems

The coral restoration programme at Six Senses Zighy Bay represents a pivotal effort to replenish the property’s house reef back to its full potential.

Commencing in January 2023, this initiative saw coral fragments of opportunity collected by Julia and Andrea, the resort’s dive centre managers from nearby diving sites, carefully attached to 10 metal frames in the sea.

Now, after over a year, these frames are flourishing and exhibiting robust growth. Each frame hosts around 50 coral fragments, meticulously placed by the resort’s engineering team from recycled construction material.

The ultimate goal of this venture is to re-introduce the two main coral species previously present on the reef known as Acropora and Pocillopora, that once thrived on the reef.

By grouping the coral fragments together, the project enhances their chances of survival and awaits their maturation to spawn and repopulate the entire reef.

If the results are successful over a two-year period, consideration will be given to a larger-scale initiative involving the planting and maintenance of similar projects in new locations along the Musandam coastline.

Further developments include partnership with renowned local universities to bring in expertise to study the reef, and further enhance and protect this new vibrant eco-system.

Guided by a philosophy deeply rooted in care and compassion, Six Senses Zighy Bay's intimate understanding of the region reflects the strong relationships forged within the community. At its core, the resort is dedicated to holistic well-being, acknowledging that nurturing guests also involves supporting the people, families, and communities they belong to.

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