Part of the Community Footprints program, the signature Impact Experience at The Ritz-Carlton DIFC invites group guests to make a meaningful contribution and feel personally connected to the local community through ‘Give a Ghaf’, an initiative run by local conservation body Goumbook to help preserve the national tree of the UAE.
Highlighting the tree’s cultural and ecological significance, the experience begins by traveling to Al Barari Farms in Dubai, where the volunteers will receive a tour of the nursery and compost room with the horticulturist, along with a step-by-step guide to the conservation process, before helping to plant Ghaf tree seeds. The seedlings then remain in the pots for two years in the safety of the nursery, protected from high temperatures, humidity and wind exposure, and once strong enough will be donated to the local community’s parks, hospitals, schools and highway and road plantations, helping to create a sustainable community within Dubai and the UAE.
Lothar Quarz, General Manager, The Ritz-Carlton, DIFC commented: “Our guests are seeking memorable experiences when they travel, beyond the luxuries of a five star hotel, so we are delighted to offer them the chance to participate in Impact Experiences and allow them to connect with the local area. Not only that, by supporting the UAE’s ‘Give a Ghaf’ campaign, they can also help to address an important part of the country’s conservation efforts; the preservation of the national tree.”
Impact Experiences also offer on-property activities that may be incorporated to a meeting agenda during lunch breaks, receptions and coffee breaks. These include:
Partnering with the luxury Dubai hotel’s culinary team to prepare the ingredients for donation to a local hunger relief organization.
Assembling school supplies and art materials in backpacks for donation to students whose academic success is threatened by poverty.
Collaborating in teams to assemble emergency preparedness kits to be shipped to a disaster relief facility or community organization.
Groups also have the opportunity to participate in an Impact Hour event, a program that was designed through a participant hackathon at the 2014 Travel + Social Good Summit. The compelling and educational experience provides a platform for leaders from The Ritz-Carlton Community Footprints partner’s organizations to showcase how they are successfully addressing social and environmental issues.