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15 December 2014, Dubai, UAE - Ladies and gentlemen from The Ritz-Carlton, Dubai International Financial Centre and a group of its guests have taken part in a conservation initiative to help preserve the national tree of the UAE, the Ghaf tree. The activity was part of The Ritz-Carlton Hotel Company’s ‘Give Back Getaways’ program, which seeks to provide guests with a memorable and enriching stay, whilst supporting environmental responsibility, one of the key pillars of the hotel company’s wider Corporate & Social Responsibility program ‘Community Footprints’, and its commitment to help build a more sustainable future.

The volunteers were taking part in the ‘Give a Ghaf’ campaign, run by local conservation body Goumbook, to help highlight the tree’s cultural and ecological significance, with the ultimate aim of protecting the wild Ghaf trees. Ladies and gentlemen from the Community Footprints team took part with a number of guests, who traveled to Al Barari Farms, Dubai. There, they received 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 will 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 the Giveback Getaway® program allows them to participate in an enriching experience, whilst benefitting the local community. Helping to preserve the national tree of the UAE is an important part of the country’s conservation efforts, and we are delighted to have been able to add our footprint to this worthy initiative.”