- Sustainable Architecture
- Banyan Tree Al Wadi, first integrated resort in the UAE
The United Arab Emirates are known for their monumental architecture, as portrayed by the winner in the Photography category of the 2016 Next Landmark international contest, Martina Berger in her work “Creating the Future”, futuristic buildings in the middle of the desert.
But there's also another, less renowned side, the native one with solid ties with the desert, which includes the Al Wadi nature reserve located in the Wadi Khadeeja valley in Ras al Khaimah, which only became one of the United Emirates in 1972. It stands out because it has much more plant life than the other emirates, thanks to the higher rainfall in the Al Hajjar mountains, which occupy most of the hinterland of Ras al Khaimah. So in the valley of Wadi Khadeeja you can encounter lush flora and native fauna, including a number of antelope species that have been reintroduced.
The Banyan Tree Al Wadi resort stands right in this protected area, integrated into the countryside in order to protect these breathtakingly beautiful places with their truly magical feel, seemingly far from the steel and glass towers we so often associate with the Arab Emirates. But truth to tell, Dubai is only an hour's drive from here.
At Banyan Tree Al Wadi guests can explore this land on the one hand, and Arabian traditions such as falconry to riding on a dromedary through to its cuisine on the other. All of which is accompanied by infrastructures that engage with their surroundings, from the spa to the single villas.
Here, responsible tourism becomes a way of protecting the environment in this precious part of the territory, in addition to keeping the local history alive. These elements blend together in a stay filled with excitement and low environmental impact.
Banyan Tree Al Wadi
Location: Ras al-Chaima, United Arab Emirates
Images: courtesy of Banyan Tree – see captions
Find out more: http://www.banyantree.com/en/em-uae-al-wadi/