With 81% of travellers confirming that Sustainable Travel is important to them, Six Senses Zighy Bay, located just over two hours away from Dubai, has established the initial benchmarks for the hospitality industry in the region.
With protecting the environment and the local community in their DNA, the resort made significant progress in 2022 by focusing on transforming Waste into Wealth, a pledge to continue to decrease plastic usage and operate in a ‘self-sustaining’ manner to ensure minimal impact on the local and global community and the environment.
All activities are driven by the dedicated and passionate sustainability team (comprising of resort’s very own Marine Biologist and Camel Carer, alongside a Supervisor, an Assistant Manager, and Director), who are all supervised by the resort’s Director of Sustainability, Armand Thieblemont. The activities are heavily supported by all hosts across the resort, as sustainability is essentially not something they do, it’s what they live and breathe.
Refuse, Reduce, Reuse and Recycle:
60% reduction in plastic across the resort
Last year, Six Senses Zighy Bay reduced its electricity and water usage by 29% in comparison to 2018, whilst also achieving a 60% reduction in plastic across the resort by identifying and removing as many single use plastic items as possible. For example, plastic bags were removed from F&B operations, housekeeping services, and more between January – December 2022.
Contributing to this is the resorts recently launched Sustainable Purchasing Programme which ensured Sustainable Certifications were gathered from the resort’s suppliers, as well as signed engagement letters which support a common commitment; zero waste. One example being the resort’s food distributors, who revised their truck packaging during transportation and replaced 100% of its Styrofoam boxes with reusable cooler boxes.
With new infrastructure built in the summer, including two new waste segregating facilities, 36% of total waste in 2022 was diverted from Landfill. In total 9,950 KG – the equivalent of 20 of Six Senses Zighy Bay’s camels – of food waste turned to compost, whilst 1,280kg of bread waste was used to feed the Zighy goats.
In the resort’s industry leading Earth Lab, 5,669 kgs of glass, 121 kgs of candles, 179 kgs of paper and 50 kgs of soap were recycled, and an impressive 6,930 kgs of metal scraps were recycled off-site.
25 tons of CO2 were offset
To add to the already implemented and ongoing initiatives, tons of carbon were offset via the resorts Carbon Neutral rate. Having calculated the average of carbon emitted per room per night at the resort, the rate allows guests to offset their carbon footprint generated during their stay. In total, 25 tons of CO2 was offset to an offsetting company CO2sensus* to ensure that guests leave with zero carbon footprint.
*CO2sensus is a next-gen climate-tech company, set up by a team of tech experts with profound environmental engineers. They dedicate their efforts to develop the best products and solutions that help the world’s fight against climate change and its various side effects such as global warming, wildlife extinction, etc.
Farm to Table Concept:
3,097 kgs of fresh organic fruits and vegetables produced
The resort’s very own Organic Farm (complete with greenhouses and an orchard and irrigation system) was also key to their sustainability efforts. In 2022, the farm produced 20,602 free range organic eggs, 3,097 kgs of fresh organic fruits and vegetables and 1,128 litres of goat milk, which was used to make cheese for guests dining at the resort. Also, 5,400 kgs of animal manure was used to make organic compost, part of the resort’s pledge to remove any industrial fertilizer or pesticide.
Improved healthcare for 622 Zighy Goats and nurtured the women of Dibba’s entrepreneurial spirits
Six Senses Zighy Bay’s Sustainability Team has introduced a new guest activity called “Sense of Oman, through a Woman’s eyes”, to promote the emancipation of women in Dibba, and nurture their entrepreneurial spirits. Guests are invited to join unique traditional activities and learn hand-crafting techniques from the Dibba Women Association. In turn, 100% of the profits will be donated to the Association and used to improve their facilities as well as the pre-school for young children.
To support the local village, 420 resort hosts volunteered over the course of the year to support with clean ups, leading to 1,329 kgs of beach clean-up waste being collected and 113 kgs of waste from the Zighy village itself. In addition, the Sustainability Fund contributes a monthly allowance to support Zighy villagers without an income.
Moreover, after many months of meticulous planning, in October 2022, the resort’s Sustainable Training Programme was activated with the Dibba School of Girls, where managers of the school selected different sustainable programmes to be taught once a week by Six Senses Zighy Bay’s Assistant Sustainability Manager. The resort received recognition from the local Ministry of Education for all their hard work with the local Zighy Village and Dibba Town, in terms of volunteering, education, sponsoring equipment for the schools, and helping bring new knowledge and financial aid to the local community.
This including improving the healthcare of 622 Zighy Goats across 11 Zighy farms, donating vitamins and antibiotics to boost their immune system against “foot & mouth” disease. A high scale vaccination was rolled out in October 2022 and farmers have already reported strong health improvements.
Raised awareness amongst 1,673 guests Whilst on property, guests can support and learn more about the cause with the resort’s Sustainability Team. As well as planting trees with guests (30 trees were planted in 2022), the recently renovated Earth Lab (located in the heart of the resort), allows travellers to discover information on sustainable practices such as glass upcycling, and learn first-hand how to make their own eco-soap, candles, and gifts.
To be consistent with the commitment of the Six Senses group, Six Senses Zighy Bay has many initiatives that offset guests’ carbon footprint. In total, 0.5% of the revenue, 50% sales from water in F&B outlets, soft toy sales and voluntary donations go to a dedicated sustainability fund. This fund is re-invested directly back into the local community and environmental initiatives.
In the past, Six Senses Zighy Bay funded the creation of a new CT scan building in the Dibba Hospital and participated to the funding of improving the town’s infrastructure by building new pedestrian roads, for example.
Remove 3.7 tons of ghost nets from the Ocean
A Marine Biologist from the Olive Ridley Project is at the resort on a full-time basis, where his main responsibility is to monitor the 67 resident turtle populations within Zighy Bay, helping preserve their precious habitat. Together with the resort Sustainability Team, they work closely with the local fishermen to help them remove nets and monitor bycatch, with the aim to raise awareness on more sustainable fishing practices. In 2022, the largest underwater clean-ups in the region were organized by the resort, in close collaboration with the Ministries of Environment and Fisheries. Over the course of 4 days, 5 boats equipped with 20 divers managed to remove 3.7 tons of ghost nets from the Ocean.
Looking ahead to 2023
In 2023, Six Senses Zighy Bay will take it one step further and create their own sustainable amenities handmade from recycled materials at the Earth Lab, which will be placed upon turndown service along with other amenities from the spa and housekeeping.
Other upcoming projects include supporting Oman Vision 2040 by planting trees around Musandam areas. The resort will focus on fishermen livelihoods and continue raising awareness around sustainable fishing practices in partnership with Mohammed Saleh and Mohammed Al Dahouri, who oversee the Environment Authority based in Dibba, under the direct leadership of Khasab, and Muscat.