Page 62 - Simply Abu Dhabi Magazine IV

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Amidst the Mangrove Forests of Abu Dhabi
Something magical is occurring amongst the mangroves.
Within this precious natural environment, the utmost
respect has been paid to nature and wildlife in order to
create an enchanting forest by the sea. There are approx
3000 hectares of mangrove forest within the UAE of
which 2300 hectares can be discovered in Abu Dhabi.
Mangroves are an ideal habitat and safe breeding ground
for some fish species, turtles and even commercially
significant shrimp, snapper and sea bream. They offer a
safe haven for birds nesting, migrating and egg lying.
Found in intertidal areas mangrove forests play a
significant role in the prevention of coastline erosion
caused by wave action and ocean currents. Historically
the wood was used in construction as with its high
resistance to rot and termites its hard quality provided
the perfect durable material for ships and homes.
The trees are also a fertile source of food and fuel.
Therefore, mangroves need to be protected. All Aldar’s
developments are executed with the utmost respect to the
environment. No exception, the preliminary dredging
and renovation works at Al Gurm were carried out in
strict accordance with the Environmental Agency of
Abu Dhabi’s stringent guidelines in order to create a
resort working in harmony with the extremely sensitive
eco-environment of the mangrove and the rare habitat
surrounding it. When work commenced on the site,
Majdi Twal, Aldar’s Senior Project Leader reaffirmed
their commitment to sustainability and environmental
“The highest standards of care and eco-friendly construction
are being enforced to safeguard the successful approach
incepted from the beginning of the development and in
close coordination with the Environmental Agency of Abu
Al Gurm is a stunning authentic resort planned to
absolute perfection to offer the ultimate peaceful
atmosphere in a gated community with 24-hour security.
This has not been a simple undertaking for Aldar. To
create such a meticulous high-end resort in adherence
with the Government’s plans for housing in Abu Dhabi
whilst also focusing on the sustainable development and
maintenance of the health sensitive natural environment
has presented many different challenges. The goal was to
create a beautiful and sustainable environment that would
perfectly complement the existing appeal of the ecosystem
whilst also supporting the economic and social growth of
Abu Dhabi. Aldar have risen to every challenge and in a
true reflection of their dedication to the natural habitat,
have planted two mangrove trees to replace every one
removed during the construction process. As Al Mubarak
has commented;
“As with all our developments, we worked closely with the
Urban Planning Council to ensure that Al Gurm adhered
closely to the 2030 development plan. Most relevant to Al
Gurm is the plan’s focus on respecting the natural resources
– planning for careful, sensitive growth in order to preserve
the critical natural environment that makes Abu Dhabi
unique. Clearly, a home at the heart of Abu Dhabi’s natural
ecosystem is extremely attractive but only if this natural
environment can be preserved. As well as the work carried
out to maintain those mangroves already in place, we have
also restored planting soil and extended the area of the
mangrove forest beyond its original boundaries by 31,000
square metres.”
Living the Dream
If you’ve ever dreamed of escaping your worries and taking
it easy at an exclusive tropical island retreat then on this
1.8 million sq m natural mangrove reserve you, like us,
could be about to realise that dream. Divine crystal clear
azure waters surround this lavish resort which offers
high-class living in a residential commune in Abu Dhabi
with a very special difference. When you step into the
peaceful resort and feel the serenity surrounding you it’s
difficult to believe you are in Abu Dhabi city, just a stone’s
throw from Khaleej al Arabi, in close proximity to the
Abu Dhabi National Exhibition Centre (Adnec) and a
mere ten minute drive from the Corniche. Interlinked
by ‘concealed roads’ the Al Gurm Resort community is
managed and operated by the multiple award-winning
Banyan Tree Group. Aldar proudly describes the recently
finished Al Gurm resort as ‘a new benchmark for high-end
residential housing in the capital’. Like a picture-perfect
postcard, this serenely scenic resort should be seen to be
believed. A mere glimpse of the resorts’ buildings from
Al Gurm
e o c - f r i e nd l y
the road is sufficient to tell you this is no ordinary district,
but rather something very spectacular. Mohammed al
Mubarak, Aldar’s deputy CEO and Chief Commercial
Officer defined the vision for Al Gurm as;
“a high-quality waterfront development within an
outstanding eco-friendly environment with good access into
the city while also providing residents with a hideaway from
the stresses of daily life”.
An extraordinary residential and tourist destination, Al
Gurm will take you on a journey where you experience
levels of luxury you would never have believed could truly
Blissful Beauty
Al Gurm Resort, is a stunning eco-friendly development
comprising of 73 private luxury homes and a 163 suite 5
Star resort with a comprehensive range of retail, financial
and business outlets as well as a lavish spa and health
club perfect for that much-needed pampering (as we
discovered to our delight!) The resort is operated by the
internationally renowned Banyan Tree Group, developers
of sophisticated spas and resorts that also support
ecological initiatives and benefit their local environment
and it perfectly encapsulates luxurious contemporary
living. As we ventured in awe around this breathtakingly
beautiful haven we discovered suites and facilities
arranged around a circular lagoon and dotted across
outlying islands, with swimming pools, bars, restaurants,
shops, business and meeting rooms. The large sports
centre in the middle of the resort connects each side of
the lagoon by walkways, while the tranquil spa provides
a splendid sanctuary on a sandbar close by. We spent our
time relaxing in our hugely comfortable and sumptuous
suite and admiring the exquisite views from our secluded
terrace before taking a peaceful evening stroll on the
beach. If we could sum our experience up in just one
word, it would be ‘blissful’.
Fabulous Villas
There are 61 waterfront villas on the mainland varying in
size from three-bedroom to five bedrooms. The remaining
12 are five bedroom Island Villas each of which inhabits
its own small island accessed by a road bridge, and has lush