Etihad Airways and Marriott International are collaborating to plant 12,000 mangrove trees at Jubail Island. The initiative is part of a broader campaign to establish the Etihad Marriott Mangrove Forest and support the UAE’s sustainability efforts. Spread across more than 150 square kilometers of the UAE’s coastline, the Etihad Marriott Mangrove Forest will make up part of the only evergreen forest in the GCC region providing a natural habitat for marine and terrestrial species.
During the first phase of the two-month project, which took place on January 27, 2023, teams from Etihad and Marriott International planted the first set of Jubail Island mangrove trees.
The collaboration with Marriott International is part of the broader Etihad Forest initiative, which is targeted to plant 182,000 mangrove trees in the first quarter of 2023, before the programme expands to plant forests across international destinations the airline operates to.
Kim Hardaker, VP Loyalty and Partnerships, Etihad Airways said: “As a long-term loyalty partner, the Etihad team is thrilled to collaborate with Marriott International to plant 12,000 mangroves in Abu Dhabi in 2023. Mangrove forests are a natural feature of Abu Dhabi’s beautiful coastline. Mangroves store around four times more carbon than other terrestrial forests which is one of the reasons Etihad chose to establish the Etihad Mangrove Forest last year.”
The development of the Etihad Marriott Mangrove Forest initiative also aligns with Marriott International’s Sustainability and Social Impact Platform, serve 360: Doing Good in Every Direction. Over the next two months, employees from Marriott International hotels in the UAE and internationally will volunteer to plant trees at Jubail Island. Employees will also have the opportunity to adopt a tree and monitor its status and learn more about the planting process and technology through a dedicate app.
Sandeep Walia, Chief Operating Officer, Middle East, Marriott International, said: “The first self-contained educational, nature and leisure destination of its kind, Jubail Mangrove Park is a tribute to the natural ecosystem of Abu Dhabi and Jubail Island. As part of our sustainability commitment, we are excited to collaborate with Etihad Airways to contribute towards the UAE’s conservation projects and develop natural resources. This initiative is in line with Marriott’s commitment in creating positive and sustainable impact wherever we do business.”
Globally, mangroves store approximately 6.4 billion tonnes of carbon dioxide, almost four times more than other terrestrial forests. At a rate of just more than 12 kilograms a year, the average mangrove captures over 300 kilograms of carbon dioxide in its 25-year lifetime, helping to fight the effects of climate change such as coral bleaching and coastline degradation, and support biodiversity and wildlife.