Times of Oman
Musandam students get training at Zighy Bay's community farm
November 26, 2017 | 8:23 PM
by Gautam Viswanathan, [email protected]
The students from the local school in Dibba were taken to the resort’s farm in the Governorate of Musandam.
 
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Dibba: Zighy Bay’s community outreach programme saw the participation of some 25 students, who saw first-hand the value of environmental sustainability and the importance of preserving nature’s gifts for future generations.

“All of this is a chain reaction because, if we do good today, this will come back to help us tomorrow,” said Aaron McGrath, general manager of Six Senses Zighy Bay (SSZB) resort, while speaking to Times of Oman.

The students, who were from the local school in Dibba, were taken to the resort’s farm in Dibba, which is located in the Governorate of Musandam.

“It was one of the sustainable outreach programmes we have with the schools here,” explained McGrath.



“We never cease our efforts to promote sustainability; our teams normally go to the schools to give a talk and create awareness, but now, instead of just going to the classrooms, we thought it would be better to take them to the farms and show them the importance of tourism and environmental sustainability, which is part of our DNA.”

The farm in Dibba houses cattle and goats, and produces farm-fresh food for guests at the resort, in addition to maintaining a greenhouse, where fresh fruits, vegetables and herbs are grown organically. The farm plans to buy chickens this month, and a goat cheese making facility will be added next year.

“What we do today will be their future, because if we train the young children, they can one day be among those who work here. We have been educating these children since they were young, and now, they know who we are; this will encourage them to study harder, and perhaps, encourage them to go into the world of tourism,” added McGrath.

“All of this ties back, not just in terms of learning about farm activities, but it is more about sustainable business. You need to coexist in a positive way with local communities, because it ensures the long-term sustainability of our business, and if you coexist with the local community, they will welcome you as well.”

Omanisation is a major component of SSZB’s plans in Oman. The Musandam-based resort has always employed artisans, craftsmen, fishermen and farmers from the nearby villages, and with the Ministry of Tourism set to generate more than half a million jobs through tourism by 2040, this is a path the resort will continue to take.

“Hospitality is an Arabian tradition,” stressed Adil Al Lawati, Zighy Bay’s director of human resources. “It is part of our heritage to care for our visitors and ensure that our team here understands that the Omani culture is incredibly important. At Six Senses Zighy Bay, we have put in place a programme of development and career progression, as we grow our own team members within the resort.

“The aim is to develop their careers as hospitality specialists, rather than them just having a job,” he added. “We constantly monitor their progress, provide training and language development classes, and our nationals now cover a number of roles in the resort, from stewarding and transportation, to public relations and security.”

“It is part of the Six Senses brand ethos to be a pillar in the community and to immerse itself in local surroundings, while providing the brand’s signature look and feel, and we are working incredibly hard to ensure that we deliver on that promise,” said McGrath.

“We are focussed on contributing to Oman’s tourism multiplier effect and ensuring that industries in the country continue to grow and diversify, in line with its hospitality.”

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