Video Of The Day: Sea Turtle Release In Dubai

Today’s video was filmed at the beach outside the world-famous Burj Al Arab and Madinet Jumeriah hotels, where an annual summer sea turtle release happened late last week. As part of the Dubai Turtle Rehabilitation Project, Jumeirah – the hotel group who owns the Burj Al Arab along with several other luxury hotels in Dubai – has an aquarium team that works with the Wildlife Protection Office and local veterinarians to save and release turtles. Since 2004, more than 554 sea turtles have been rehabilitated and released thanks to the project, which is the only one of its kind in Dubai.

This year, the sea turtle celebration was open to the public for the first time. For the send off, 100 critically endangered turtles were each assigned to a child – mostly competition winners, pupils from local schools and even some hotel guests. The children helped release the turtles while the rest of the onlookers watched the turtles make their way into the Arabian Gulf. Six turtles (including two hawksbill sea turtles, two green sea turtles, and two loggerhead sea turtles) were tagged with satellite devices that monitor their whereabouts. Anyone can log on to the project’s Facebook page to see periodic posts about how far the turtles have traveled.

The video above is from last year’s release, but two additional photos from 2012 are included after the jump.

[Video and photos courtesy Jumeirah]

Video: Diving for pearls in Dubai

Throughout the 19th and early 20th centuries, the world’s finest pearls were found in the waters of the Arabian gulf. Long story short, the industry was the only that thrived in the region until oil was discovered–but the tradition is not forgotten. Starting in March, travelers to the United Arab Emirates can take part in a traditional pearl diving experience with Dubai’s Jumeirah Group. Participants will dress in traditional clothes and board a dhow, a traditional sailing vessel with a long hull design and a mast with a lateen sail. Once out in the water, guests will dive for oysters. Apparently, if guests snag an actual pearl they will be able to keep them as a souvenir of the trip. Part of the excursion will also include a typical meal of Emirati fish and rice. Watch the video above to get a feel for the entire process.

The excursion is open to anyone interested in learning more about the ancient pearling traditions (in other words, not just Jumeirah hotel guests) and will cost about 700 UAE dirhams, which is about $190. Reservations can be made through Jumeirah’s Pavillion Dive Cener.

Kids help Jumeirah release 101 rehabilitated sea turtles

Over 100 rehabilitated sea turtles tasted freedom last Thursday when they were released into the Arabian Gulf. The hawksbill turtles were set free just outside of the Burj Al Arab and Madinat Jumeirah hotels in time for World Sea Turtle Day. Both hotels serve as rehabilitation locations for the turtles in the Dubai Turtle Rehabilitation Project.

For the big release, 101 children – including competition winners, pupils from a local school and even some hotel guests – released the turtles from the beach of Madinat Jumeirah, with the Burj Al Arab in the background. The Jumeirah group says the event was designed to raise awareness of the importance of the program, as well as issues facing turtles. The hawksbill turtle population has seen an 87 percent decline in its population over the last three decades.

Watch the cute little turtles crawl their way to the ocean to the delight of all the onlookers on the Dubai Turtle Rehabilitation Project’s Facebook page.

[Photo courtesy Jumeirah]

Luxury travel for pets: Jumeirah Essex House offers canine turndown service

Humans aren’t the only ones to get treats on their pillows at fancy hotels. The Jumeirah Essex House in New York is throwing candy to the canines with the launch of the iconic hotel’s first ever Canine Turndown Program.

But this is no ordinary pet-pampering service. The Jumeirah Essex House has partnered with doggie designer to the stars, Amy Kizer of the highly-acclaimed Wagwear New York City boutique, to create luxurious five-star canine amenities for the hotel. As part of “A Dog’s Delight” package, your pooch will be treated to:

  • A Wagwear dog bed or Wagwear “Tee Pee Hound Lounge” – a miniature pop-up tent with fleece-lined bed
  • Homemade dog treats created by the hotel’s Executive Pastry Chef
  • Wagwear food and water bowls accompanied by a matching placemat
  • An exclusive gift bag complete with a plush Jumeirah Essex House logoed fleece blanket (monogramming is available upon request)
  • Wagwear collars and leashes will be on loan for guests who may have forgotten theirs, or who just want their pup to have a new, chic look while they’re visiting New York City

With Central Park across the street from the hotel, there’s no excuse for your pampered pet to lay around all day in the hotel. Specialized doggie hospitality attendants will treat your dog to freshly-drawn water throughout the day and lay out their beautiful fleece blanket on the doggy bed should they desire a much deserved nap after a romp through the park. In the event you’re too busy to take your pooch out for a day in the city, the hotel will happily recommend dog walkers for hire and pet boutiques who deliver to the hotel.