Sustainability is more than just environment. At Platinum Heritage, we embrace the three pillars of sustainability: respect for the environment, preservation and protection of local culture, and financial support for local communities. Our numerous awards including our most recent award, Best Sustainability Education Programme award at the 2018 Gulf Sustainability and CSR Awards are testament to the importance we place on all three pillars of sustainability. Not only has Platinum Heritage been commended for our environmental strategy in Dubai which is one pillar of sustainability, but we have also been recognised for the other two pillars of sustainability. This is why.
Create authentic travel experiences
As Dubai’s leading Desert Safari company, we strive to preserve the cultural heritage of the UAE by educating and introducing tourists from around the world to the true heritage of Dubai. This is why we create authentic travel experiences which simultaneously preserve local culture and support the economy of the local community. On all our tours Guests take a step back in time and experience what Dubai was like 50 years ago. We introduce them to the Bedouin way of life and give them the opportunity to learn about the rich traditions of the ‘desert dwellers’. The Bedouin Life, Falconry and Wildlife Drive in particular gives guests the chance to meet and chat with Bedouin storytellers, pet farm animals, get up close with the Arabian hunting dogs called Saluki’s and learn about Bedouin-style hunting. It is not easy to find authentic cultural representations in Dubai.
Support local community members
We employ local community members who are caught in a political loophole. Basically, they are people born in the mountain areas of the UAE and do not hold citizenship or a passport to any nation. They have applied for Emirati citizenship but there are strict requirements that these mountain Bedouin cannot always comply with. This makes them difficult to employ based on their non-existent visa status. We employ three of these community members as a Bedouin bread maker, henna artist and coffee maker. We employ Emirati students to conduct the entertainment for our Guests which helps them pay their way through University. We also only procure locally produced vegetables where possible. All too often it is assumed the locally community doesn’t need this help and they are not aware of the plight of a few.
Preserve local culture and heritage
Unlike most desert safari companies, we have replaced the environmentally damaging practice of dune bashing with a desert interpretive wildlife drive which showcases the Bedouin people’s connection to the land. We have removed false cultural references such as Bellydancing and Tanura dancing (both from Egypt) and replaced them with two cultural dance performances, alcohol (which is haram or forbidden in the local religion) and international cuisine and replaced it with authentic Bedouin cuisine. Our tours educate the local and international market about the true elements of Emirati culture such as the use of saluki dogs, poetry, dance and song. The heritage and culture of Dubai’s past is slowly being lost so it is of paramount importance to preserve it.
Educate locally and internationally
Our educational programs have engaged over 150,000 overseas tourists, local residents, local companies and school students all of whom have donated towards desert conservation and encouraged the display, employment and protection of the Emirati people and their customs and traditions. The Platinum Heritage YouTube Channel has reached over 2, 621, 755 worldwide and our Dubai Heritage and Dubai Desert Conservation playlists are a series of videos focused on educating the world about the cultural heritage and conservation in Dubai. Our success means that thousands of school children, tourists and local residents have a deeper understanding of local traditions and customs and have discovered that there is an abundance of life inside the desert that needs to be protected.
The Gulf Sustainability and CSR Awards aims to celebrate and provide recognition for companies and individuals implementing outstanding Sustainability and CSR initiatives across the region. Receiving the Best Sustainability Education Programme award highlights how important it is for us to preserve and educate the world about the heritage of Dubai.