SHARJAH, U.A.E. (July 2, 2019) — Leave it to a country that’s actually named one of its residential communities The Sustainable City to also produce a resort where the salon uses only organic ingredients in its nail treatments.
Still in its first year of operation, the Al Bait Sharjah has come out of the gate with a sustainability strategy that’s banished plastic consumables from the resort and that’s embraced recycling, organics and energy efficiency strategies.
“The U.A.E. is on a mission to reduce its carbon footprint by 70% and source 50% of its energy from renewables over the next three decades,” said Patrick Moukarzel, general manager of the Al Bait Sharjah. “We want to help them get there.”
Indeed, the plastic-free resort has distilled its commitment to sustainability with a piece of art, a glass water-drop sculpture that guests leave on top of their beds as a signal to housekeeping. Already more than 40% of the resort’s guests opt to retain the same bed sheets for multiple nights of a stay.
The same artistic inclination has likewise manifested itself in a more durable alternative to plastic room keys — an actual metal key with tassel.
“Sometimes you have to dig into the past to make your way into the future,” said Moukarzel.
A more aggressive assault on plastic is a consequence of the resort’s portable water filtration plant, where filtering and ionisation results in water that’s bottled in attractive, glass stoppered decanters on site. All sales of the resort’s bottles support the Big Heart Foundation and its effort to bring water and education to kids in refugee camps and underprivileged kids in general.
In pursuit of a zero-waste policy, Al Bait Sharjah recycles all food waste as compost for its landscaping. They segregate their recyclable plastic, glass, cardboard and cooking oil, each of which is collected separately by a waste management contractor.
At the same time the resort has minimised its dependence on consumables, it’s trying to mitigate its use of energy in general. The Drop of Water campaign has drastically curtailed its use of water, and energy. Furthermore, on the energy front, the resort’s air conditioning defaults to 26° C when guestrooms are not occupied. Elsewhere at the front of house, timers power down AC when not needed. Sensors are even attuned to the kitchen’s exhaust fans: the cooler the air, the slower the fan.
As the resort lightens its carbon footprint, it’s cultivating a spa that uses organic, Halal-certified product only. None of the products contain artificial colour or fragrances, GM ingredients, petrolatum or petrochemicals, parabens, animal derivatives or sodium lauryl sulphate.
As for those nail treatments, the resort uses only vegan, wildcrafted, organic Spa Ritual products — free of toluene, formaldehyde, dibutyl phthalate and parabens that are normally found in nail treatment products.