Al Ain to host WAZA annual conference

AL AIN - The World Zoo and Aquarium Association (WAZA) has announced that Al Ain Wildlife Park and Resort (AWPR) will host the 2015 Annual WAZA Conference.

By (WAM)

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Published: Mon 29 Nov 2010, 3:24 PM

Last updated: Mon 6 Apr 2015, 4:13 PM

This is the first time WAZA will meet in the Middle East, and represents a unique opportunity to showcase the biodiversity and conservation work of the region. The award was made after a series of competitive presentations with a joint bid from AWPR and Abu Dhabi Tourism Authority (ADTA).

Shaikh Sultan Bin Tahnoon Al Nahyan, Chairman of ADTA and of AWPR, said: “The hosting of this important conference represents a continuation of the legacy of the late Shaikh Zayed Bin Sultan Al Nahyan who founded Al Ain Zoo, which was the predecessor of AWPR. It is also a reflection of the importance the government of Abu Dhabi attaches to AWPR. The conference will firmly establish AWPR as a world-class zoo, endorse the value of zoos in green tourism and further consolidate Abu Dhabi’s mounting credentials for conservation and sustainability.”

Dr. Gerald Dick, Executive Director of WAZA, commented: “I am delighted that WAZA selected AWPR for the 2015 Annual WAZA Conference, it will be the first time we meet in this region and I am looking forward to further strengthen the ties between the global zoo community and the Middle East region. Abu Dhabi has demonstrated a historical commitment to species conservation and AWPR is a key player in zoo conservation.”

The meeting in 2015 is being designed as an opportunity to bring zoo and aquarium leaders together from all over the world and to provide an opportunity to discuss the challenges of biodiversity conservation and environmental sustainability. In particular, the meeting will provide a venue for the zoos, aquaria and conservation groups of the MENA region to showcase their work and to network with the world’s leading zoos and conservationists. As of November 2010 WAZA has over 300 members worldwide.

Ghanim Mubarak Al Hajeri, Director General of AWPR, commented: “We are looking forward to be hosting the 2015 Annual WAZA Conference at AWPR, which is set to become a world-class leisure and learning destination once the project development is completed. The decision gives testimony to our ambitious goal of becoming an international showcase for wildlife conservation. Already today, our team is running successful conservation programs on a number of endangered species such as Arabian oryx, Mhorr gazelle, Scimitar-horned oryx and Sand cat.”

Delegates to the 2015 conference will be able to tour the new wildlife park with its African World Desert and Safari, Oasis Gardens, UAE World Desert and Falcon Pavilion and the spectacular state-of-the-art Shaikh Zayed Desert Learning Centre. The future Resort Hotel of AWPR, the first “Green Hotel” of the Abu Dhabi Emirate as designated by ADTA and Estidama, will serve as the state-of-the-art conference venue for more than 450 delegates.

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