Imagine starlit barbecue dinners, wondrous nature, exquisite architecture, and curated experiences that will create unforgettable memories. The Oberoi Beach Resort Al Zorah will provide you with all of that, offering a scenic getaway a stone’s throw the hustle and bustle of Dubai city life. Here, Bamboo Collection speaks to Antonino Cardillo, General Manager of the property, to find out more about their concept, strong commitment to environmental preservation and protection, and their vision for the future.
Situated in Ajman just a 25-minute drive from downtown Dubai, lies the Oberoi Beach Resort Al Zorah. The resort opened in 2017 and is recognized for its modern, sophisticated design. Set within natural mangroves and caressed by the gentle sea breeze, it’s an oasis where life can be lived in harmony with nature amongst white sandy beaches and lush greenery.
Thanks to seamless service and genuine care, the resort attracts a discerning global clientele, as well as UAE residents seeking a luxury escape to a natural paradise.
Especially their signature Oberoi Experiences come highly recommended. For instance, keen golfers can look forward to the exceptional Al Zorah Golf Club designed by Jack Nicklaus. The golf course is located just minutes away from the resort and set in a stunning natural environment, with flowing sand dunes and inland mangroves, whose water levels change with the tides.
Antonino Cardillo is proud to be part of this exceptional oasis. After a successful international career within luxury hotels, his accomplishments in the hospitality industry led him to United Arab Emirates in 2018, where he was appointed the General Manager at The Oberoi Beach Resort, Al Zorah. Today, he oversees the operations, providing heartfelt, intuitive service lead by a team of enthusiastic professionals.
– The Oberoi Beach Resort Al Zorah is a refined coastal destination and any nature lover’s paradise. Our guests come from all over the globe. Our guests are everything, and we want them to feel the heart felt service we offer through genuine, intuitive experiences, provided in the luxurious oasis of natural wonders and built in contemporary style. In these spectacular surroundings, they can explore spacious rooms, suites and villas, outdoor adventures, spa indulgences and the bespoke experiences the resort has to discover.
Not forgetting some of the world’s most beloved cuisines.
UAE has developed tremendously the past decades, not the least the tourism industry. What distinguishes you from other luxury hotels in the segment?
– Our resort is set in serene natural surroundings with the lush green mangroves on one side of the resort, and the azure blue Arabian Gulf on the other. It is an idyllic escape from the hustle and bustle of urban life. The spectacular architecture is designed to showcase the panoramic ocean vistas and long white sand beaches. The biodiversity at the resort is also a huge attraction, The resort opened with a staggering 300 trees on the grounds; today it features over 900, as well as over 100 species of birds. In the natural mangroves, guests can spot pink flamingos in the winter and a 400-metre natural white sand beach. The flora and fauna displayed on the property is magnificent as well.
Design-wise is the resort quite spectacular. Please tell us more about it!
– Designed by the famous Italian architect and designer, Piero Lissoni, the resort is an architectural gem that highlights the exquisite surroundings. It features sophisticated contemporary architecture, wide open spaces, and a natural palette that harmonize with the panoramic ocean vistas and long white sand beaches. The resort is sophisticated but based on simplicity in pure white, with touches of teal, chartreuse, blue, green, and red. The rooms, suites and villas are spacious, and bathed in natural light, offering spectacular ocean views with a contemporary design. Patterned wall tiles add a playful touch.
Can you tell us about how you work with sustainability?
– One of the major aims has been to provide a luxury retreat for travellers while maintaining the natural glory of the setting at Al Zorah. We have implemented initiatives towards sustainable practices to deliver our promise to present and future generations. Oberoi Hotels & Resorts is committed to employing the best environmental and ecological practices in technology, equipment, and operational processes. We also support philanthropic activities, and are a keen contributor to the conservation of nature and cultural heritage. For example, the hotel has implemented several initiatives. Besides recycling and waste segregation management, the spa uses 100 percent natural products from Alqvimia that are created using sustainably sourced and organically farmed ingredients. As part of our commitment to help preserve and protect the environment, all guests have the option to leave their room linen unchanged when staying over an extended period. The rooms, suites, and villas as well as the resort restrooms and staff facilities feature water and energy saving low-flush water closets with a mechanism to reduce water wastage. Another effort to save water can be showcased in the water sewage treatment plant present on the hotel premises. These are just a few examples showing our strong commitment to sustainability.
What are the challenges for you as a resort and hotel group to meet the demands from discerning and conscious guests?
– Our goal has always been, in tandem with the local government and non-profit organisations, to contribute to long term environmental protection and sustainability. We focus on preservation of tourism, safety, sustainability, and environmental responsibility to the best of our abilities. I mentioned our tree preservation initiative; our quest to plant trees is very dear to all of us at The Oberoi Beach Resort, Al Zorah, planting over 1 000 trees at the resort, improving the quality of air in the region. The resort prides itself on ecological practices to respect the natural habitat of the native ecosystem. One additional measure to electrification, is installing two electric car charger points to encourage the use of electric and hybrid vehicles. The resort is clad with energy saving lighting, tinted windows and insulation, an environmentally conscious building management system and guest room management system with an overarching emphasis on preservation of heat, light and power.
Looking ahead, what are your visions for the future for the Oberoi Beach Resort Al Zorah?
– To make sure the positioning of the hotel as a luxury destination in the UAE. To lead the efforts which ensure that the resort contributes to Al Zorah City’s vision, by providing a unique luxury destination, attracting global travellers and discerning guests. We will continue focusing on the sustainable practices which contribute to reducing the area’s carbon footprint. Providing unforgettable experiences will drive the recognition of the destination, but also boost the overall reputation of the region. Personally, I aim to motivate, lead, and positively impact the lives of 250 colleagues from 36 different nations, and to inspire a culture that seamlessly delivers legendary, heartfelt service to guests and patrons every day. With relentless passion, our vision is to deliver unparalleled service and exceed our guest expectations combined with a focus on quality at every stage.
Position: General Manager, The Oberoi Beach Resort, Al Zorah
Background (in brief): Having had a passion for hospitality from a very young age, Antonino Cardillo has gained over 25 years of experience in the hospitality industry. Born in Sicily, he studied hospitality in Italy and Switzerland. His journey began heading the successful operations of various dining experiences in luxury hotels across the UK, consistently aiming for the highest level of guest satisfaction, by providing unforgettable guest experiences. He spent stints of his career in various global destinations, such as The Jumeirah Beach Hotel, Dubai, followed by various roles in Scotland, Republic of Maldives, Philippines, Italy and Saudi Arabia. Today, he holds the responsibility as General Manager at The Oberoi Beach Resort, Al Zorah, and still to date embodies the ethos of The Oberoi Group, relentlessly delivering genuine hospitality.
Dreams about: To continue providing legendary service and unforgettable experiences at The Oberoi Beach Resort, Al Zorah. And to make it a second home to the global traveller seeking luxury topped with genuine care and personalized experiences.
For more information, please visit The Oberoi Beach Resort, Al Zorah