To coincide with World Oceans Day, Atlantis Dubai is thrilled to announce that it has been granted accreditation by the Association of Zoos & Aquariums (AZA). AZA is the independent accrediting organisation for the best zoos and the best aquariums in the world, assuring the public that when they visit an AZA-accredited facility, it meets the highest standards for animal care and welfare. There are now 240 AZA accredited facilities worldwide, with just 23 of these members – including Atlantis Dubai – being outside of the USA.
Tim Kelly, Executive Vice President and Managing Director, Atlantis Dubai , is understandably proud of this new endorsement being granted to the all-encompassing destination: “We are delighted to be the first in the Middle East to receive this internationally recognised, gold standard accreditation. Atlantis Dubai is currently home to over 65,000 marine animals residing at The Lost Chambers Aquarium, Sea Lion Point and Dolphin Bay. When Atlantis, The Royal opens in 2021 it will also fall under this accreditation. The specialist team at Atlantis Dubai are consistently practising the highest standards of animal care and, by achieving AZA accreditation, it provides recognition for their skills, commitment and dedication.”
In order to achieve the accreditation, Atlantis Dubai underwent a thorough review to ensure it met – and will continue to meet – ever-rising standards in each category. These include animal care and welfare, veterinary programmes, conservation, education, and safety. AZA requires zoos and aquariums to successfully complete this rigorous accreditation process every five years in order to be retain membership of the association.
“AZA accreditation signifies Atlantis Dubai’s active role in protecting our world’s wild animals and wild places while providing exceptional animal care and meaningful guest experiences, said AZA's President and CEO, Dan Ashe, adding: “Atlantis Dubai is truly a leader in the zoological profession, and I am proud to have them among our members.”
The AZA accreditation process includes a detailed application and a meticulous on-site inspection by a team of trained zoo and aquarium professionals. The inspecting team observes all aspects of the facility’s operation including animal care and welfare; keeper training; safety for visitors, staff and animals; educational programs; conservation efforts; veterinary programs; financial stability; risk management; visitor services; and more. Finally, top officials are interviewed at a formal hearing of AZA’s independent Accreditation Commission, after which accreditation is granted, tabled, or denied. Any facility that is denied may reapply one year after the Commission’s decision is made.
Kelly Timmins, Director, Conservation, Education and CSR, Atlantis Dubai said : “Modern zoos and aquariums today play a crucial role in conservation, not only helping people to learn, but to protect animals in the wild. Achieving AZA Accreditation is the first achievement in a much larger strategy, which will see the resort increase its commitment to sustainability while driving conservation action. We look forward to being part of the AZA community and collaborating with both local and international partners as we embark on this exciting journey.”