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Back to news

Welcome back Six Senses Zighy Bay!

December 11, 2020 - The excitement is palpable. General Manager of Six Senses Zighy Bay Aaron McGrath shares the heartwarming news that our resort in Oman is reopen and, wow, has he done it in style with a whole host of new reconnection rituals and experiences.

  • Microlight

With Six Senses Zighy Bay open since November 30, and tourist visas re-established in Oman on December 6, General Manager Aaron McGrath was buzzing as he shared his latest news by video with our COO Guy Heywood.

With the borders reopening, things are moving quickly, and all final housekeeping has been completed to ensure guests a smooth transition to the resort. Even while the resort had to close to guests, a lot of activity continued, not least harvesting the dates from the 1,400 date palms, used in jams, spa products and restaurant menus.

It takes a village to raise a resort

There’s also Dibba Farm, complete with chickens, cows and goats, so the team spent time making cheese and making sure everything was shipshape to come back online really quickly once tourist visas were reissued.

With a community of 400 hosts, Aaron isn’t just a General Manager but also Mayor of the village, a position he fills with great care and attention. He keeps closely involved with hosts to keep them motivated and happy, helping them with any issues back home. Host wellness is an utmost priority for Six Senses, and through the brand’s internal Mission Wellness initiative, Aaron provides regular activities and workshops to maintain the resort’s collective esprit de corps. There have been some great changes to the village and fun new initiatives, as well as an overhaul of the staff culinary program, a firm favorite among hosts.  

Time to innovate

During the spring lockdown, a smaller team remained on the resort, busy maintaining the farm and resort accommodations. They took the opportunity to focus on training and brainstorming about how they could come back better and different while still delivering the same out-of-the-ordinary vacation experience guests expect and love.  

Along with our corporate management and wellness teams, Aaron looked at the resort’s sustainability, wellness and experiences offerings and how to incorporate the brand vision of reconnection in a more powerful and transformational way for guests.

Rituals and reconnection experiences

From a rituals perspective, it has been a really exciting journey, discovering and incorporating Arabic and Omani flavors into touchpoints such as the burning of frankincense in the mornings and evenings.  

In terms of reconnection experiences, Zighy Bay’s natural wonders already invite adventure. A typical day might start in the Earth Lab to try your hand at making candles in a traditional Omani clay pot, before heading off to explore the rugged beauty of the Sabatyn plateau high in the majestic Hajar mountains. Along the way, you’ll discover rock carvings, stone towers and ancient houses from a vantage point of almost 4,000 feet above sea level.

After a bite to eat, you can relax your mind and body further by taking part in a sunset meditation, before heading back to the resort to feast on a traditional Omani dinner roasted in local spices for 24 hours in a pit below the sand at our beachside Shua Shack.

A more water-based day starts with a one-on-one snorkeling excursion at sunrise, where you’ll be able to explore the reef with an in-house biologist and try to spot a turtle or two.

In the afternoon, you’ll then head off down to Dibba Fish Market with one of our chefs who will walk you round the traditional Omani fish auction, explaining all about the fish and seafood that’s on offer and why it’s so important to us that we source locally, before cooking up some of our famous fresh Ceviche for you to taste.

Six Senses Zighy Bay is located on Oman’s northern Musandam Peninsula, a scenic 120-minute journey from Dubai. Arrive by paraglide and leave with a new perspective on yourself and the world around you.

Watch the video interview in full.

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