As we observe Breast Cancer Awareness Month this October, Emirates Draw spotlights a unique direction that opens an ocean of possibilities for the health and wealth of the UAE community and future generations. Its flagship social responsibility programme aims to restore and protect the coral reefs of the UAE in line with the country’s drive towards safeguarding its fragile natural ecosystems, in particular marine.
Corals’ significance in providing habitat and feeding and breeding grounds for fish, crabs, shrimp, and many other species is a universally known phenomenon. We understand corals to be integral support for marine ecosystems to survive and thrive. However, with corals, there is much more than meets the eye. Recent discoveries about corals’ nature and composition reveal fascinating new chemical and biological properties that show medicinal and therapeutic value. These studies are unlocking a great new potential to fight different cancers and diseases.
Corals are potentially lifesaving creatures, some of which may hold the complex secrets to curing the deadliest diseases ailing humanity. The corals have existed in the oceans for hundreds of millions of years, surviving mass extinctions and severe environmental stresses. They can’t move, but they are natural disease fighters. As a defensive mechanism, they produce chemicals to protect their territory, preventing invading organisms or diseases from multiplying and gaining ground.
Emirates Draw’s multiple volunteering efforts have spearheaded the planting of over 5,000 coral polyps along the coastline of the UAE within a year of its founding the Coral Reef Restoration Programme. The programme entails not just planting unique gorgonian soft corals that contain anti-cancer compounds, but also raising awareness among its volunteering divers about the significance of corals to our ocean life and environment. The vivid experiences and testimonials of these underwater expeditions are documented and published on various platforms to impact our society at large.
These planted corals rejuvenate the marine ecosystems, facilitating the treatments and prevention of cancer, and have immense prospects to add a new dimension of eco-tourism to the UAE’s blooming tourism portfolio, where underwater diving is rapidly growing as a main tourist attraction.
Emirates Draw is dedicated to a sustainable environmental future for the community with a three-fold strategy of raising awareness, restoring coral reefs, and supporting independent initiatives. One such example is Emirates Draw’s contribution to the Children’s Cancer Center of Lebanon (CCCL), which supported transforming the lives of these children. CCCL provides free medical access to cancer treatment, which helps alleviate the pain and eases the journey of children with cancer.
As part of Emirates Draw’s ongoing commitment to ‘For A Better Tomorrow’ for all and in line with the UAE government’s sustainability efforts, the socially responsible organisation urges community members to support its environmental conservation efforts. These efforts include protecting its oceans, which are considered a vital source of biodiversity, life, food supply, tourism and medicinal benefits that are useful in cancer treatment produced by soft corals.