Stone Town’s Top Hotels show Community Spirit in Zanzibar

Emerson Zanzibar, formed by three organisations was founded by Emerson Skeens. Two of the top hotels in Stone Town, Emerson Spice and Emerson on Hurumzi along with Emerson’s Foundation for Zanzibar have always had a huge heart for the community and the environment.

The founder, Emerson Skeens, a Zanzibar resident of 25 years found his niche in Zanzibar and saw opportunities to use his manifold talents and brilliant mind to create two flourishing magnificent hotels.

Besides the contribution of Emerson’s Foundation to Zanzibar, the hotels follow a corporate social responsibility strategy that continues to support Zanzibar’s community in various ways. This includes contributing to Tawabiina Sober House in support of their daily operations, supporting people recovering from drug addiction, to the active promotion of local artists by offering exhibition space and a stage to local upcoming musicians in the two hotels.

Responsible Tourism Tanzania

Emerson Zanzibar is certified by Responsible Tourism Tanzania.
Responsible Tourism Tanzania is about encouraging and promoting a more sustainable tourism industry within Tanzania. It stands for protecting and caring for the diverse cultures of the country, as well as its natural environment, whilst optimizing on business and economic sustainability.
Responsible Tourism Tanzania (RTTZ) has developed a set of standards for Responsible Tourism in Tanzania. With future plans of having RTTZ formally recognized’ and even accredited by Global Sustainable Tourism Council (GSTC), The standards have been written in line with those of the GSTC, giving any RTTZ certified Tanzanian company the same international repute. Emerson Zanzibar is certified at Sapling level.   Read More

Emerson Zanzibar

The People

Emerson Zanzibar is proud to work with people from various backgrounds, each with their own talents, which contributes to its success.

The staff members of the hotels started a ‘Kamati’, which is run by the staff members themselves and which has helped the members to get loans to start small businesses, build homes and support education for their children. This also contributes to a special team spirit among the people working with Emerson Zanzibar.

Emerson Skeens

Emerson’s Zanzibar Foundation

Emerson was a Zanzibar resident for 25 years. He had a long and meaningful association with the Stone Town locality and it’s inhabitants. He saw opportunities to use his manifold talents and brilliant mind to create, among other things, three flourishing hotels. These have featured in worldwide travel magazines, all of which note Emerson’s signature style in flamboyance, ostentatious design and extravagant hospitality.

Emerson brought to Zanzibar a vast knowledge of the arts, music and international culture which he used, in partnership with others, to establish:

– The Zanzibar International Film Festival (ZIFF); website: www.ziff.or.tz
– The Dhow Countries Music Academy, a thriving NGO (see wikipedia article );  website: www.zanzibarmusic.org
– Sauti za Busara, an internationally renowned musical festival; website: www.busaramusic.org
– Stone Town Conservation Society

His development work extended beyond Zanzibar to Chole, Mafia Island, where in 1997 he encouraged the inauguration of ‘The Chole Womens Development Society’, one of the many impacts Emerson’s spirit has generated.

Emerson had an unquenchable passion for opera, classical arts, literature, haute cuisine, philosophy and body building. His breadth of knowledge on many subjects was awe inspiring and he maintained a fervent interest throughout his life in the pursuit of these pleasures. Whilst living in NYC he was a frequent visitor of museums, theatre and the Metropolitan Opera. He had a deep and enduring love of Italian art, which, on occasions lead him into remote mountain villages tracking a rarely seen artwork. This passion also took him to Italy on a penultimate voyage to see again the sculptures of his hero ‘Bernini’.

His intense love of opera took him on his final journey abroad to Vienna to see his favourite operas; Nabucco, La Traviata and Norma at The Vienna State Opera House.

Emerson's Zanzibar Foundation Today

Young and gifted Zanzibari vocalists will be appearing before a panel of judges and performing classical Taarab songs for the prestigious award. Join us in celebrating the up and coming musicians, who are sustaining the musical traditions.

The Fifth Emerson Zanzibar Music Award at Sauti za Busara Music Festival 2021

Emerson Zanzibar Music Award 2021

The board of the Emerson’s Zanzibar Foundation is delighted to announce its fifth Music Award 2021. This year’s theme is “Old is Gold” – Classical Taarab Music and is aimed at up and coming traditional Taarab vocalists/performers.

Emerson Zanzibar Foundation Facebook 

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