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The UAE’s ecotourism potential has received a shot in the arm with the new decree that aims to establish six new natural reserves in Dubai.
Jabal Nazwa Reserve, Al Marmoum Desert Reserve, Al Wuhush Desert and Al Ghaf Reserve, Hatta Mountain Reserve and the Dubai Desert Conservation Reserve (DDCR) are the latest wildlife zones that will be protected by the Dubai Municipality. These conservation zones will be developed to promote ecotourιsm.
DDCR is already a popular destination for nature lovers. Around one and a half-hour drive from Dubai, this is the first nature reserve set up in the emirate. It gives visitors a rare opportunity to get up close with indigenous wildlife of the region. Spread over 225 square kilometers, it boasts a luxury resort and spa.
Just a two-hour drive from Abu Dhabi is the Sir Bani Yas Island, one of the eight desert islands being widely promoted as new tourist destinations. The Arabian Wildlife Park, occupying around 4,200 hectares, holds the pride of place. Modeled on wildlife safaris in Africa, visitors can savor the sight of hundreds of wild animals roaming freely. There are also a number of luxury hotels and villas located on the island.
Another ambitious ecotourism project taking wings in Sharjah is the Sir Bu Nair Island. With an investment of around Dh500 million which will be spent on building an airport, harbor and luxury hotels, the island is expected to be a must-visit destination for nature lovers.
The Khor Kalba ecoproject in Sharjah is also progressing with the development of nature reserves in Al Qurm and Al Hafiya. Chalets and restaurants will be built near the creek without affecting the mangrove area which is home to a number of birds and marine species.
Source: S. Dhar, Special to Properties
The writer is a freelancer