With a landscape as diverse as Dubai’s, the native wildlife and nature is as far removed from that of the UK as possible! Camels roaming the desert, wild flamingos, and hunting falcons are only some of the species that the Emirate boasts.
For a remarkable day out, head to the Ras Al Khor Wildlife Sanctuary. This 6 sq km area can be found at the end of the Creek, and is home to over 20,000 birds, with 67 different species flourishing in the protected park. Built to preserve the surrounding ecosystem, Ras Al Khor is one of the best managed wetland zones in the region. Marvel at 2,000 Greater Flamingos, and spot 500 species of flora and fauna!
Immerse yourself in Dubai’s heritage with a visit to falconry shows, and watch the masterful relationships between bird and man that have been ongoing since the Bedouin first inhabited Dubai’s deserts. The UAE’s prowess at falconry is thought to date back to the 13th century, so you’ll be witnessing an activity that predates most of the Emirate’s other traditions.
While it was once used as a way to map territory and hunt for food, falconry is now just a sport, but one with great appeal thanks to the excitement and danger involved. The falcons used in Dubai are the saker and the peregrine, both of which are now part of a huge breeding programme initiated by the Sheikhs, to ensure that the sport does not wipe out the birds as a species. Watching a falconry show, and witnessing the raw power, grace and beauty of the bird in flight is a breath-taking moment, and one that all visitors to Dubai should engage in.
Much of Dubai’s nature is marine, and can be found at one of many aquariums located around the city. Whether you explore the aquariums in the Mall of the Emirates, or head to Palm Jumeirah and Dolphin Bay, you can get up close and personal with everything from a sea lion, to a shark.