From beaches, marshes and mangroves to acacia forests and date palm groves, the narrow coast of the UAE on the Indian Ocean offers many different habitats.
Biologically diverse, Kalba’s sanctuary is a major fish spawning and nursery area, and home to important birds, fish and plants as well as three types of turtles: the green, loggerhead, and hoax. It’s bird of Prey Center, the first of its kind in the Middle East, is home to 50 different types of birds of prey, including 14 permanently settled species along the Eastern Coast. Seer Bu Neer Island is a historical, cultural, and environmental landmark that is rich in coral reefs, immigrating birds and green turtles, Wadi Al Helow is rich in reptiles, rodents, birds, and fresh water fishes and Wasit is rich in birds, reptiles and saline plants. Protected areas in the Central region, including Al Doulaimah, Al Bardy and Al Fayah are known for their stone plains, Samar and Ghaf Trees.
SIR BU NUAIR ISLAND
SIR BU NUAIR ISLAND was announced as nature reserve on 10, December 2000. Stretching over an area of 13 square kilometers, the uninhabited pearl-shaped Island is located 65 km away from the coast of the United Arab Emirates on the Arabian Gulf. A trip to the island takes between 2-3 hours by sea, and 40 minutes by air from Sharjah. SIR BU NUAIR certainly deserves its recognition as a wetland of international importance because of its important environmental features, including geological layers, natural plants and seabirds, as well as beautiful scenery.
Progress has been made on listing SIR BU NUAIR ISLAND, a global heritage site by UNESCO, as the island constitutes a natural refuge for turtles for more than 2,000 years, and known for its vibrant marine environment. Studies of marine surveys, made on the island, revealed that there are approximately twenty different types of coral reefs, including Brain corals, the Bee Hive, the Dendritic, Deer Horns, and others, and 58 reef fish species have been recorded during surveys conducted in northern and western reefs areas in SIR BU NUAIR Island.
It is worth mentioning that the development of SIR BU NUAIR project is considered one of the most important and largest "Shurooq" initiatives, in order to make the island a destination like no other. The island will feature a spa, a five-star hotel, villas and hotel apartments, along with a number of shops, restaurants and other leisure facilities. SIR BU NUAIR ISLAND contributes to promoting the modern lifestyle which combines the beauty of the region and its cultural heritage through the unique architectural design of the island facilities and through the hospitality deals provided by to the visitors.
Scheduled to be completed on 2017, SIR BU NUAIR project will feature a village for camping, theater, museum, mosque, education center, sea port and airport. The island also seeks to follow the vital social and commercial life offered in cities and small ports around the world.
Khor Kalba Nature Reserve
Stretching over 1230 hectares, Khor Kalba nature reserve is one of the oldest and largest green natural sites on the East |Coast of the UAE.
It is a shelter for many endangered birds such as Egret and Halcyon.
This beautiful and quiet area filled with green plants and trees constitutes a great backdrop for large rocks and steep cliffs of the Al Hajar (stone) mountains.
Wadi Al Helow Protected Area
Wadi Al Helow
Located on the road from Sharjah to Kalba, it was declared as a nature reserve in 2007. It aims to protect the valleys and mountain environment and the preservation of the physical and biological resources such as birds, reptiles, rodents and freshwater fish
Wasit Nature Reserve
Located in Al Ramtha area, It was declared as a nature reserve in 2007, what makes this nature reverse unique is the environmental diversity of coastal sand dunes, salt and debris linking ponds and large open lake with the island. It has 198 different species of birds, besides the great diversity in the species of small mammals, reptiles and insects, discovered for the first time in the UAE.
Al Doulaimah Nature Reserve
Located on the road from Sharjah to Al Dhaid, and specifically to the east of the intersection no. 12, the name Al Doulaimah is referring to the darkness of this place even in the day time, due to the lush of trees which was covering the entire area.
Tigers, antelopes, wolves, rabbits, deer, foxes, some reptiles and locusts, in addition to the birds, were living there.
It Was declared as nature reserve in 2007, based on the directions of His Highness Sheikh Dr. Sultan bin Mohammed Al Qasimi, Supreme Council Member and Ruler of Sharjah, in order to rescue those species from the case of significant deterioration caused by drought and hunting; after that the area was fenced and several wild animals were released, a large group of trees were planted, and wells were set, to provide an appropriate atmosphere for plants and animals, which turned it into one of the most important nature reserves in Sharjah.
Jabal Al Fayah Reserve
The geographical location of this nature reserve, within a prominent archaeological site in Sharjah, has made it one of the significant protected areas in Sharjah. It was declared as a nature reserve in 2007 in order to protect the geological structures, the archaeological areas, and the physical resources.
Al Madina Nature Reserve
It is one of the oldest nature reserves in Sharjah, it was announced in 1996, located in the central region of Maliha on the road from Sharjah to Kalba. This nature reserve was designed to protect the ecosystem of the gravel plains, the physical resources, and trees in the region, as well as a variety of species of birds and reptiles.
Al Hefya Nature Reserve
Stretching from Wadi Al Helou area up to Khor Kalba sea overlooking the coast of Oman. This nature reserve constitutes a fertile environment for the production of good quality honey. Moreover it includes a beautiful protected species of birds that nest and lay eggs in this region such as wild pigeons and Hoopoe, hawks and many other species of birds. This area was designed to protect the environment of flood plains adjacent to the foothills of the mountains, which is a safe haven for rare species of animals and birds.