Top 5 Free Eco-tourism Spots in Dubai

From a bird park to a turtle rehabilitation centre, discover the region’s native wildlife and natural sites through Top Spots Dubai’s guide to the best free eco-tourism spots.

1. Al Marmoom Desert Conservation Reserve

Al Marmoon Desert Conservation Reserve is the largest nature reserve in the UAE encompassing 10 per cent of Dubai’s total area including the Al Qudra Lakes. The reserve is also home to Mohammed Bin Rashid Solar Park which is the region’s largest renewable energy project and a wide range of native wildlife. Here visitors can encounter Arabian oryx, reptiles, flamingos as well as hundreds of species of migratory birds and native birds. There’s also the 3,000-year-old Saruq Al Hadid archaeological site here which is known to be one of the oldest historic sites in the UAE.

2. Ras Al Khor Wildlife Sanctuary

Ras Al Khor Wildlife Sanctuary is situated in the wetlands just a short drive outside the city, close to Deira and Dubai Creek. The habitat is home to tens of thousands of birds and is also a breeding ground for other wildlife including mammals, crustaceans and fish. The flamingos that make the Ras Al Khor Wildlife Sanctuary their winter home are a favourite among visitors, be sure to check their migration patterns before your visit so that you can see them. The wetland has a range of different natural environments including salt flats, intertidal mudflats, mangroves and lagoons where birds can nest.

3. Dubai Turtle Rehabilitation Project, Jumeirah Al Naseem

Running in collaboration with the Emirates Wildlife Protection Office, Jumeirah Al Naseem’s Dubai Turtle Rehabilitation Project (DTRP) is a major hit with visitors and is the only project of its kind in the region. The sanctuary rehabilitates unwell and injured turtles. Guests can visit the centre daily, free of charge, feed the turtles and discover marine life conservation. To date over 560 turtles have been rescued and released back into the wild.

4. Expo City

Situated within Expo City, the site designed for the Dubai Expo 2020, Terra is the Sustainability Pavilion. Terra pioneers the idea that every small act can contribute to a larger positive impact. Inside the Pavilion visitors embark upon an ‘immersive journey’ that guides them through oceans and woodland so that they can learn how to protect and preserve the planet. Terra utilises smart sensors that monitor energy consumption to ensure efficient use of light, water and climate conditioning.

5. Hajar Mountains and Hatta Dam

Head to Hatta to discover some of the UAE’s most impressive and dynamic natural beauty. The Hatta area includes the Hajar Mountains as well as the Hatta Dam making it an ideal location for land and water sports and activities. Head to Hatta for camping, hiking, horse riding, cycling or rock climbing or take to the water for canoeing and kayaking, there are several centres dotted around for equipment rental.

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