Sheikh Zayed Protected Areas Network

Sheikh Zayed Protected Areas Network

Marine Protected Areas:

  • Al Saadiyat Marine National Park: Located offshore Saadiyat Island, this thriving habitat features an abundance of marine life including the critically endangered Hawksbill Turtle.  
  • Al Yasat Marine Protected Area: Surrounded by coral reefs and sea grasses, the area is significant for its environmental, historical and cultural relevance, and is an important marine sanctuary for several species.
  • Mangrove Marine National Park: The Park is home to millions of mangrove trees that support a thriving ecosystem. For more information, click here.
  • Marawah Marine Biosphere Reserve: This area is rich in marine and coastal biodiversity. It is home to the second largest population of dugongs in the world and therefore is a site of global importance. In 2019, archaeologists discovered what is believed to be the world's oldest natural pearl on the island. It follows a string of discoveries on Marawah over the past few years that revealed evidence of a sophisticated Stone Age village that once thrived on the island.
  • Bul Syayeef Marine Protected Area: Located west of the Mussafah channel, this protected area is an important area for migratory and resident birds. It includes a range of suitable habitats for the Greater Flamingo and other resident and migratory bird species. The reserve joined the World Wetland Sites Network in 2016.
  • Ras Ghanada Protected Area: The coral communities in this area have direct, indirect, economic and intrinsic great value, helping to protect the region from hurricanes.

 

Terrestrial Protected Areas:

  • Al Bida’a Protected Area:  Dominated by sand sheets, dunes, and dwarf shrub covers.
  • Al Dilfaweya Protected Area: known for its sand sheets, dunes and perennial herbs.
  • Al Ramlah Protected Area: Considered one of the largest protected areas covering 544 km2 in the Al Dhafra region.
  • Qasr Al Sarab Protected Area: This is considered one of Abu Dhabi’s most important protected areas for the ecotourism, as it is one of the areas in which the Arabian oryx roams free In  the Empty Quarter desert. It adjacent to the Anantara Qasr Al Sarab Hotel. For more information, click here .
  • Arabian Oryx Protected Area: Spanning 5,975 km2 across Rezine, this area is home to the largest population of Arabian Oryx in the world.
  • Al Ghada Protected Area: This is a restricted area for the Ghada shrub (Haloxylon persicum) that represents the last place it can be found, east of the Arabian Peninsula.
  • Al Wathba Wetland Reserve: The first protected area ever established in Abu Dhabi and the first IUCN Green list protected area in the GCC, the Al Wathba Wetland Reserve’s greatest and most spectacular attraction is the flamingo population. When these migratory birds fly in to spend autumn until spring here, as many as 4,000 can be counted. For more information, click here .
  • Jabal Hafit National Park: Located in Al Ain, this is the only mountainous protected area in the Emirate of Abu Dhabi; it is also home to the rare Arabian Tahr and the Dwarf palm. For more information, click here .
  • Yaw Al Dibsa Protected Area: This area is known for being the best representation and last refuge for native flora in the Al Dhafra region.  
  • Al Houbara Protected Area: Home to one of the most significant Houbara reintroduction programmes in the region, the Al Houbara protected area is also the location where the sand cat was recorded after a long interruption.
  • Badaa Hazza Protected Area: This area comprises forest cover accounting for more than 75% of its total land area.
  • Barqa Al Suqoor Protected Area: One of the unique protected areas in the Al Dhafra region, this area is a critical breeding zone for the Houbara bustard and features a thriving vegetation cover.
  • Al Tawi Protected Area: This area spans more than 46 km2 and is a critical breeding zone for the Houbara bustard.