Abu Dhabi’s Al Wathba Wetland Reserve up for tourism award

The tourism spot is being recognised for its biodiversity

Al Wathba Wetland Reserve

Al Wathba Wetland Reserve has been nominated for the Middle East’s Responsible Tourism Award, part of the wider World Annual Tourism Travel Awards this year.

Located in the UAE capital, the tourism hotspot made the shortlist thanks to its responsible approach to tourism where visitors can enjoy the site’s biodiversity without harming ecosystems and the environment.

Ahmed Al Hashemi, Acting Executive Director, Terrestrial and Marine Biodiversity said: “We are so pleased that Al Wathba Wetland Reserve is one of the three finalists in the World Annual Travel Awards, and more so that we were selected for the category of Responsible Tourism. We have always strived to ensure that all our environmental work is recognised beyond the borders of the UAE and that we meet global standards in whatever we do.”

“We encourage everyone to vote for Al Wathba Wetland Reserve which is the only site in the Arabian Gulf where the Greater Flamingo breeds regularly since 2011, is recognised as a Ramsar Site and was the first International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) green-listed site in the region in 2018", Al Hashemi said.

Established in the late 90s, the nature reserve consists of both natural and man-made bodies of water, covering a total of 5 square km. The wetlands include salt flats, fossilised sands and dunes and a vast array of animal and plant species.

Perhaps most famous at the wetlands are the flamingo population, which flock to the reserve to enjoy the warm weather during winter. There are some 4,000 flamingos at Al Wathba, with 7,000 people visiting them per season.

Voting for the awards is open until September 10.

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