Thursday, April 21, 2016

Eco- Experience Places in UAE

Tomorrow, Friday 22nd April, is Earth Day!

I tried to find authentic Earth Day celebrations events  in UAE, but unfortunately didn't find any which highlight sustainable living or covers Eco activities. So here I came up with Eco- experience places in UAE, where you can take your family, friends and guests to celebrate Earth Day by learning about Earth & Nature.

And you can continue visiting these places in last few days lefts before it gets very hot in a month or so and it will be difficult to venture outdoors along with kids. Make best out of few weekends ahead and make your kids learn about nature & local ecosystem through fun way.

UAE's Natural Places

1. Beaches (Free)

In any emirate, you can head to beaches. In Dubai our favorite is Kite Beach & JBR beach

Take your sand toys, build sand castles with your children. Splash water. Fly kites, Do beach combing, find treasures, Watch sun go down, have picnic on beach.

Just take sunscreen with you and please do not liter

2. Desert (Through Tour Operator)
Liwa Desert 

When I talk about desert, it's not about desert safari and no dune bashing please! While dune bashing, you don't know you are harming habitat of how many animals staying in the sand

But if you fancy going on a safari and exploring desert, flora and fauna Dubai Desert Conservation Center is great place.

Tallest red dunes near Liwa, Abu Dhabi are one of the most beautiful sand dunes in UAE.

3. Wadies & Mountains (Free)

Jabel Jais
You need a map and 4X4 to visit wadies across UAE. We are not talking about wadi bashing here, as it will harm the wildlife staying there. It is preferable to go there in better weather and remember there is danger of flash floods. Please don't live anything back when you return, take your garbage and throw it in next bin you find.

Jabel Jais, the highest mountain peak in UAE is worth visiting for beautiful view and feel the difference in temperature.

3. Mangroves & Khors (Free)

Kalba Mangrove
These are UAE's Eco hubs and most important natural features.
Learn more about Khors, Lagoons & Mangrove Forests

You can also experience mangroves closely by kayaking in Abu dhabi's Eastern mangroves.

4. Birds (Mostly Free)

Little green bee eaters

UAE's location is central on world map, so here you get to see lot of migratory birds along with native. Read more about Birds in UAE.

You can go to these places to
do bird-watching and learn about them.

My most favorite is Wasit Nature Reserve in Sharjah. The best place to see birds in UAE. You can see birds in captive natural habitat and learn about birds. They have great educational games for kids too.

Second and most frequented by us for many years is RAS Al Khor Wildlife Sanctuary in Dubai.

Third is, Al Wathaba wetlands in Abu Dhabi. It's on my list of 'need to visit' places. Till then you can just learn about it from their website.

5. Wild life (Nominal Charges)

Critically Endangred Arabian Leopard
Yes, native wild life in UAE and Arabian peninsula. Many expats must be unaware of existence of UAE's wildlife. People generally think there is no life in this vast desert. So it's must for every expat and visitor of UAE to actually visit these places to know more about UAE's endangered wildlife

Al Hefaiya Mountain Conservation Center in Kalba, Sharjah.

Another great place to know about Arabia's Wildlife Center in Sharjah

And if you fancy going on wildlife drive no so far from city at Dubai Desert Conservation Center,

Take your children to Turtle feeding at Mina A'salam

Also please read how our actions can help conserving wildlife in UAE

Man-made Environment Experiences in UAE

Here are some examples of man-made environmental experiences. UAE's natural environment has limitations and therefore governments and organizations have created man-made environments to make cities more livable. There are numerous man-made Eco experiences waiting for you to enjoy. But I have supported and featured only those places where I feel, there is right balance of man-made environment without larger impact on local resources.
Creek Park

1. Parks- (Free or less than 10 Dhs each)

There are many fantastic man-made parks around UAE. In this weather, you can go to park early in morning or in evening.

In Dubai our favorites are Al Barsha Pond Park, Umm Suqueim Park or Creek Park.

Have picnic, take cycles and ride them. watch birds and plants, collect natural goodies and see how children get creative playing with it or crafting it.

2. Zoos (Nominal Charges)

I personally have issue with zoos, as I can't bear to see wild animals in small cages, but I admit the significance  of zoos in making our people and mainly future generations, kids aware of wild life and showing them how to take care of wild animals and love them.

I am strongly against commercially using animal interaction for tourism purpose. So I am not featuring those examples here under Eco Experiences, I don't think those are good example of wild life conservation.

Al Ain zoo wildlife Center

Emirates Park Zoo, we visited it on my son't birthday.
Emirates Park Zoo

3. Aquariums (Charges apply)

These are certain educational aquariums in UAE, where you can learn and teach your children about native marine life

Dubai Aquarium & Underwater zoo

Sharjah Aquarium

4. Lakes (Free)

Al Qudra lakes at outskirts of Dubai are man made lakes, but have provided a great habitat for wildlife. Great place spend a day.

5. Farms (Need to take permission)

Dairy Farm
Technically I think traditional farming is not sustainable as the farms use high amount of water. Water is precious in UAE, as quiet a lot of energy is used to desalinate sea water. Also the weather conditions and lack of natural soil makes traditional farming even more unsustainable. But there are few organic farms in UAE, who follow principals of organic farming, use non GMO seeds and don't use chemicals like pesticides and fertilizers.

These are definitely great places to take our kids and teach them how food grows.

Organic Oasis Farm

Green Heart Organic Farms

You can also introduce your kids to farm animals in UAE. This one, Dairy farm was particularly interesting.

I am sure the list of Eco-Experience places will be useful for your and the tourist travelling to UAE. Please go ahead and visit these places to celebrate Earth & Nature not only on Earth Day but through out the year!

Happy Earth Day 2016!

(P.S. Few Links are taken from other blogs, where you can read their experiences. Thanks to these UAE mom bloggers!
Tarana, Sand in My Toes; Sandy, Ginger & Scotch; Emily, Dubai our sandbox; Tasneem, Thoughts over Chai; Zeyna, Mommy on my mind)


Ginger and scotch said...

Such a great list of Eco-friendly places that visit.

Sally - My Custard Pie said...

I have very fond memories of Sharjah Wildlife park from when my girls were little.

Amruta Kshemkalyani- Tavkar said...

Thank you Sandy!

Amruta Kshemkalyani- Tavkar said...

Sally, it's a great place for kids definitely!