In 2018, the Jebel Ali Wetland Sanctuary was added to the Ramsar List of Wetlands of International Importance. The 2,000-hectare wetland includes the Ghantoot Marine Reserve, a coastal and marine area comprising coral reefs, mangroves, seagrass beds and sandy beaches. The area supports over 300 species, including the critically endangered hawksbill turtle, the endangered mottled eagle ray, green turtle, Arabian gazelle, foxes, lizards and a variety of water birds. Access to the sanctuary and marine reserve are restricted. To visit the reserve, which is managed by the Emirates Marine Environmental Group, you can join one of their turtle releases, BBQs, mangrove plantings or clean-ups. Through these activities you can learn about the huge range of species found in these ecosystems, and how they are affected by our day-to-day activities. You may even meet some of the residents, including desert animals such as camels and gazelle, turtles and other sea animals, and wetland animals such as birds.
Opening hours: based on events organized by EMEG.
Entrance Fee: N/A.
Safety precautions: Be careful not to interfere with any of the wildlife, and especially the turtles. Stay clear of turtle hatchlings.
What to bring: Based on activity.
Activities: Educational programmes such as turtle releases, mangrove plantings, clean-ups and BBQs.