Wild is good and natural. It is where we learn empathy and joy through the act of play. Adventures of UAE set under the golden light that warms the fur and brown serve this very purpose. In the sand-filled air that carries an aroma of earthly treasures of the Persian Gulf, a token of wildlife is born.
Flora and fauna of the UAE are well-adapted to the desert environment. You will come across features that are present nowhere else. Therefore, the UAE has maintained a close eye on its biodiversity because animals and plants play a pivotal role in building its distinctive identity.
Travelers often upload images of camels, falcons and date palms during their adventure in Dubai and other emirates. Nevertheless, there are many other species that the country and its authorities are working to converse with. Let’s dive in to explore flora and fauna of the UAE in detail:
Flora Of The UAE
The vegetation of the desert mainly consists of lichens, scrubs and dry grasses that came from Africa millions of years ago. However, flora adapted to the hot climate here. Now, plants grow, bloom and prepare their seeds to disperse them until the next rainy season!
Following are the famous flora of the desert that went through the process of evolution:
Mangrove trees densely line the coastal land of Abu Dhabi. The emirate already boasts an estimated 70 square kilometers of mangrove forest, with the Mangrove National Park alone covering more than 19 square kilometers.
These trees have built a reputation as natural windbreaks and carbon capturers. It also welcomes numerous bird and marine species. However, the mangrove forest is vulnerable to climate changes, construction and dredging. Hence, the law has been structured to protect the stretches of mangrove trees along Abu Dhabi’s coastline.
Ghaf remains green even in harsh desert environments because they are drought-tolerant trees. Most importantly, it is the national tree of the UAE. However, the saddening reality of urbanization, infrastructure development, and overgrazing threatens these trees. Therefore, the UAE authorities prohibited cutting wild plants, uprooting them or collecting them illegally.
The Ghaf plant is a keystone species with several positive applications, including preventing desertification and boosting soil fertility in dry settings. It is also an important food, fuel, shelter, and medicine source for both people and animal species.
Moreover, many species establish nests atop the Ghaf, including the Desert Eagle Owl, Brown-necked Raven, Yellow-throated Sparrow, and Long-legged Buzzard. Also, it was sought after by Bedouins for its seeds, and its leaves were previously used instead of rice. Its long pods offer nourishment for animals, producing milk, butter, cheese, and meat.
Desert hyacinth (scientific name: Cistanche tubulosa), also known as fox radish, is a remarkable desert plant that produces tall, pyramid-shaped spikes of beautiful yellow blossoms throughout the spring months.
Want to know something interesting about Desert Hyacinth? These plants can survive in extremely harsh environments by parasitizing on other plants.
Fauna Of The UAE
Following are unique animals and birds that habitat the wide stretches of sand:
Arabian Tahrs are the smallest in the tahr family. Its Asian relatives, the Himalayan tahrs and Nilgiri tahrs, are bigger in size. While touring the UAE, you will find them in the Hajar Mountains or Jebel Hafit of the UAE or in the northern areas of Oman.
The Arabian Oryx is a medium-sized animal that may weigh up to 80 kilograms. They are primarily white, with darker patterns on their faces and legs. They were traditionally hunted for their flesh and skins. Habitat loss due to building and development also contributed to the species’ demise in the wild.
You will find it in Abu Dhabi’s Qasr Al Sarab Protected Area and the Arabian Oryx Protected Area.
The sand cat can live in harsh desert conditions. The soles of its feet are covered with long hairs. It has a light, sandy-colored fur that may or may not have spots and stripes. It has long ears and is petite in size. This species lives in rocky and sandy deserts and preys on tiny rodents and reptiles.
You can explore the flora and fauna of UAE during your luxury tour around the Persian Gulf. These desert living things will give you fantastic content to post on your Instagram. Moreover, the exploration will help you learn about wildlife and develop compassion towards wildlife. So what are you waiting for? Embark on a wildlife adventure!