UAE's nature reserve nominated for global travel award
The reserve is the only site in the Arabian Gulf where the Greater Flamingo breeds regularly.
Abu Dhabi's Al Wathba Reserve - renowned for its spectacular flamingo population - has been nominated as one of the finalists for the Middle East's Responsible Tourism Award. Voting on the World Travel Awards website is now open, which means you can help this well-loved sanctuary win the title.
The reserve is the only site in the Arabian Gulf where the Greater Flamingo breeds regularly since 2011. Its wetlands, salt flats, and sand dunes are densely packed with a variety of animal and plant species. And yet, Al Wathba finds a way to share its sceneries and such rich biodiversity with its visitors - without harming its flora and fauna.
Ahmed Al Hashemi, acting executive director for Terrestrial and Marine Biodiversity, said: "We are so pleased that Al Wathba Wetland Reserve is one of the three finalists in the annual World 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."
To vote for Al Wathba Wetland Reserve, click on the following link: https://www.worldtravelawards.com and register your account. Scroll to the nominees, select the Middle East region, search for the 'Responsible Tourism' category and select Al Wathba Wetland Reserve. Voting is open until September 10.
Established in 1998 by the nation's beloved Founding Father, the late Sheikh Zayed bin Sultan Al Nahyan, Al Wathba Wetland Reserve is a 5-sqkm nature reserve consisting of both natural and man-made bodies of water located 40km southeast of central Abu Dhabi.
During the winter months, a spectacular flamingo population flock to the reserve in their thousands to enjoy the weather, which is warmer than in other parts of the world. Some of these flamingoes stay at the sanctuary all year round. There are approximately 4,000 flamingoes residing on the reserve alone. The reserve was opened to the public in 2014 and now receives over 7,000 visitors per season.
It was recognised as a Ramsar Site and became the region's first green-listed site under the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN).
The World Annual Travel Awards is considered the Oscars of the global travel and tourism industry. It was established in 1993 to acknowledge, reward and celebrate excellence across all sectors of the tourism industry.
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