Natural and Semi-Natural Ecosystems

in the United Arab Emirates

WORKSHOP | May 20-24, 2017

Natural and Semi-Natural Ecosystems in the UAE

The Arabian Gulf has several ecosystems of biodiversity: islands, coral reefs, sea grasses, intertidal areas, salt marshes, ‘khors’ (tidal inlets) and mangroves. The UAE is a rich oil-producing nation that has become highly urbanized with modern infrastructure. Located in the arid tropical zone extending across Asia and northern Africa, the UAE’s major terrestrial habitat is sandy desert that supports varying amounts of sparse seasonal vegetation.

The marine life of the UAE is rich in fish, plants, and corals. Over 500 different species of fish alone inhabit the Gulf waters, with many more existing in the Indian Ocean. Coral reefs and mangrove creeks are habitats for many marine creatures. These areas are important fish breeding grounds and feeding areas plus they also protect the shores from coastal erosion. Coral reefs are sensitive and they take decades to re-grow.

Through lectures and practical activities in the both areas of Dubai and Abu Dhabi, aim of the workshop is to provide participants with knowledge on natural and semi-natural ecosystems in the UAEdesert, marine life, coral reefs, mangroves, geology, aquariums, artificial areas.