When people think of the UAE, immediately a concrete jungle comes to mind, populated by skyscrapers and highways. However, there’s also plenty of nature to see, for those who love plants and animals. When visiting the UAE, travelers should not restrict themselves to malls and shopping, but should instead spend some time in the vast nature the country has to offer.
Perhaps the most natural and unique setting in the UAE is the desert. Every single one of the country’s seven Emirates has long stretches of sand and dunes, with natural desert fauna and flora that will help people better understand life during the time of the Bedouins. The best way to check out the desert is by booking a desert safari, which is available through several different travel companies around the country.
Al Zorah Nature Reserve
Located in the Emirate of Ajman, the Al Zorah Nature Reserve is one of the most unique in the country. The spot is home to several pink flamingos, giving color to the natural mangroves there located. With nearly 60 different species of bird, this is an ideal spot to birdwatch, as well as finding a natural haven a little bit away from the UAE’s most popular cities, Dubai and Abu Dhabi.
Dubai Miracle Garden
Although the Dubai Miracle Garden is manmade, it is still one of the most beautiful places in the country for nature-lovers to visit. The garden consists of several large floral arrangements, including the largest one in the world, as per the Guinness World Records. This takes the shape of an Airbus A380 and is a jaw-droppingly massive structure. For those who love flowers and want to take some epic pictures, this is the right spot.
Dubai Miracle Garden, Al Barsha South 3, Barsha, Dubai, UAE, +971 4 422 8902
Bu Tinah Island
Abu Dhabi has a large number of islands, offering visitors everything from extreme sports to luxury. However, one of the most important islands in the capital is Bu Tinah Island. The spot does not have any touristic structure, but is known for being the first and largest UNESCO recognized reserve in the region. The island earned this prestigious title for being home to an endangered species of turtle, the Hawkbill turtle and is one of the most stunning spots for nature lovers.
Only around an hour’s drive from Dubai, but still inside the Emirate, is Hatta. This spot if a favorite among residents looking for a day escape from the busy city life. Hatta is best known for its natural pools of turquoise water, located in the middle of rocky mountains. This is the perfect spot for all nature-lovers to get a bit wet and try different water activities, such as stand up paddleboarding and kayaking.
Sir Ban Yas Island
Sir Ban Yas Island is the dream place for UAE visitors who wish to stay in the midst of nature. Travelers can book a stay at the Anantara Sir Ban Yas Island Resort, which is a plane or boat ride away from Abu Dhabi, and they will find themselves right next to the Arabian Wildlife Park. The park is home to over 13,000 animals and visitors can go on safaris in order to see the vast variety of species living there. The animals roam around freely and undergo successful breeding programs, making this an ideal place for animal lovers.
The Green Planet
Who would have guessed that one of the country’s most intricate ecosystems was actually located inside of a dome? The Green Planet, located in the middle of urban Dubai, allows visitors to see an indoor rainforest. With over 3,000 species of animals and plants coming directly from places such as South America, the venue provides visitors with the chance to learn through informational signs and even touching some of the animals. This is a unique experience for travelers.
The Green Planet, City Walk, Al Wasl, Dubai, UAE, +971 4 317 3999