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Dubai Attractions – Dubai Desert Conservation Reserve

Dubai is witness to growing urbanization since the 1960s, when oil was discovered for the first time. Since then, the city has seen a rapid growth in an economy that concentrates mainly on tourism and fossil fuels for sustenance. Whenever we visit Dubai, attractions such as Burj Al Arab, Burj Khalifa, Souks & Shopping Malls, Beaches, Parks and Sports Cities tops our list. However, we need to look beyond the materialistic façade and discover what the deserts of Dubai are offering.

In the late 1990s, Dubai was burgeoning in all directions, lapping up all the touristic wealth. On one hand, Dubai’s growth knew no boundaries, but it recognized the need to safeguard its fragile desert ecosystem and rehabilitate threatened flora and fauna species. Sheik Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum took the initiative to build Dubai Desert Conservation Reserve where the natural desert habitat began blooming without any outside threat. Inspired by the game reserves of South Africa, the Sheikh started Dubai Desert Conservation Reserve (DDCR) on a vast camel farm by relocating all the camels and shutting out roughly 5% of the country to protect native species.

Since then, thousands of trees have been planted and various indigenous species are now thriving in their natural habitat. Animals of various shapes and sizes live here peacefully by adapting to the harsh desert climate. There is an abundance of desert species, but the main dwellers are Arabian gazelle, Arabian Oryx, San gazelle, Ethiopian hedgehog, sand vipers, Rueppell’s fox, and sand cats.

To get a closer look of animals at all times, the Al Maha Desert Resort and Spa is located within the premises of the Conservation Reserve. Here, tourists learn to respect the environment as well as the desert way of life. Regular activities like nature trails, desert safaris, camping, falconry, camel treks, horse riding, and wildlife drives, instill a love for nature.

Tourists could also opt for safaris by tour operators, where they are presented a chance to explore the unique habitat of the Conservation Reserve. These tours are safe for all age groups, but pregnant women and vertigo patients should stay away as it involves driving uphill over sand dunes. Enjoy the spectacular views of the desert, Bedouin encampment, dune dinners, and adrenaline-filled thrills on a 4X4 drive accompanied by a well-learned Morning desert safari guide.

One should applaud the team at Dubai Desert Conservation Reserve for bringing back many species that were on the verge of extinction. Efforts as these make Dubai Desert Conservation Reserve the focal point of United Arab Emirate’s environmental successes.

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