The city of Dubai has been responsible for creating a large amount of pollution over the years, but through its sustainable tourism initiative it’s trying to reduce its ecological footprint and turn its image around. If you’re planning a visit to Dubai, here are some handy tips on how you can travel responsibly there.
VISIT DUBAI DESERT CONSERVATION RESERVE
Dubai Desert Conservation Reserve is the United Arab Emirates’ first national park. This project aims to protect and preserve the unique desert habitat of this area, as well as the diverse flora and fauna. There’s also a focus on the conservation of rare animals, such as the Arabian oryx, Gordon’s wildcat, desert monitors and gazelles. A portion of the tour package cost goes towards the local conservation effort.
SUPPORT THE DUBAI TURTLE REHABILITATION PROJECT
The Dubai Turtle Rehabilitation Project is run in collaboration with the Emirates Wildlife Protection Office and is situated in Jumeirah’s beachside hotel, Mina A’Salam. The main aim of this project is to rehabilitate, care for and support sick turtles. This project also works on raising awareness of the threats faced by the turtle population, such as fishermen’s nets, poachers and pollution. More than 500 sea turtles have been rescued since the project’s inception in 2004. The turtle pools at Mina A’Salam are open to visitors.
CHOOSE ECO-FRIENDLY ACCOMMODATION
Dubai has recently invested a lot into green living environments. The Arabian Desert offers many restrictions on planning major cities and sustaining a living environment, as temperatures can reach as high as 40ºC. To reduce its ecological footprint, Dubai has several places that support eco-friendly accommodations. Al Maha is a desert resort in the middle of the Desert Conservation Reserve that offers green living outside of the city. If you’re planning a golf holiday in Dubai, try to pick one with an eco-conscious course.
SUPPORT RAS AL KHOR WILDLIFE SANCTUARY
Dubai is on the migratory route of thousands of birds. Ras Al Khor Wildlife Sanctuary is a wetland centre that attracts a huge range of species, including flamingos, reef herons, sand pipers, cormorants, ospreys, spotted eagles, Caspian terns, Asia pied mynas, purple sunbirds, Indian silverbills, red-wattled lapwings, and many more. There are also many small mammals, crustaceans and fish that live there. The sanctuary covers an area of 6 km and is a combination of mudflats, mangroves, lagoons and salt flats. There are also more than 500 species of flora and fauna in the sanctuary.
BE A CONSCIENTIOUS TRAVELLER
Plastic bags and water bottles are bad for the environment and they often end up in the waterways, which is bad for fish and other marine life. Carry your own water bottle and take canvas bags with you whenever you think you may want to purchase something. You know that the plastic bags from shopping will be the first thing to go in the garbage when you’re packing your luggage to go home. Keep your eyes peeled for recycling bins and don’t be afraid to ask the manager of the hotel you’re staying at to start a recycling programme if they don’t already have one. If everyone works together to reduce, reuse and recycle plastic, we can really make a difference.