Ras Al Khor Wildlife Sanctuary
At a distance of 7 km from Burj Khalifa and 13 km from Dubai International Airport, Ras Al Khor Wildlife Sanctuary is a wetland reserve in Dubai, the United Arab Emirates. It is one of the few urban protected areas in the arid zone and among the must-visit places in Dubai for bird lovers.
Situated at the end of the ecologically important and culturally rich Dubai Creek, Ras Al Khor Wildlife Sanctuary silently replenishes the fishing grounds for three settlements - now known as Deira, Shindhaga and Bur Dubai. The Ras Al Khor Sanctuary was established in 1985 and was officially declared as a protected area in 1998. It was designated as the Ramsar Site in 2007 under the Ramsar Convention and also identified as a Globally Important Bird Area (IBA) by Birdlife International and considered an exceptional wetland within the UAE.
Known as the 'Cape of the Creek,' Ras Al Khor Wildlife Sanctuary covers an area of 6.2 sq. km and features a variety of salt flats, intertidal mudflats, mangroves, and lagoons that birds use for their nests and individual habitats. It is home to countless species of birds, reptiles, fish and invertebrates, but most prominently it is a haven for birds of around 180 different species. Gracious pink flamingos steal the show in winter, but avid birdwatchers can spot grey herons, great egrets, reef herons, cormorants, black-winged stilts, sandpipers, osprey and more here. This wetland reserve also serves as a breeding ground and home for crustaceans, mammals and fish, but it is the flamingos that steal the show in winter.
There are three bird hides located on the perimeter of the sanctuary namely Mangrove Hide, Flamingo Hide or Lagoon Hide. These are free for the public to access during set daylight hours. Flamingo Hide is the most popular and is the best place to view the Greater Flamingos. Binoculars are provided for a closer view of the birds. The sanctuary is fenced off to protect the area and is closely monitored by the Dubai Municipality.
Timings: 7.30 AM - 5.30 PM in winter & 6 AM - 6 PM in summer, 2 PM - 5.30 PM on Fridays