The government of Dubai established Ras al Khor wildlife sanctuary in 1985. It was officially declared as a protected area on March 1, 1998. Thanks to the ruler of Dubai in December 2003 Ras Al Khor sanctuary was given full protection from Dubai Municipality by including RAKWS in protected areas of Emirate of Dubai. It was officially accepted, where the UAE became the 156th member of the RAMSAR Convention on December 29, 2007, it was the same year when RAKWS was accepted as UAE’s first RAMSAR site. The Bird life International has given this attraction the status of Globally Important Bird Area (IBA) and considers it as an exceptional wetland within the UAE. Ras al Khor Wildlife Sanctuary (RAKWS) is one of the few urban protected areas found in the arid zone.
The area of this sanctuary is 6.2 square km, it is the home to 450 species of animals and 47 species of plants. This attraction is located just in the heart of Dubai and against the backdrop of Dubai skyline. Ras Al Khor Wildlife Sanctuary offers bird watching through three bird hides at strategic locations to give visitors a closer view of birds and other wildlife in the area. You will be amazed and dazzled with the beautiful and stunning birds in the wetlands of Ras Al Khor Wildlife Sanctuary. The amazing fact is that this attraction is located just a few meters away from the bustling city of Dubai.
RAKWS is also known as the ‘Cape of the Creek,’ and it features a variety of salt flats, intertidal mudflats, mangroves, and lagoons that birds use for their nests and individual habitats. Ras Al Khor Wildlife Sanctuary is one of the few urban protected areas in the arid zone. Under Ramsar convention, this wetland holds global importance because it is super Eco-friendly and the plants and birds in the sanctuary are very well taken care of. The sanctuary is fenced off to protect the area and is closely monitored by the Dubai Municipality. 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. If you look closely among the bunch of pink feathers you will find spot grey herons, black-winged stilts, great egrets, cormorants reef herons, osprey, sandpipers and more.
There are three bird hides very commonly available on the perimeter of the sanctuary which are made free for during daylight hours. These hides are the first step in an ongoing project to develop a protected area. This wildlife sanctuary of Dubai is a blissful 6-kilometer-long mixed stretch of intertidal mudflats, salt flats, lagoons, scrublands, and ancient mangroves. Winter season proves to be crucial for the birds in Dubai so this sanctuary provides a safe home to them too. What’s more, this enchanting bird sanctuary also has over 500 species of flora and fauna! For any avid birdwatcher, this bird sanctuary is a real treat. There’s no better sight than watching the sky turn pink when thousands of pink flamingos take to the heavens at sunset. Arm yourself with a pair of binoculars and watch 170 bird species that stopover here on the east African–west Asian flyway.
There are many much more to explore in Dubai so what are you waiting for? Plan your trip to Dubai and have fun!