Good news for Ras Al Khor Wildlife Sanctuary
We are delighted to announce that WWT Consulting is working for Dubai Municipality, in partnership with DEC Engineering, on the development of a brand new Wetland Centre at Ras Al Khor Wildlife Sanctuary, right in the heart of Dubai.
Ras Al Khor Wildlife Sanctuary, the UAE’s first Ramsar site, comprises valuable wetlands, including mudflats, mangroves, reedbeds and areas of sabkha, and is renowned for attracting over 20,000 birds from 75 species during peak migration. As its name in Arabic suggests, Ras Al Khor (Head of the Creek) is located at the end of Dubai Creek, an important brackish habitat, and it’s one of the very few protected urban wetlands in the world.
Like many urban wetlands, Ras Al Khor Wildlife Sanctuary faces challenges, such as pollution and pressures from urban development, and Dubai Municipality recognises the need to invest in preserving these wetlands. As one of Dubai’s best kept secrets, these wetlands also have the potential to create a much needed natural experience for Dubai residents and tourists. The vision for Ras Al Khor Wildlife Sanctuary is for it to become an internationally recognised site for best practice in wetland management with a Wetland Centre that delivers Communication, Education, Participation and Awareness (CEPA) in line with Ramsar’s guidelines, through close encounters with nature and engaging interpretation about these incredible wetlands – allowing people to see thousands of flamingos and other species right in the heart of one of the World’s busiest cities.
Over the next eight months, WWT Consulting will be designing new habitats and restoring old, degraded ones across the site and, working with MET Studio Design, will design exciting interpretation for a visitor centre with trails, hides and outdoor interpretation. This will all be supported by an integrated management plan for the habitats, wildlife and people visiting the centre. We started work on a masterplan for the site in 2007 and have already undertaken our first task on this exciting project to update that masterplan to ensure it meets the Client’s current aspirations for the future Dubai Wetland Centre.
We are enjoying working with a really strong project team with Dubai Municipality, DEC Engineering, MET Studio Design and other specialists on this valuable wildlife site in the heart of one of the world’s most iconic cities. We look forward to sharing some of the ideas with you as the project progresses.