Dubai has created its first mangrove forest as part of plans to cover 60% of Dubai’s land under tree cover in the next 20 years.
The Mangroves Forest is located at the Jebel Ali Wildlife Sanctuary and will stretch for 15km when finished. There will also be another 6km of inland forest as part of the development.
Mangrove forests are a huge part of the UAE’s coastal systems and are natural habitats for wildlife including birds, gazelle, crabs and oysters. Abu Dhabi, Sharjah and Umm Al Quwain all have extensive mangrove forests, with up to 15o square km across the UAE. But the Mangroves Forest will be the first in Dubai.
The Mangroves Forest will also include coral reefs, sea grass beds and a natural beach.
Mangroves are also where up to three quarters of tropical fish are born, making them a vital part of the ecosystem.
And they’re perfectly suited to the local environment. They love heat and saltwater and they soak up five times more carbon dioxide than any plant.
The mangrove forest project is being run by the Emirates Marine Environmental Group and consumer company Procter and Gamble. And it’s part of Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid’s plans to turn over half of the city into nature reserve areas by 2040.