Ecotourism sites on land and water go on show in new app and e-book
The UAE has carried out the first phase of an ecotourism drive that hopes to attract visitors from around the world to the country’s natural wonders.
Yesterday, the Minister of Climate Change and Environment launched a free e-book and app that feature an interactive map with videos compiled from 700 hours of footage shot on land, air and under water.
The app and an e-book are part of the Ministry’s National Ecotourism Project designed to raise awareness of the UAE’s stunning landscapes and wildlife that are uniquely adapted to one of the planet’s most extreme climates.
The app provides images and videos from 35 of the UAE’s 43 protected areas, including mangroves, dunes and lush wadis. It features two reserves from Abu Dhabi and Ajman, five from Fujairah, 11 from Sharjah and 15 from Abu Dhabi.
Reserves range in size from the 80,000 square metre Dhadna underwater reserve in Fujairah to the 6,000 square kilometre Arabian Oryx Protected Area east of Liwa, Abu Dhabi, which is home to 835 oryx.
“Through our work at the Ministry, the country has established a comprehensive legal framework that ensures conservation of the environment,” Dr Thani Al Zeyoudi, the Minister of Climate Change and Environment, said on the launch of the app.
“The National Ecotourism Project aspires to promote the UAE’s environmental attractions to the local and international audience with the objective of establishing the UAE as one of the leading ecotourism destinations in the world within the next few years.”
Mr Al Zeyoudi expects the programme will encourage the protection of biodiversity and highlight the economic benefits of sustainable tourism.
Many listed sites are free to the public. Each listing has visiting hours or details on the authority to contact to arrange a visit.
The app also includes a quiz on UAE geographic, flora and fauna.
The e-book can be downloaded at the ministry website.
The launch was in the town of Al Rams, Ras Al Khaimah yesterday.
Dr Thani Al Zeyoudi, Minister of Climate Change and Environment, launches the ecotourism app yesterday