Everything you need to know about the Ras Al Khor Wildlife Sanctuary in Dubai, from the species to the location to what you need to bring
18 November 2019| Last updated on 14 January 2020
Find out why this wetland reserve in Dubai is a treasure of biodiversity
Located just a few kilometres away from most of Dubai's bustling leisure and commercial centres, residents and tourists will find the picturesque reserve of the Ras Al Khor Wildlife Sanctuary.
It's a great, and best of all, absolutely free opportunity for visitors to enjoy animal encounters in their uninterrupted habitats. If you're looking for bird watching activities in Dubai, the reserve provides ample chances to spot avians.
Also referred to as the Cape of the Creek, over 20,000 birds from 67 species call this 6.2 square kilometres of lagoons, wetlands, salt flats, mangroves, and mudflats home.
The Ras Al Khor Wildlife Sanctuary is a protected area in Dubai, recognised by Bird Life International as an Important Bird Area and held in global importance under the Ramsar Convention. The wildlife sanctuary itself is fenced off to protect the wetlands and the animals, however, visitors can view the birds from a good distance.
Cormorant spotted at the Ras Al Khor Wildlife Sanctuary
Birds and wildlife at Ras Al Khor Wildlife Sanctuary
Visitors can witness various colours, shapes, sizes, and behaviours of species.
On top of a wide range of bird species, the protected reserve is a nesting and breeding ground for a variety of mammals, fish, reptiles, and crustaceans such as Ethiopian hedgehogs, Arabian Cape hares, red foxes, blue swimming crabs, and some species of snakes.
While guests may spot a dazzling assortment of ospreys, grey herons, black-winged stilts, cormorants, and more, the star bird of the Ras Al Khor Wildlife Sanctuary are the beautiful pink flamingoes.
The site also regularly sees a number of globally threatened migratory birds including the Socotra Cormorant and Ferruginous Duck.
There are three bird hides located within the sanctuary which UAE residents and tourists can freely visit during the open hours. During the Dubai winter, the sanctuary sees more visits from the public.
Guided tours are available through the official website.
What to bring on your visit
It's recommended you bring your own binoculars for an enhanced bird-watching experience.
Ras Al Khor Wildlife Sanctuary timings
Winter (October - March): 7:30 AM to 5:30 PM
Summer timings (April - Sept): 6 AM to 6 PM