Emirates News Agency – Abu Dhabi opens new marine protected areas to the public


ABU DHABI, September 27, 2021 (WAM) – Abu Dhabi has significantly expanded its ecotourism offering with the announcement that new marine protected areas have now been opened to the public across the emirate.

The newly revealed areas offer residents and visitors a host of new ways to explore the emirate’s coastline and waterways, with the initiative also supporting the emirate’s maritime industry.

The announcement was made at the Monaco Yacht Show by the Department of Culture and Tourism – Abu Dhabi (DCT Abu Dhabi), in collaboration with the Environmental Agency – Abu Dhabi (EAD), Abu Dhabi Maritime and Abu Dhabi Ship Building.

The annual luxury fair, which specializes in the maritime industry, was attended by hundreds of yachting enthusiasts and professionals, including captains and crews, as well as yacht management companies, yacht agents and owners.

A new map of the capital’s marine reserves and its waters, outlining the new areas open to the public, is the latest addition to the emirate’s growing tourist offer. The capital of the United Arab Emirates is known for its pristine beaches and islands and used the Monaco event to showcase its capabilities as a superyacht destination by showcasing its offers and plans for the shipping industry.

“Abu Dhabi’s marine locations are an important part of our tourism sector,” said Ali Hassan Al Shaiba, Executive Director of Tourism and Marketing at DCT Abu Dhabi. “Our strategy is to sustainably expand our tourist offer in order to meet the growing demand for more activities throughout the destination. The newly announced marine sanctuaries will not only support the growth and success of yacht management companies in Abu Dhabi, they will also provide their customers with a new and breathtaking way to explore the capital. “

The EAD currently manages six marine reserves, including the Marawah Biosphere, the largest and first UNESCO-designated marine reserve in the region.

“Despite the harsh conditions, we are home to an abundance of marine life that has the highest tolerance level in the world,” said Ahmed Al Hashmi, acting Executive Director – Terrestrial and Marine Biodiversity Sector at EAD. “We are home to the largest humpback dolphin population in the Indian Ocean and the densest dugong population and the second largest dugong population in the world. It is for this reason that we are excited to partner with DCT Abu Dhabi on the selection of marine protected areas that will help fuel ecotourism in Abu Dhabi. “

One of the main tasks of DCT Abu Dhabi is to support the development of partners in the tourism industry. The new marine offerings combine marine and yacht management companies with the emirate’s broader tourism strategy to ensure the continued growth of their businesses.

Abu Dhabi has further projects in the pipeline for the marine sector and will soon open Yas Bay on Yas Island, the emirate’s main entertainment district. The new bay will offer new yacht berths, surrounded by several world-class hotels and entertainment activities, including the Formula 1 Etihad Airways Abu Dhabi Grand Prix.


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