A forest making a world of difference

There’s no argument, mangrove forests are pretty green – as in good for the environment. They protect the coast from waves and ocean currents, so there’s less coastal erosion. And they bring down carbon emissions to help stabilise climate change. So it’s no wonder Abu Dhabi has gained global recognition for sustaining a large mangrove forest.

Locals call the forest ‘Qurm’. Amidst the skyscrapers and development it’s fascinating to see a vital natural habitat being preserved too. The Eastern Mangroves are a haven for birds and marine life. The roots of the trees are ideal for fish looking for breeding grounds, while the trees provide a home for nesting sea birds too. Animal lovers will find binoculars handy.

Saltwater trees

Mangrove trees are unique in being salt-tolerant. All they need is a slow moving current of water and fine sediment so their roots can take hold. Just listen to the water slowly lapping, and gaze out at the beauty of the twisted trunks and leafy branches. It doesn’t get more relaxing than this.

Get up close

Like to see a unique marine ecosystem for yourself? Then why not take a short kayaking tour. Your guide can point out the flora and fauna as you paddle. You might be in full sunlight out on the water, so don’t forget your sunglasses and sun cream – and bring a water bottle.

Other interesting facts about the Eastern Mangroves

  • They spread over about 8 square kilometres (5 square miles)
  • About one third of the mangroves are open to public access
  • Mangrove trees grow to about 3 to 5 metres (10 to 16 feet) tall
  • You’ll probably see more wildlife at low tide, but at high tide boats can go deeper into the forest