Freshwater in the middle of the desert - Wadi Wurayah and Wadi Shawka, United Arab Emirates

A musical-visual sequence
(QT Movie 10:25) :

Desert Waters

Wadi Wurayah National Park in Fujairah, the first national park in the UAE established by decree, is one of the few permanent freshwater sources in the UAE; with amazing biodiversity of rare animals and plants that cannot be found anywhere else in the world. In December 2013, the gates of Wadi Wurayah National Park were officially closed in a ceremony led by His Highness Sheikh Mohammed Bin Hamad Al Sharqi, the Crown Prince of Fujairah, to celebrate conservation efforts for the park. This positive step means that the park will be free of human interference and be allowed to recover, until appropriate facilities are put in place to ensure the protection of the wadi’s natural environment and the safety of its visitors.
Wadi Wurayah in Fujairah has been named the second protected area in the UAE under the Ramsar Convention for wetlands. Wadi Wurayah is a 169 km2 area between the towns of Masafi, Khor Fakkan and Bidiyah in the Emirate of Fujairah, United Arab Emirates. It is home to more than 100 species of mammals, birds, reptiles and amphibians as well as more than 300 species of plants. It is a spectacular location with streams and pools dotted around the rocky outcrops. It is one of few remaining places in the world where the endangered Arabian tahr still roams free. Conservationists believe it to be among the last places in the UAE where the Arabian leopard still survives. The same is true for the caracallynx. The wadi is also home to a freshwater fish, the Wadifish (Garra barreimiae), which lives only in the Hajar Mountains. The Wadi Wurayah protected area will be set up so it meets international standards established by WWF World Wide Fund for Nature as well as by the IUCN International Union for Conservation of Nature and the UNESCO United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organisation.
Freshwater Ecoregion of the World : #443 Oman Mountains
Major Habitat Type: xeric freshwaters and endorheic (closed) basins
Freshwater habitats: Most water bodies are very small, subject to drying, intermittent connections, and flash floods. Aflaj are an important habitat (although artificial structures) since they support a fish fauna in areas where the water table may fall and dry up natural flows and, as a traditional water supply, are variously maintained or abandoned for pump wells.

Wadi Wurayah - Emirate of Fujairah - United Arab Emirates


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F100-03 Garra barreimiae

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F100-02 Garra barreimiae

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Wadi Shawka - Emirate of Ras al Khaimah - United Arab Emirates

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Bufo arabicus

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Wadi Al Abadilah - Emirate of Fujairah - United Arab Emirates


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All Photographs Copyright 2013© Michel Roggo